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Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) CORRESPONDENCE: Professional and family letters dating from 1899 to 1967. Notable correspondents include W. E. Ritter, T. Wayland Vaughan, Robert Sproul, John C. Merriam, William Wallace Campbell, and Joseph Grinnell. The professional correspondence includes discussions of the developing academic program at Scripps; Sumner's research; and the administrative relationship between SIO and the University of California. The letters dating from after Sumner's death in 1945 are primarily family letters exchanged between his wife, Margaret Clark Sumner, and his daughter, Florence Sumner Henderson, but topics include memories of the history of Scripps. Arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 1

American Association for the Advancement of Science member certificate, and maps 1901, and undated

General note

Maps include directions to "Sumner's Ranch" and a drawing of PL 1312 showing Torrey Boulevard and the related land plot for Sumner.
Box 1, Folder 2

Typescript correspondence by Margaret Sumner to her parents 1910 January-June

General note

Includes a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Montague Glass with their daughter, Peggy. The letters describe Margaret and F. B.'s time in Italy.
Box 1, Folder 3

Mixed correspondence 1899, 1911

General note

Includes a partial letter from F. B. to his wife, Margaret.
Box 1, Folder 4

Mixed correspondence 1913, 1918

General note

Includes a letter from William E. Ritter regarding Sumner's appointment at the Scripps Institution, and the research program there.
Box 1, Folder 5

Letter from Marry B. Ritter to Florence Sumner 1922

Box 1, Folder 6

Professional correspondence 1923-1925

General note

Correspondence relating to the departure of Dr. Ritter and the status of Sumner's research plans. Includes correspondence with Joseph Grinnell, John C. Merriam, W. W. Campbell, David Starr Jordan, and T. Wayland Vaughan.
Box 1, Folder 7

Mixed correspondence 1926

Box 1, Folder 8

Mixed correspondence 1927-1929

General note

Includes correspondence with John C. Merriam, president of the Carnegie Institution, and T. Wayland Vaughan, director of the Scripps Institution.
Box 1, Folder 9

Mixed correspondence 1930-1932

General note

Includes a letter from John C. Merriam informing Sumner he cannot continue his research on mice at Scripps; correspondents on this topic include Robert Sproul and T. Wayland Vaughan.
Box 1, Folder 10

Professional correspondence 1933-1935

Box 1, Folder 11

Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1936

Box 1, Folder 12

Professional correspondence 1937-1938

General note

Correspondence primarily regarding Sumner's election to the National Academy of Sciences. Includes Sumner's typescript paper, "Life Activities of Fishes."
Box 1, Folder 13

Professional correspondence 1939-1940

Box 1, Folder 14

Mixed correspondence 1942-1946, 1961, 1967

General note

Includes a memorial written by Sumner for William E. Ritter; and reminisces on Sumner's character written on the occasion of his retirement. Also includes a letter to Mrs. Sumner from the Sumner Club after his death.
Box 1, Folder 15

Letter from Harry Beal Torrey to Margaret Sumner 1960 February

General note

Two letters on the early history of Scripps.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) PAPERS: This series includes Sumner's research reports, drafts of lectures given by Sumner and his wife, Margaret Clark Sumner, and narratives describing various travel excursions undertaken by the Sumner family. The travel memoirs describe the unique challenges of travelling by car through the American West in the early 1900s, and corresponding photographs may be found in series 3) PHOTOGRAPHS. The first folder in this series is a travel journal or memoir by a writer named F. C. da Silva describing a trip to Vietnam circa 1875. Da Silva's relationship to the Sumner family is unclear. Papers are arranged chronologically.
Box 1, Folder 16

A trip to Cochin China [Vietnam]. Holograph manuscript by F. C. da Silva 1875

General note

Includes a photograph, likely of the author's family. There is also a note from Florence A. Henderson, F. B. Sumner's daughter, on the origins of the manuscript and its possible connection to the Sumner family.
Box 1, Folder 17

Bibliography of scientific publications ca. 1930

Box 1, Folder 18

A proposed plan for the study of certain problems of evolution and heredity 1913 April

General note

Proposal drafted by W. E. Ritter, Joseph Grinnell, Samuel J. Holmes, Charles A. Kofoid, John C. Merriam, and F. B. Sumner.
Box 1, Folder 19

Sumner, Margaret. Lecture on science for the La Jolla Women's Club - With typewritten notes by Florence Henderson 1915

Box 1, Folder 20

Doggerel poetry and a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union 1920

Box 1, Folder 21

The Scripps Institution ca. 1924

Box 1, Folder 22

Some results of a twelve years study of deer mice ca. 1925

Box 1, Folder 23

What science is for. Kiwanis Club lecture 1927 November 4

Box 1, Folder 24

Summary of results from a sixteen year's study of variation, distribution, and heredity in Peromyscus 1929

Box 1, Folder 25

History and work of the Scripps Institution 1932

Box 1, Folder 26

Camouflage in fishes 1934

Box 1, Folder 27

Preliminary report upon a study of the possible effects of visual stimuli on the hair color of mammals 1934

Box 1, Folder 28

Sumner, Margaret. Typescript narrative of trip to Death Valley - Typescript 1936

Box 1, Folder 29

Why is modernism? 1936

Box 1, Folder 30

Sumner, Margaret. Typescript narrative to trip to Yosemite 1937 April

Box 1, Folder 31

Why measure a fish's pigment? 1941

Box 1, Folder 32

The life and times of Francis Bertody Sumner, by himself ca. 1945

General note

Includes supplemental biographical information and obituaries.
Box 1, Folder 33

Reviews of Sumner's The Life of an American Naturalist 1945

General note

Reviews by Margaret M. Nice, Wesley R. Coe, and Carl L. Hubbs.
Box 1, Folder 34

Confessions of a Professional Mouse Catcher, F. B. Sumner undated

Box 1, Folder 35

Typescript narrative describing a trip to Keys Ranch undated

Box 1, Folder 36

A naturalist's rambles in the southwestern deserts by F. B. Sumner undated

Box 1, Folder 37

Untitled typescript lecture undated



Scope and Content of Series

Series 3) PHOTO ALBUMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS: Photographs and albums documenting the daily life, travels, and social affairs of the Sumner family. The majority are black and white prints including F. B. Sumner, his wife Margaret Clark Sumner, his two daughters, Florence Sumner Henderson and Elizabeth Sumner French, and his son, Herbert Clark Sumner. Many of the photographs were originally organized or captioned by Florence Sumner Henderson. The images document life in La Jolla in the first part of the twentieth century, in addition to travels overseas and the western United States. A small selection of images have been digitized and may be viewed by clicking the links in the container list.
Arranged in two subseries: A) Photo Albums and B) Photographs.
A) Photo Albums: Most of the albums in this series were previously disbound, but the pages are intact and contain detailed captions about the subjects.
B) Photographs: Black and white photographic prints documenting F. B. Sumner's research trips and leisure travel, including pictures from Woods Hole, Egypt and Sudan, Italy, and the western United States, including the Painted Desert and Death Valley. There are also photographs of the early days of SIO, including the campus, the surrounding landscape, and photographs of staff, faculty and their families.

Photograph Albums

Box 2, Folder 1

Photo album of Egypt and Sudan 1899

General note

Disbound album. Includes photos of Harmony Row, various river boats, the Nile, Block House Fort, Atbara Bridge, Sudanese children and villages, and a military hospital and its staff.
Box 5

Photo album of Egypt and Sudan (oversize) 1899


Item is stored flat in clamshell box.
Box 2, Folder 2

Photo album of Woods Hole 1901-1902

General note

Disbound album. Includes photos of buildings, like the Fish Commission Residence, and boats, such as the Fish Hawk, and negatives of the Gosnold celebration. One image from this album has been digitized.

Margaret Clark Sumner ca. 1901

Margaret Clark Sumner

Box 6

Sumner family photo album - Woods Hole (oversize) 1901-1908


A large oversized album featuring excellent family photos of children, socializing, beach outings, and parties. Item is stored flat in a clamshell box.
Box 2, Folder 3

Photo album of Italy 1910

General note

Disbound partial album. Includes photos of Naples, vineyards, flat fish, Faralliones off Capri, and Sorrento.
Box 2, Folder 4

Sumner family photo album - Italy, California and Arizona 1909-1923

General note

Bound album. Includes photographs from Italy, 1909-1910; the California desert, 1914-1920; and Arizona, 1922-1923. A letter in the CORRESPONDENCE series (box 1, folder 2) describes the Sumners' travels to Italy in great detail. Some of the prints in box 2, folder 5 are duplicates of images in this album.
Box 2, Folder 5

Sumner family photo album - California, Arizona and portraits 1914-1945

General note

Disbound album. Includes photos of the Sumner family and formal portraits of Dr. Sumner, Victorville, Death Valley, La Jolla, Stove Pipe Wells, Pisgah Lava Field, the Painted Desert, Moencopie Creek settlement, Preston and San Felipe. A small selection of images from this album have been digitized, and may be viewed by clicking the links below.

Looking south towards the original wooden Scripps pier and La Jolla ca. 1925

Looking south towards the original wooden Scripps pier and La Jolla


Francis B. Sumner in Panama City, Panama 1927 October 27

Francis B. Sumner in Panama City, Panama


Sumner doing fieldwork in a make-shift laboratory by his automobile near Preston, California ca. 1913-1945

Sumner doing fieldwork in a make-shift laboratory by his automobile near Preston, California


Sumner's murarium at the Scripps Institution for Biological Research, La Jolla 1914

Sumner's murarium at the Scripps Institution for Biological Research, La Jolla: 1914

Box 3, Folder 22-23

Loose prints (duplicates) primarily from California and Arizona albums ca. 1914-1941

General note

Includes landscape images from Borrego, Carrizo Gorge, Arizona, Imperial Valley, Death Valley, the Mt. Woodson area, and miscellaneous desert plants and camp scenes. Also includes notes on Dead Man Flat. One image from folder 23 has been digitized.

Francis B. Sumner near his automobile, dubbed Perodipust, near the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley, California 1920 April 1

Francis B. Sumner near his automobile, dubbed , near the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley, California: 1920 April 1

Box 3, Folder 24

Loose negatives (duplicates) from California and Arizona albums ca. 1914-1941


Photo album - "Memories of La Jolla"

General note

An album created by Florence A. Henderson, Sumner's daughter. The beginning of the album includes typewritten biographical information. The album was photocopied and disbound at an undetermined date, with each page individually re-foldered.
Box 2, Folder 6

Photocopy of original album

Box 2, Folder 7

Biographical information - Original typescript from album 1975 May

Box 2, Folder 8

Page 1 - Early biological station in La Jolla ca. 1910, 1916

Box 2, Folder 9

Page 2 - Scripps campus ca. 1916, 1940

Box 2, Folder 10

Page 3 - Scripps staff 1915, 1936

General note

The staff photo from 1915 includes G. F. McEwan, Dr. William Ritter, F. B. Sumner, and Mr. Collins. The staff photo from 1936 features Denis Fox, W. E. Allen, G. F. McEwen, Jim Ross, Richard Fleming, Roger Revelle, Martin Johnson, E.G. Moberg, Francis B. Sumner, C. E. Zobell, P. S. Barnhart, Easter Cupp, Tillie Genter, T. Wayland Vaughan, Ruth Ragan, Ruth McKitrick, and Stanley W. Chambers.
Box 2, Folder 11

Page 4 - La Jolla shores and a newspaper clipping ca. 1915

Box 2, Folder 12

Page 5 - Michiquito on Waverly Lane 1915

General note

Sumner's mother's home, situated on the same property as Waverly, the house in which Sumner and his family lived.
Box 2, Folder 13

Page 6 - Water trough on Main Street in La Jolla, and group portrait in the yard at Waverly 1915-1916

Box 2, Folder 14

Page 7 - Bluebird troop portraits 1916

General note

One photograph with Florence Sumner, Elizabeth Fugard, Corinne Fuller, Elizabeth Sumner, Tessie Giannini and Margaret Smith on the beach. Second photograph features Bluebirds troop, with Elizabeth Fugard, Katherine Haskell, Harriet Haskell, Rose Flournoy, Florence Sumner and Margaret Smith.
Box 2, Folder 15

Page 8 - Bluebird troop portraits 1916

General note

Photographs of Elizabeth Sumner, Corrinne Fuller, Elizabeth Fugard, Florence Sumner, Margaret Smith, and Tessie Giannini.
Box 2, Folder 16

Page 9 - Family portraits 1916

General note

Grayce Seymour and Margaret Sumner, in costume for a play at the La Jolla Club House; family snapshots with children.
Box 2, Folder 17

Page 10 - Seymour home on Ivanhoe Avenue 1916

Box 2, Folder 18

Page 11 - Girls' camping troop ca. 1919

Box 2, Folder 19

Page 12 - Girls' camping troop ca. 1919

Box 2, Folder 20

Page 13 - May festival in La Jolla 1918 May 1

Box 2, Folder 21

Page 14 - May festival in La Jolla 1918 May 1

Box 2, Folder 22

Page 15 - Children's' class photos (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) 1918-1919

Box 2, Folder 23

Page 16 - Sumner home above Biological Grade and Florence (in Girl Scout uniform) and Herbert ca. 1921, 1925

Box 3, Folder 1

Page 17 - Margaret Sumner and the children 1917

Box 3, Folder 2

Page 18 - Margaret Sumner and Clark relatives 1923

Box 3, Folder 3

Page 19 - Margaret Sumner and Brownie troop ca. 1925

Box 3, Folder 4

Page 20 - Lillian Chambers and Brownie troop ca. 1925

Box 3, Folder 5

Page 21 - Group portraits 1930, 1975

Box 3, Folder 6

Page 22 - With the Flemings and family ca. 1930, ca. 1948

Box 3, Folder 7

Page 23 - Margaret Lord and Florence Sumner 1933

Box 3, Folder 8

Page 24 - Hiking club with Margaret Lord and Elizabeth Sherman 1933

Box 3, Folder 9

Page 25 - Margaret Sumner's house ca. 1949

General note

With Miss Kunkle, Anna Clark, Mrs. Gillespie, Robert Henderson, Margaret Henderson, and Margaret Sumner.
Box 3, Folder 10

Page 26 - Ray and Florence Henderson's wedding 1937-1960

Box 3, Folder 11

Page 27 - Peggy Fleming, Hendersons and others in front of Sumner Auditorium 1960-1963

Box 3, Folder 12

Page 28 - Miscellaneous family snapshots 1943-1964

Box 3, Folder 13

Page 29 - Miscellaneous family snapshots 1964

Box 3, Folder 14

Page 30 - La Jolla children dressed for play or pageant 1925


Prints and Negatives

Box 3, Folder 15

Sumner family photographs ca. 1902-1945

General note

Includes some duplicate prints from the photograph albums. Images include a photo from July 1926 of Florence Sumner and Leslie Whipple, classmates at UCLA. Also includes photos of Margaret Sumner (wife), Florence and Elizabeth Sumner (daughters), Herbert Sumner (son), Mary Sumner (mother), Francis B. Sumner, Mr. and Mrs. Dorman, and children in white on the beach. One image from this folder has been digitized, and may be viewed by clicking the link below.

Francis B. Sumner examining a fish unknown

Francis B. Sumner examining a fish

Box 3, Folder 16

Black and white negatives of Sumner family photographs 1901-1945

General note

Prints of most, but not all of these images are found elsewhere in the collection. Images include early Scripps campus views and family portraits.
Box 3, Folder 17

Sumner family homes in La Jolla and San Felipe - Prints 1917-1940

General note

Includes images of the cliffs around La Jolla.
Box 3, Folder 18

Sumner family homes in La Jolla and San Felipe - Negatives 1917-1945

General note

Includes images of the cliffs around La Jolla, and some additional miscellaneous images.
Box 3, Folder 19

Portraits of Francis B. Sumner 1923-1945

General note

Includes prints and negatives.

Portrait of Francis B. Sumner 1923

Portrait of Francis B. Sumner: 1923


Signed portrait of Francis B. Sumner 1936

Signed portrait of Francis B. Sumner: 1936


Signed portrait of Francis B. Sumner 1936

Signed portrait of Francis B. Sumner


Portrait of Francis B. Sumner unknown

Portrait of Francis B. Sumner

Box 3, Folder 20

Herbert Sumner ca. 1946, and undated

Box 3, Folder 21

SIO faculty spouses 1961

SIO faculty spouses: 1961

General note

Image of Gudrun Sverdrup, Margaret Clark Sumner, Margaret Dixon, Peggy Fleming, Ellen Revelle and Elizabeth Sumner French.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 4) SUMNER CLUB: This series contains the first two record books of the Sumner Club, a small informal discussion group of Scripps faculty members and local prominent professionals that formed in 1937. F. B. Sumner was the group's first secretary and hosted the first meeting at his home. Though the group was unnamed in its formative years, after Sumner's death in 1945, members decided to name the club after Sumner. Notable members of the Sumner Club included Roger Revelle, Harald Sverdrup, Carl Hubbs, Francis P. Shepard, Martin W. Johnson, Denis Fox, Francis Haxo and Claude Zobell. The Club books include by-laws, attendance records, meeting agendas with detailed notes on topics of discussion, and minutes.
Box 4, Folder 1

Sumner Club Record Book I 1937 November 29-1957 May 9

General note

An original record book documenting the founding of the Sumner Club, including meeting agendas, discussion topics, and minutes; rules for membership; member lists, etc.
Box 4, Folder 2

Sumner Club Record Book II 1957 September 12-1989

Box 4, Folder 3

Correspondence regarding Sumner Club membership 1944, 1956

General note

A 1944 letter to club members by Sumner, the executive secretary; and a resignation letter from William Forshaw.


Scope and Content of Series

Series 5) SCRAPBOOKS: Three volumes. An additional scrapbook, assembled by Margaret Clark Sumner's mother, Caroline Clark, who visited San Diego in 1915-1916, was separated from the collection in 2016 and cataloged separately. That scrapbook documents the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, in addition to Clark's visits to San Jose and the California redwoods.
Box 4, Folder 4

Scrapbook of newspaper articles by F. B. Sumner 1902-1934

General note

The scrapbook also includes clippings by Winfred Emory Allen, Newell Jones, and Lucien Arthur Jones.
Box 4, Folder 5

Scrapbook 1894-1911

General note

Scrapbook contains poems, letters, invitations, newspaper articles, business cards, and programs.
Box 7

Scrapbook of clippings about La Jolla (oversize) 1916-1962