The papers of Gordon Floyd Ferris, an entomologist, taxonomist, Research Assistant in the Department of Entomology at the
California Academy of Sciences, and founder and editor of the journal Microentomology. The collection includes correspondence,
drawings, wood cuts, photographs, and glass lantern slides.
Gordon Ferris was born in Bayard, Kansas on January 2, 1893, and graduated from the Academy of Ottawa University, Kansas (1909).
After field trips in California (1913), including the Yosemite Valley area (1915), with the University of California Museum
of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, California, he attended Stanford University on a grant from the Telluride Association. He
graduated with a B.A. in 1916 and an M.A. in 1918. In 1916, he married Roxana Judkins in Palo Alto, California.
Ferris continued at Stanford in the department of entomology and bionomics as an Instructor (1917), Assistant Professor (1921),
Associate Professor (1927), and Full Professor of Entomology in the department of Zoology (1937). In addition to his work
at Stanford, there were field trips to Lower California (1919 and 1934), southwestern U.S. (1918 and 1920), Mexico (on a Guggenheim
grant 1925-1926), Arizona (1940), and China (on a Fulbright award 1948-1949). In 1928, in addition to his work at Stanford,
he taught at Deep Springs School for boys, Deep Springs, California. Ferris founded Microentomology (1935), a journal of the
Natural History Museum of Stanford University. He edited this journal until his death.
Primarily a taxonomist, his insistence on detailed and accurate drawings of insects provided the foundation for contemporary
knowledge of the Anoplura, Mallphaga, Coccoidea, Diptera-Pupipara, Cimicidae, and Polyctenidae. Gordon Ferris contributed
more than 200 papers and books to entomological literature. Almost all these works are illustrated with his own line drawings.
In 1930-1931, he studied and did research on Anoplura, an order of wingless lice, at the Molteno Institute for Research in
Parasitology at Cambridge University, England.
During World War II, Gordon Ferris was in the California State Guard and the United States Coast Guard. Among his interests
were navigation and sailing, and he was active in the Sea Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America.
Ferris was an honorary member of the Netherlands Entomological Association and the Pacific Coast Entomological Society. He
was a corresponding member of the French National Museum of Natural History, a fellow of the Entomological Society of America,
and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Ferris became a member of the California Academy of Sciences (1920) and later a Fellow of the Academy in 1948. An honorary
appointment as Research Associate in Micro-Entomology (1942) was followed by a post as Research Assistant, Department of Entomology
He died May 21, 1958 in Palo Alto, California.