Othniel C. Marsh

ID: 78-15940

Creator: Maull & Co., London

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1860s

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 16, Folder 62

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  • Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-1879) was a paleontologist. During his career, Marsh published about 300 scientific papers and books in which he described and named approximately 500 new species of fossil animals found by him and his collectors. He amassed a large collection of vertebrate fossils, fossil footprints, invertebrate fossils, osteological specimens, and archaeological and ethnological artifacts. In 1898 Professor Marsh presented his extraordinary collections to Yale University. Upon his death, additional specimens were donated to the Smithsonian's U.S. National Museum. Between 1870 and 1873 he led four expeditions of Yale students into the American West in search of fossils. From 1883 to 1895 Marsh was President of the National Academy of Sciences. From 1882 to 1892 he was Vertebrate Paleontologist of the U. S. Geological Survey and later director of the Peabody Museum at Yale University.
  • In 1890 came the climax of one of American science's most colorful (and scandalous) episodes, when the "fossil feud" that had been simmering for 20 years between O. C. Marsh and his rival, Edward Drinker Cope, erupted into the newspapers. In this image of Marsh, he is standing, holding a hat, and leaning on a pedestal.


  • Marsh, Othniel Charles
  • National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
  • Yale University
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • National Collections


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 16, Folder 62

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


c. 1860s

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No restrictions


  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Paleontologists
  • Peabody Museum
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Portraits


  • Photographic print
  • Portraits

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Portrait; Medium: Photographic print

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