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Finding Aid to the Ward C. Russell papers MVZA.MSS.0221
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/historical note
  • Scope and contents note
  • Related archival materials
  • Arrangement note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Ward C. Russell papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MVZA.MSS.0221
    Contributing Institution: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.7 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1928-1995
    Abstract: The Ward C. Russell papers consist of field notes, correspondence, and oral histories. The field notes cover the years 1928-1969, mostly overlapping the time that Russell served as the MVZ's preparator and collector. The correspondence dates from 1931-1967. The oral histories, which include transcriptions of interviews with Russell and his wife Virginia Miller Russell, date from 1991-1995.
    Creator: Russell, Ward C., 1907-2000

    Administrative Information

    Conditions governing access

    The collection is open for research.

    Conditions governing use

    Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.

    Preferred citation

    [Identification of item], Ward C. Russell papers, MVZA.MSS.0221, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

    Biographical/historical note

    Ward C. Russell (1907-2000) began his UC Berkeley studies in 1924, at first focusing on Chemistry and Forestry before settling on Zoology. He was hired by the MVZ in 1929, temporarily filling in for Chester Lamb. Russell ended up serving as the MVZ’s preparator and collector for forty years. While at MVZ, he spent two weeks on Joseph Grinnell’s final field trip, collected numerous bird and mammal specimens, and cleaned roughly 80,000 skeletons. Russell brought to the museum the dermestid beetle approach to cleaning bones, a practice that proved to be quite effective. He primarily focused on collecting birds and mammals in the western United States and Mexico.
    "MVZ Biographies." Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley. January 22, 2014. http://mvz.berkeley.edu/Biographies.html 
    Oral histories, Ward C. Russell papers, MVZA.MSS.0221, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and contents note

    The Ward C. Russell papers include thirteen standard-bound volumes of fieldnotes, including specimen, habitat, and map sketches. The volumes cover the years 1928-1969 and detail localities in Arizona, California, Idaho, Mexico, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. There is also one folder of correspondence spanning the years 1931-1967. Additionally, there is a separate folder containing oral histories featuring Russell and his wife, Virginia Miller Russell, that date from 1991-1995.

    Related archival materials

    Original oral history recordings can be found in MVZA.REC.0014, Oral histories.

    Arrangement note

    The collection has been arranged in the following series: Field notes, Correspondence, and Oral histories. There are no subseries.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Biological specimens--Collection and preservation.
    Biological specimens--Identification
    Biology Fieldwork
    Field notes
    Scientific expeditions--Arizona
    Scientific expeditions--California
    Scientific expeditions--Idaho
    Scientific expeditions--Mexico
    Scientific expeditions--Montana
    Scientific expeditions--Nevada
    Scientific expeditions--New Mexico
    Scientific expeditions--Oregon
    Scientific expeditions--Washington
    Scientific expeditions--Wyoming
    University of California (1868-1952). Museum of Vertebrate Zoology