The Alden H. Miller papers collection consists of field notes, catalogues, manuscripts, specimen data, and photographs. The
collection contains 21 bound volumes of field notes between the years 1930 and 1965 and numerous other field notes, diaries,
and catalogues ranging between 1913 and 1946. The collection mainly covers ornithological work done across the Western United
States, and also includes field notes from South America, El Salvador, New Guinea, Jamaica, and the Galapagos.
Alden Holmes Miller, born 1906, was raised in Los Angeles and attended both UCLA (1927) and UC Berkeley (1930), where he received
his Ph.D under Joseph Grinnell, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology’s first director. His early interest in zoology came from
his father, Professor Loye H. Miller, who was a lifelong inspiration. Other major influences on his life and research were:
Bennet Allen, Professor of Zoology at UCLA; Joseph Grinnell, Alden's mentor professor at Berkeley; and Virginia Dove Miller,
his wife and research associate. Alden H. Miller was one of the first individuals to hold a joint appointment in the Department
of Zoology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. At the MVZ he first served as Assistant Curator of Birds, and assumed the
directorship of the Museum upon Grinnell's death in 1939. Miller remained as the Museum's Director and leading ornithologist
from the end of the Grinnell era until his death in 1965, during which time he mentored countless students to academic success.
During his career Miller published 259 papers and is recognized for his noteworthy monographic studies on the analyses of
speciation in two avian genera: Lanius (shrikes) and Junco (sparrow-like birds). Of the experimental work done by Miller his
papers on physiological and behavioral responses of crowned sparrows to artificially altered length of day are the most important.
Alden H. Miller received many honors in his career including the Brewster Award of the American Ornithologists' Union, a Guggenheim
Fellowship, and an election to the National Academy of Sciences. Administratively, in addition to the directorship of the
MVZ, Miller held such posts at Berkeley as Assistant Dean, College of Letters and Science; Chairman, Budget Committee; Chairman,
Board of Research; Acting Chairman, Department of Paleontology; and Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs. He also served as
the both the associate editor and editor of The Condor from 1932 until his death in 1965.
"MVZ Biographies." Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley. 22 July 2013. http://mvz.berkeley.edu/Biographies.html.
University of California Academic Senate. “1967, University of California: In Memoriam, Alden Holmes Miller, Zoology, Berkeley.”
California Digital Library (Calisphere). 1967. Web. 22 July 2013. http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=hb629006vt&brand=calisphere.
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.