Gordon Floyd Ferris papers

Finding aid created by California Academy of Sciences staff using RecordEXPRESS
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California 94118
(415) 379-5487

Descriptive Summary

Title: Gordon Floyd Ferris papers
Dates: 1893-1958
Collection Number: MSS-167
Creator/Collector: Ferris, Gordon Floyd, 1893-1958
Extent: 9 manuscripts boxes, 2 oversize boxes (7.14 linear feet)
Repository: California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, California 94118
Abstract: 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.
Language of Material: English


Access is unrestricted

Preferred Citation

Gordon Floyd Ferris papers. California Academy of Sciences

Biography/Administrative History

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 (1946-1958). He died May 21, 1958 in Palo Alto, California.

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of entomologist Gordon Floyd Ferris are unprocessed - included are correspondence, drawings, wood cuts, photographs, and glass lantern slides.

Indexing Terms

California Academy of Sciences

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