The Charles H. Sternberg Papers consists of correspondence to Charles H. Sternberg regarding the sales of his autobiographies
and fossil specimens, records of donations and sales to the San Diego Natural History Museum, photos of expeditions and fossils,
and pages of field notes and manuscripts.
Charles Hazelius Sternberg (1850-1943) was a professional fossil hunter and paleontologist. Sternberg was born near Cooperstown,
New York on June 15, 1850. He later moved to Kansas and attended Kansas State University where he studied under Professor
Benjamin Mudge. His first formal expedition was funded by Edward Drinker Cope in 1876, with whom he worked for several field
seasons in the years that followed. Sternberg later collected fossils on expeditions funded by various museums and Cope's
rival Othniel Marsh. Sternberg's expeditions spanned North America, and he discovered specimen in Kansas; Montana; Texas;
Alberta, Canada; San Juan County, New Mexico; and San Diego County, California. His final expedition was to the Baja peninsula
in 1928. Sternberg lived in San Diego from 1921 to 1939, and held the honorary title of Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Sternberg sold and donated over a thousand fossils and copies of his books to the
San Diego Natural History Museum, then the San Diego Society of Natural History. Sternberg married Anna Reynolds in 1880 and
had three sons who survived into adulthood. All three sons – George F. Sternberg, Charles M. Sternberg, and Levi Sternberg
– joined their father on fossil-finding expeditions and made important contributions to the field of paleontology. Sternberg
wrote two autobiographies, The Life of a Fossil Hunter (1909) and Hunting Dinosaurs in the Bad Lands of the Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada (1917), and a book of poetry, A Story of the Past or the Romance of Science (1911). Charles H. Sternberg died on July 21st, 1943 in Toronto, Canada.