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Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 7344

Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899

Elliott Coues Papers, 1872-1880, 1896-1899 and undated

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899
Title: Elliott Coues Papers
Dates: 1872-1880, 1896-1899 and undated
Quantity: 0.5 cu. ft. (1 document box)
Collection: Record Unit 7344
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These papers consist of a Book of Dates compiled by Coues between 1896 and 1899, probably when he was preparing to write his memoirs. It includes genealogical information dating to 1686, and is probably the most important source of information on Coues' life. Also included are thirty-eight letters written by Coues to Winfrid Alden Stearns, who was seeking Coues' help in writing a manual of New England ornithology. Stearns' work was finally published in 1883 in two volumes under the title New England Bird Life, Being a Manual of New England Ornithology, with extensive revisions and editing by Coues. In addition, this record unit contains an undated manuscript written by Coues on the geographic distribution of mammals.

Historical Note

Elliott Coues (1842-1899), a disciple of Spencer F. Baird, was probably the most influential American ornithologist of his generation. From about 1860 to 1881 Coues served in the United States Army as Assistant Surgeon and from 1877 to 1886 served as Professor of Anatomy at Columbian College (now The George Washington University). His major publications include Key to North American Birds, 1872; Check List of North American Birds, 1873, 1882; and Field Ornithology, 1874.

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Introduction

This finding aids was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.

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Descriptive Entry

These papers consist of a "Book of Dates" compiled by Coues between 1896 and 1899, probably when he was preparing to write his memoirs. It includes genealogical information dating to 1686 and is probably the most important source of information on Coues' life. Also included are thirty-eight letters written by Coues to Winfrid Alden Stearns, who was seeking Coues' help in writing a manual of New England ornithology. Stearns' work was finally published in 1883 in two volumes under the title New England Bird Life, Being a Manual of New England Ornithology, with extensive revisions and editing by Coues. In addition, this record unit contains an undated manuscript written by Coues on the geographic distribution of mammals.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7344, Elliott Coues Papers

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Container List

Box 1

"Book of Dates"

Box 1 of 1

Coues - Winfrid Alden Stearns Correspondence

Box 1 of 1

Manuscript on Geographic Distribution of Mammals, undated

Box 1 of 1

Miscellaneous

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence, Coues to George Newbold Lawrence, April 20, 1864 (Accession 01-162)

Box 1 of 1

Manuscript, " History of North American Mammals," undated (Accession 06-119)

Box 1 of 1