Inventory to the papers of Joseph R. Slevin at the California Academy of Sciences MSS.429

Slevin (Joseph R.) Papers
Finding aid prepared by Christina V. Fidler
California Academy of Sciences Archives
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA, 94118
415-379-5484
library@calacademy.org
April 24, 2009

Note

Box list on web Bio on server at N:\library\ARCHIVES\1 Biography\Wynne biographies and N:\library\ARCHIVES\1 Biography\Biography - Text


Descriptive Summary

Title: Slevin (Joseph Richard) papers
Collection number: MSS.429
Repository: California Academy of Sciences, Special Collections
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
Languages: Materials are in English.
Physical Description: 4.2 Cubic feet 2 archives box, 6 legal archives boxes, 1 half-size archives box, 1 flat archives box, wrapped items
Date: 1881-1957
Abstract: The collection consists of papers and materials relating to Joseph R. Slevin’s life, primarily surrounding his research of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The collection also contains numerous research materials relating to Slevin's work as the curator of the herpetology department at the California Academy of Sciences.
Language of materials: Materials are in English.
Location note: AR6/I/1-AR6/K/3 and PR6/B/5
Creator: Slevin, Joseph Richard, 1881-1957

Chronology

Chronology

1881 Born in San Francisco, September 13, 1881.
1904 Hired by the California Academy of Sciences in preparation for the Galapagos Islands Expedition.
1905 Sails for the Galapagos Islands onboard the schooner, Academy.
1906 Returns to San Francisco and helps to rebuild Academy after 1906 earthquake and fire. Becomes the assistant curator of the herpetology department.
1928 Becomes curator of the herpetology department.
1954 Elected Honorary Member by the California Academy of Sciences.
1956 Last bibliography of scientific publications is published.
1957 Dies in San Francisco on February 17th.

Biographical note

Joseph Richard Slevin was born in San Francisco on September 13, 1881. He attended St. Ignatius College, San Francisco and completed his studies in Humanities at St. Mary’s College in Kansas. His mother was an avid philatelist, one brother was an ornithologist, another brother was an entomologist, and his father, Thomas E. Slevin, was a member of the California Academy of Sciences as well as an amateur ornithologist.
Inevitably, after serving in the United States Navy and completing 20 voyages with the Oceanic Steamship Company, Joseph R. Slevin accepted a position at the California Academy of Sciences in 1904. At this time, the Academy was preparing for a Galapagos expedition and Slevin was found to be uniquely qualified for the trip. Prior to his departure, he was given extensive training by Dr. John Van Denburgh, curator of the Herpetology Department. On June 28, 1905, Slevin and the crew of the schooner, Academy, set sail for the Galapagos Islands.
While the expedition was taking place, most of the Academy’s collection was destroyed in the San Francisco 1906 earthquake. The expedition returned November 29, 1906, and its collection of the flora and fauna of the Galapagos served as the new building blocks for the Academy collection.
After the expedition, Slevin continued to work for the Academy as Dr. Van Denburgh’s assistant. Dr. Van Denburgh died in 1928 and Slevin assumed the curatorship for the herpetology department. In addition to his specialty in the Galapagos Islands, Slevin collected in Mexico, the Gulf of California, Australia, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
After 53 years of service to the California Academy of Sciences, Slevin died on February 15, 1957. At the time of his death, he had two books in manuscripts; a history of explorations in the Galapagos Islands, and a popular handbook of reptiles.
Sources Consulted: Academy News Letter, No. 207, March, 1957.
Academy News Letter, No. 164, August, 1953.

Conditions governing access:

Access is unrestricted.

Reproduction:

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Preferred citation

[Item], Joseph Richard Slevin papers, Special Collections, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.

Related materials

The Smithsonian Institution holds the Schmitt/Slevin Correspondence collection.
Rollo Howard and Ida Menzies Beck papers, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
Francis Xavier Williams papers,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
Edward Winslow Gifford Galápagos expedition photographs,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
Alban Stewart papers,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
Galapagos Islands collection,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
Ornithology and Mammalogy Department field note collection,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.

Scope and content

The collection consists of papers and materials relating to Joseph R. Slevin’s life, primarily surrounding his research of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The collection also contains numerous research materials relating to Slevin's work as the curator of the herpetology department at the California Academy of Sciences.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Academy (Schooner).
California Academy of Sciences. Dept. of Herpetology.
Photographs
Field notes
Galapagos Islands.
Cowan, John S., Lt.
Cowley, William, Ambrosia
Davis, Edward, fl. 1683-1702
Hancock, Allan, 1875-
Leviton, Alan E.
Lindsay, George E., (George Edmund), 1916-
California Academy of Sciences--Curators
California Academy of Sciences--History
California Academy of Sciences--Scientists
Herpetologists
Herpetology
Natural history museum curators
Scientific expeditions--Galapagos Islands.

Container List

 

Series 1: Biographical and personal materials

Mixed materials 1, Folder 2

Obituaries of Joseph R. Slevin 1957

Mixed materials 1, Folder 3

In Memoriam - Thomas Edwards Slevin, The Magnetic Pole, Geographical Society of the Pacific: Constitution

Mixed materials 1, Folder 4

Photographs, Herpetologists League certificate, newspaper clippings, obituaries

Mixed materials 1, Folder 5

CAS Constitution and By-laws 1915 and 1925

Mixed materials 1, Object 4, Mixed materials 1, Object 5, Mixed materials 1, Object 6, Mixed materials 1, Object 7, Mixed materials 1, Object 1, Mixed materials 1, Object 2, Mixed materials 1, Object 3, Mixed materials 1, Object 8

Passports 1855-1952

Mixed materials 1, Object 10, Mixed materials 1, Object 11

Slevin's CAS membership cards

Mixed materials 1, Object 13, Mixed materials 1, Object 14

Vaccination cards

Mixed materials 3, Object 1

Slevin's journal containing research notes

Mixed materials 6, Folder 3

Miscellaneous personal documents including maps, passport instructions, and various publications undated

Mixed materials 8, Object 1

Scrapbook of newspaper clippings

Mixed materials 1

Framed portraits of relatives and ancestors

 

Series 2: Correspondence

Mixed materials 1, Folder 7

Al Leviton replies to correspondence addressed to Slevin after Slevin's death

creator: Leviton, Alan E.
Mixed materials 3, Folder 3

Correspondence regarding the search for Cowan's grave, St. James Island, and other Galapagos research

Mixed materials 3, Folder 4

Correspondence - Request for information on the grave of Lt. Cowan

Mixed materials 3, Folder 5

Photos of the Officers of the Hassler, letter by J. Henry Blake, and map tracing route of the Heller

Mixed materials 3, Folder 8

Correspondence regarding search for ships to the Galapagos 1940's

Mixed materials 3, Folder 9

Correspondence regarding search for ships to the Galapagos 1950's

Mixed materials 3, Folder 10

Correspondence and research into the "Beagle" and other captains and vessels

Mixed materials 3, Folder 11

Correspondence - Search for information on Fray Tomas de Berlanga

 

Series 3: Manuscripts and publications (non Galapagos)

Mixed materials 1, Folder 1

Manuscript, "Las Islas Encantadas"

Mixed materials 2, Folder 3

Manuscript, "Extracts From a Report of the Sea" (in Slevin's History)

Mixed materials 2, Folder 4

Mounted photos taken in Bogurte, Panama

Mixed materials 2, Folder 6

Manuscript of Handbook of California Reptiles 1950

Scope and Contents note

A. Leviton notation stating "An un published Slevin manuscript"
Mixed materials 2, Folder 7

Instructions of the Revillagigedo Islands Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences 1925

Mixed materials 2, Folder 8

Assorted papers including manuscripts, correspondence and trip reports 1925

Mixed materials 6, Folder 2

Assorted manuscripts by Slevin undated

Mixed materials 6, Folder 4

Newspaper clippings and publications by Slevin

Mixed materials 6, Folder 6

Manuscript of Slevin's "The Academy in the Field"

Mixed materials 6, Folder 8

Academy publications, correspondence and information regarding snakes

Mixed materials 6, Folder 9

Graphic time table, Outing Bureau trip report, and publications regarding the Miwok tribe

Mixed materials 7, Folder 1

Publications and works by Slevin and CAS Newsletters referencing Slevin

 

Series 4: Galapagos papers and research

Mixed materials 1, Folder 6

5x7 photographs of Hancock's 1927 Galapagos Expedition onboard the Oaxaca 1927

Mixed materials 2, Folder 1

Galapagos photographs, assorted photographers 1905-1906

Mixed materials 2, Folder 2

D.H. Bates letter and photographs of the Galapagos 1905-1906

Mixed materials 2, Folder 5

Assorted magazines and articles referencing the Galapagos Islands

Scope and content

Stamps Magazine article referencing Slevin, E.A. Agazziz's A Cruise Through the Galapagos for the Atlantic Monthly, and Uni's Nature with letter from Slevin.
Mixed materials 2, Folder 9

Rear Admiral Francisco Benito Perera, "Historia del Archipielago de Las Islas Galapagos"

Mixed materials 2, Folder 10

Map of 1921 California Academy of Sciences Gulf of California expedition route

Mixed materials 2, Folder 11

Copy negatives made from Slevin Album

Scope and content

Created by Gamma Photo, June, 2002
Mixed materials 3, Folder 1

Slevin's Galapagos history notes, bibliography. Dimensions,services and log excerpts of the H.M.S. Beagle

Mixed materials 3, Folder 2

Photos of Galapagos Islands, and Berlanga, Spain

Mixed materials 3, Folder 6

Galapagos Research notes

Mixed materials 3, Folder 7

Photos of Galapagos charts and maps

Mixed materials 4, Folder 1

Galapagos histories and memoirs written by various authors

Mixed materials 4, Folder 3, Mixed materials 4, Folder 1, Mixed materials 4, Folder 2

Manuscripts for The Galapagos Islands / A History of their Exploration

Mixed materials 2, Object 1, Mixed materials 9, Folder 4, Mixed materials 4, Object 1

The Galapagos Islands / A History of their Exploration 1959

Mixed materials 4, Folder 4, Mixed materials 4, Folder 5

Galapagos histories and memoirs written by various authors

Mixed materials 4, Folder 6

Research and manuscript for the "The Galapagos Islands / A History of Their Exploration" undated

Mixed materials 4, Folder 7

Correspondence, research notes and bibliography for "The Galapagos / A History of Their Exploration" undated

Mixed materials 4, Folder 8

Draft of "The Galapagos Islands / A History of Their Exploration" bibliography undated

Mixed materials 4, Folder 9

Correspondence and research materials for "The Galapagos / A History of Their Exploration" undated

Mixed materials 5

Various reference materials regarding the Galapagos Islands, bibliographic index cards and photographs.

Mixed materials 6, Folder 1

Manuscripts and articles by Slevin

Mixed materials 7, Folder 2

Photographs - Botanical negatives/photos and indications of landings carved in rock, Darwin and the Beagle

Mixed materials 7, Folder 3

Photographs - Galapagos early landings and charts and graphs

Mixed materials 8, Folder 1

Copy of the Captain's log of the Beagle

Mixed materials 8, Folder 2

Portfolio of photographs from the Hancock expedition

Mixed materials 8, Folder 3

20 pages of the diary of Fletus, of the USS ESSEX, and Slevin correspondence

Mixed materials 8, Folder 6

Photographs from Hancock's expedition

Mixed materials 8, Folder 8

Publications regarding the Galapagos Islands

Graphic materials 2

Photograph album of mostly Galapagos photos and few Sierra photos

Mixed materials 9, Folder 1

Photos and captions for "The Galapagos / A History of Their Exploration"

Mixed materials 9, Folder 2

Photos and captions for "The Galapagos / A History of Their Exploration"

Mixed materials 9, Folder 3

Photos of Lieutenant Gamble and Galapagos maps

Mixed materials 3

Two woodcuts from Slevin

Mixed materials 3

Drawing of Columbine ship sails

Mixed materials 3

Navigation log of Frigate Eugenie

Mixed materials 3

Photo of the Corvette Decres of the French Navy

Mixed materials 4

Copies of Ambrose Cowley's drawings and maps of Galapagos Islands from 1684 Galapagos expedition

Mixed materials 4

Copies of Ambrose Cowley's diary pages from 1684 Galapagos expedition

Mixed materials 4

Copies of Edward Davies's diary from 1684 Galapagos expedition

Mixed materials 4

Charts by G.W.P. Edwardes from H.M.S. Daphne Galapagos expedition.

Mixed materials 4

Copies of early maps of South America and Galapagos Islands

Mixed materials 4

Copies of H.M.S. Brisk plans

Mixed materials 4

Narborough Island map and negative photostat prints

Text 10

1905-1906 Galapagos Islands expedition field notes. 1905-1906

Mixed materials 11

1905-1906 Galapagos expedition collection catalog and 1909 Klamath Falls collection catalog. 1905-1909

Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.2 Cubic feet 2 notebooks
 

Series 5: Miscellaneous papers, magazine clippings, and notes

Mixed materials 1, Object 9

3x5 cataloging cards

Mixed materials 1, Object 12

Miscellaneous notes

Mixed materials 6, Folder 5

Newspaper clippings

Mixed materials 6, Folder 7

Glassware price lists, photographs and other miscellaneous documents

Mixed materials 8, Folder 4

Envelope of newspaper clippings and photos

Mixed materials 8, Folder 5

Film of eclipse

Mixed materials 8, Folder 7

Newspaper clippings, photographs, and correspondence