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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • OFF-SITE STORAGE
  • Publication Rights
  • Digital Content
  • Related Materials
  • Provenance

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Sumner Family Papers
    Creator: Sumner (Family : 1874- : Sumner, Francis B. (Francis Bertody), 1874-1945)
    Creator: Sumner, Francis B. (Francis Bertody), 1874-1945
    Creator: Sumner Club (La Jolla, San Diego, Calif.)
    Identifier/Call Number: SMC 0011
    Physical Description: 3 Linear feet (4 archives boxes and 3 oversized volumes)
    Date (inclusive): 1875-1989, bulk 1900-1945
    Abstract: Papers of Francis Bertody Sumner, one of the first Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologists, and his family. The collection consists of correspondence, academic papers and reports, photo albums and prints, scrapbooks, and records of the Sumner Club.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Papers of Francis Bertody Sumner, one of the first Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologists, and his family. The collection consists of correspondence, academic papers and reports, photo albums and prints, scrapbooks, and records of the Sumner Club. The collection is noteworthy for its material on the early days of Scripps and La Jolla, including photographs, scrapbooks, and professional correspondence with W. E. Ritter, T. Wayland Vaughan, and high-level University of California administrators at Berkeley. The photographic prints and albums document the Sumner family's life at Woods Hole (including images of the laboratories in 1901-1902) and La Jolla, as well as travels to Egyptian Sudan (1899), Italy (1910), and the mountains and deserts of California and the southwestern United States prior to 1945.
    Arranged in five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE AND BIOGRAPHICAL FILES, 2) PAPERS, 3) PHOTO ALBUMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS, 4) SUMNER CLUB and 5) SCRAPBOOKS.

    Biography

    Francis Bertody Sumner (1874-1945) was a professor of biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He received his undergraduate degree in 1894 from the University of Minnesota, and began work on his Ph.D. in zoology in 1895 at Columbia University. In 1899, Sumner and two colleagues from Columbia undertook an expedition to Egypt to study African fish. Sumner received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1901. Sumner was director of the Woods Hole Laboratory of the Bureau of Fisheries from 1903-1911, where he prepared a report on all of the marine flora and fauna in the area. In 1910, he made a six-month voyage with his wife and daughter to Italy. The trip was primarily for leisure, but Sumner did use the opportunity to visit the Stazione Zoologica in Naples. From 1911-1913, he served as the naturalist aboard the U.S.F.C. steamer Albatross, conducting a biological and hydrographic study of San Francisco Bay.
    In 1913, Sumner was invited by W. E. Ritter to work at the Scripps Institution for Biological Research. His research focused on geographic variation and heredity in a widely distributed group of wild mice known as Peromyscus. When the Scripps Institution turned its focus seaward in 1925 and was renamed the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Sumner ceased his Peromyscus research and began to study the adaptive coloration of various fishes.
    The Sumner family lived in La Jolla and documented their travels in memoirs and photography. Dr. Sumner and his wife, Margaret Clark Sumner, had two daughters and one son. Sumner worked at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography until his death in 1945.

    Preferred Citation

    Sumner Family Papers. SMC 11. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1981-82, 1985, 2011

    OFF-SITE STORAGE

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Digital Content

    Selected images from the collection have been digitized, and may be viewed by clicking on the links in the container list.

    Related Materials

    Additional material created by members of the Sumner family, including correspondence and a memoir by Margaret Clark Sumner, may be found in the SIO Biographical Files, SAC 5. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
    One scrapbook, "In California, 1915" assembled by Caroline Clark, was removed from the collection in 2016 and cataloged seperately.

    Provenance

    The collection contains material relating to Francis B. Sumner and his family from a variety of sources. Dr. Sumner's office papers were sorted by Carl Leavitt Hubbs in 1944, as Sumner was preparing to retire. Dr. Hubbs disposed of Sumner's field notes and other materials, but kept some files for his own records (which are now in the Carl Hubbs Papers collection); he presumably returned others to the family, and may have donated the folders of Sumner correspondence now located in the SIO Biographical Files (SAC 5). Many of the photographs, negatives and family papers in SMC 11 were from Dr. Sumner's home and personal files, and were donated in 1981 and 1985 by his daughter Florence Sumner Henderson (original nitrate negatives were copied and destroyed several years later).
    The Sumner Club records were donated to the SIO Archives in 1982, along with conveyance of all rights and interests to the UC Regents, by Denis L. Fox and Claude E. ZoBell. Because the first minutes and some related correspondence regarding the Club were found in the Sumner Papers, it was decided to merge the Club records into the collection. Finally, one family album assembled by Florence Sumner Henderson, "Memories of La Jolla," was donated to the SIO Archives in 2011. It was photographed and disbound for preservation reasons at the time of accessioning. That album has been included in the Sumner Papers and begins in Box 2, Folder 6.
    One scrapbook, Caroline Clark's "In California, 1915" travel journal, was removed from the collection in 2016 and cataloged separately.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Woods Hole (Mass.) -- Pictorial works
    La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.) -- Photographs
    Death Valley (Calif. and Nev.) -- Description and travel
    Yosemite National Park (Calif.) -- Description and travel
    Photographs -- 20th century
    Scrapbooks - 20th century
    Italy -- Description and travel
    Summers family -- Archives
    Sumner, Francis B. (Francis Bertody), 1874-1945 -- Archives
    Ritter, William Emerson, 1856-1944 -- Correspondence
    Vaughan, Thomas Wayland, 1870-1952 -- Correspondence
    Summers family -- Travel
    Sumner Club (La Jolla, San Diego, Calif.) -- Archives
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography -- Archives
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography -- Pictorial works
    Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, Mass.) -- Pictorial works