Reference Request

* required
Please succinctly provide us with any information pertinent to your inquiry. If you are writing to us about a research request, provide as much detail as possible about the collections in which you are interested (including collection numbers, box numbers, and folder titles).
(if known)

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is using Constant Contact, a third-party contact management software vendor, to manage contacts and send eNewsletters. Please be advised that Constant Contact's Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions apply to your use of these services. The Smithsonian Institution Archives has access to your name and email address which is subject to our privacy statement.

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

Accession 14-106

Eigenmann, Rosa Smith, 1858-1947

Rosa Smith Eigenmann Papers, 1845, 1884-1939, 1970, 1973

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Eigenmann, Rosa Smith, 1858-1947
Title: Rosa Smith Eigenmann Papers
Dates: 1845, 1884-1939, 1970, 1973
Quantity: 1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
Collection: Accession 14-106
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

This accession consists of correspondence documenting the research and collecting of Rosa Smith Eigenmann and her husband Carl H. Eigenmann. The correspondence is from other scientists at universities across the United States, as well as from the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Museum which received specimens from Rosa. Correspondents include Spencer Fullerton Baird and Samuel Henshaw. There is also a substantial amount of correspondence between Rosa and Carl's daughter Adele Eigenmann and her husband John Oliver Elier. Some materials date from after the death of Rosa. Materials include correspondence, photographs, notes, postcards, clippings, and publications.

Descriptive Entry

Rosa Smith Eigenmann, one of the first female ichthyologists, was born in Monmouth, Illinois in 1858, the youngest of nine children. Her family later moved to California where Rosa finished her secondary schooling at Point Loma Seminary. In California she took an interest in the natural history of the area and joined the San Diego Society of Natural History. She began to collect, observe and identify local species of animals and birds.

Soon after Rosa discovered the bling goby (Othonops eos) in the Point Loma Peninsula, San Diego, she met ichthyologist David Starr Jordan in 1879. Impressed, Jordan encouraged Rosa to come study with him at Indiana University. She spent two years there before having to go home to help with an illness in her family. However, before she left Jordan introduced her to a German student of his named Carl H. Eigenmann who was in the process of getting his doctorate in ichthyology.

Now back in San Diego, Rosa began formally describing and publishing on various species of blind goby and other fish, and she also continued to correspond with Carl Eigenmann. By the time Rosa and Carl were married on August 20, 1887, Rosa had published nearly 20 papers. The two were curators at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco before going to Harvard to study the Agassiz fish collections. Additionally they spent a great deal of time in South America collecting and studying fresh water fish. Some 150 species of fish are credited to Rosa and Carl. Rosa passed away in 1947.

This accession consists of correspondence documenting the research and collecting of Rosa Smith Eigenmann and her husband Carl H. Eigenmann. The correspondence is from other scientists at universities across the United States, as well as from the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Museum which received specimens from Rosa. Correspondents include Spencer Fullerton Baird and Samuel Henshaw. There is also a substantial amount of correspondence between Rosa and Carl's daughter Adele Eigenmann and her husband John Oliver Elier. Some materials date from after the death of Rosa. Materials include correspondence, photographs, notes, postcards, clippings, and publications.

Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 14-106, Rosa Smith Eigenmann Papers

Top of Page

Container List

Box 1

Correspondence from Carl H. Eigenmann, 1893-1899, 1919

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence to Carl H. Eigenmann, 1888-1926

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Carl H. Eigenmann to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1887-1899, 1911-1916

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Samuel Henshaw to Carl H. Eigenmann, 1907-1914

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Carl H. Eigenmann and Samuel H. Church, 1917

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Charles Otis Whiteman to Carl H. Eigenmann

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence from Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1884

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1882-1935

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Rosa Smith Eigenmann to Carl H. Eigenmann, 1907

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Rosa Smith Eigenmann to Theodore Eigenmann, 1911

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Spencer F. Baird to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1882-1886

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1883-1884

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Department of the Interior to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1888

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - Smithsonian Institution to Rosa Smith Eigenmann, 1880-1886

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence - John Oliver Eiler to Adele Eigenmann, 1917-1923 (2 folders)

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence to Adele Rosa Eigenmann, 1910-1915

Box 1 of 1

Correspondence to Thora Eigenmann, 1939

Box 1 of 1

Unidentified correspondence, 1890-1922

Box 1 of 1

Letter of recommendation - Carl H. Eigenmann, 1891

Box 1 of 1

Miscellaneous notes, 1895

Box 1 of 1

Portrait of Lucretia M. Smith, 1845

Box 1 of 1

Photographs, c. 1900s, 1970, 1973

Box 1 of 1

Postcards

Box 1 of 1

Nathan Everett Pearson and Jesse Williamson expedition to South America

Box 1 of 1

Transcripts - Adele R. Eigenmann - Indiana University, 1915

Box 1 of 1

Publications, 1893-1895

Box 1 of 1

Ephemera, 1920-1922

Box 1 of 1

Clippings

Box 1 of 1