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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The papers consist of correspondence, field notes, and publications of the botanist Charles Russell Orcutt. It also includes biographical material and lists related to Orcutt's natural history collections, library, research, and travels.
Background
Charles Russell Orcutt was a naturalist who specialized in botany and malacology. Born on April 27, 1864 in Hartland, Vermont, he moved with his family to San Diego in 1879, where his father established a small horticultural nursery near the ruins of the Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Orcutt married Olive E. Eddy in 1892; her medical practice provided financial support for the family while Orcutt traveled extensively on collecting trips in both southern California and Baja California. He was a prolific writer and editor, publishing multiple journals and magazines including West American Scientist (1884-1919). An early member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Society of Natural History (the parent organization of the San Diego Natural History Museum), he collected many specimens now currently held in the botany, paleontology, and marine invertebrate departments of that museum. Orcutt collected at least 45 new taxa, including 15 plant species and even one genus that were named in his honor. Many plant names exist today with the specific epithet of orcuttii as testament to his collecting skills. His botanical specimens are found in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Natural History Museum, in addition to the San Diego Natural History Museum. He died on August 25, 1929 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Extent
3.75 Linear Feet
Restrictions
Copyright may be reserved. Consult the San Diego Natural History Museum Research Library Director for more information.
Availability
The collection is open to researchers by appointment. Contact the Research Library Director, San Diego Natural History Museum.