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Inventory to the Papers of Barton Warren Evermann at the California Academy of Sciences Library
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Preferred citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Conditions governing access
  • Related materials
  • Arrangement note
  • Biographical note
  • Reproduction
  • Scope and content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Evermann (Barton Warren) papers
    Collection number: MSS.156
    Repository: California Academy of Sciences, Special Collections
    55 Music Concourse Drive
    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    Languages: Materials are in English.
    Physical Description: 43.36 Cubic feet 155 boxes, 4 half oversize folders
    Date: undated
    Language of materials: Materials are in English.
    Abstract: The Barton Warren Evermann papers are comprised of materials related to the life and work of educator, ichthyologist, and long-time director of the California Academy of Sciences, Barton Warren Evermann.
    Creator: Evermann, Barton Warren, 1853-1932

    Preferred citation

    [Identification of item], Barton Warren Evermann Papers, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    Most of the material in the collection was donated to the California Academy of Sciences through the bequest of Barton Warren Evermann, following Evermann's death in 1932.

    Conditions governing access

    Access to the collection is unrestricted, with the exception of the nitrate negatives. Nitrate negatives have been separated from the collection. Negatives will be digitized and then frozen and may not be available for research. Please consult the archivist for availability.

    Related materials

    Related material can be found in the following collections:
    California Academy of Sciences. Correspondence. California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA
    California Academy of Sciences. Ornithology and Mammalogy Field Note Collection. California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA
    G Dallas Hanna Papers, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA
    David Starr Jordan Papers, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA
    George A. Clark. Fur Seal Controversy Papers, M118, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
    David Starr Jordan Papers, SC 058, Stanford University Archives, Stanford, Calif.

    Arrangement note

    The Barton Warren Evermann papers are organized into the following series: Series 1: Personal and Biographical Materials; Series 2: Education; Series 3: Professional and Civic Organizations; Series 4: Professional Work; Series 5: Publications and Bibliography; Series 6: Photographic Materials.
    The Evermann papers were originally stored in 144 numbered boxes for which a preliminary box list inventory existed, along with several additional boxes of material. It was not possible to determine whether the records had been kept in their original order. During processing, the records were arranged into series based largely on the existing groupings of material, with photographs being separated into their own series. Because of these changes, the boxes have been renumbered from the original box list.

    Biographical note

    Barton Warren Evermann, educator, scientist, and long-time director of the California Academy of Sciences, was born on October 24, 1853 in Monroe County, Iowa. Evermann's family moved to Indiana while he was still a child and it was there that he grew up, completed his education, and married. While teaching in Carroll County, Indiana he met fellow teacher Meadie Hawkins. They were married on October 24, 1875. They had a son, Toxaway Bronte, born in 1879, and a daughter, Edith, born in 1894.
    In his professional life, Evermann had three overlapping careers: educator, ichthyologist, and director of the California Academy. From 1871 to 1879 he was a teacher and administrator in the public schools of Howard and Carroll counties, Indiana. He then moved to Ventura County, California, where he taught from 1879 to 1881. Returning to Indiana, Evermann served as superintendent of the Carroll County schools from 1883-1885 while taking a break from his undergraduate studies at Indiana University. After obtaining his B.S. in zoology in 1886, Evermann took a job as professor and head of the department of biology of the Indiana State Normal School, where he remained until 1891. Even after moving on to his scientific career, Evermann maintained an interest in education, giving special courses of lectures at Cornell and Yale between 1900 and 1906, and serving as Vice President of the District of Columbia Board of Education between 1906 and 1910. And as director of the California Academy of Sciences he placed great emphasis on the role of museums in public education.
    Evermann began his scientific career under the tutelage of biologist David Starr Jordan, whom he first met in 1877 while Jordan was a professor at Butler University. Meadie Evermann was then a student in one of Jordan's classes and in 1878 the Evermanns joined Jordan and a group of other students on an extended hiking and study trip from Kentucky to Georgia. Evermann did not begin his formal education under Jordan until his return to Indiana in 1881. As Jordan was now president of Indiana University, Evermann enrolled as a student there, earning his B.S. in 1886, A.M. in 1888, and finally his Ph. D. in 1891. Many of Evermann's earliest publications are in ornithology, but under Jordan's influence Evermann soon took up ichthyology as his specialty. They later went on to co-author numerous publications together.
    While a professor at the Indiana State Normal School, Evermann took a series of temporary positions with the United States Fish Commission, participating in expeditions to different parts of the country each summer from 1886 to 1890. In 1891, Evermann took a permanent position with the Fish Commission (which was renamed the Bureau of Fisheries in 1903), where he would remain until 1914. He was given a series of positions of increasing responsibility, serving as head of the Division of Scientific Inquiry from 1903 to 1910 and chief of the Alaska Division from 1911 to 1914. He was also appointed U.S. Fur Seal Commissioner for 1892 and was chairman of the Fur Seal Board from 1908 to 1914. And from 1905-1914 he was also Curator of Fishes at the U.S. National Museum.
    In 1914, Evermann left the Bureau of Fisheries to become director of the California Academy of Sciences, a position he held until his death in 1932. As director, Evermann played important roles in restructuring the museum's exhibits around habitat groups, establishing the Steinhart Aquarium, and in acquiring several important specimen collections, including the Indiana University fish collection, which was transferred in 1929. Evermann was also active in the field of conservation. In 1914 and 1915 the Academy carried out a substantial project to relocate Tule Elk, which were in danger of extinction, to various locations around the state of California, and throughout the 1910s and 1920s Evermann was an energetic advocate for the conservation of marine mammals. In addition to these activities, Evermann continued to publish on scientific topics, ultimately authoring or co-authoring 387 publications in total. Evermann kept up his work until he was overcome by illness in the summer of 1932. He died in Berkeley, California on September 27, 1932 at the age of 78.
    G. Dallas Hanna, "Barton Warren Evermann," Science 76, no. 1971 (Oct. 7, 1932): 317-18.
    G. Dallas Hanna, "Barton Warren Evermann, 1853-1932," Copeia 1932, no. 4 (Dec. 31, 1932): 161-62.
    Indiana University Alumni Quarterly, Alumni Notes by Classes, April 1929, 287-89.
    Mark R. Jennings, "Barton Warren Evermann (1853-1932) and His Contributions to North American Ichthyology," in Collection Building in Ichthyology and Herpetology, ed. Theodore W. Pietsch and William D. Anderson, Jr. (Lawrence, Kan: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 1997), 291-310.
    Remington Kellogg, "Barton Warren Evermann," Journal of Mammalogy 14, no. 4 (Nov. 1933): 394.
    T. S. P., "Obituary," The Auk 50, no. 4 (Oct. 1933) : 465-66.


    All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

    Scope and content

    Contains material related to the life of Barton Warren Evermann, primarily during his career as an ichthyologist and director of the California Academy of Sciences. Also includes some personal and family materials, including materials related to his wife, Meadie, and son, Toxaway, and material related to his first career as a teacher and educator. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, notes, notebooks, newspaper clippings, copies of publications authored or collected by Evermann, illustrations, and photographic materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Albatross (Steamer).
    American Association for the Advancement of Science. Pacific Division .
    Pan-Pacific Union.
    United States Fish Commission.
    United States. Bureau of Fisheries .
    Yosemite National Park (Calif.).
    Field notes
    Manuscripts (document genre)
    Negatives (photographic)
    Maxinkuckee, Lake (Ind.)
    Clark, H. Walton, (Howard Walton), 1870-1941
    Gilbert, Charles H. (Charles Henry), 1859-1928
    Hudson, Charles B., (Charles Bradford), 1865-1939
    Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931
    Meeks, Seth Eugene
    Miller, Robert Cunningham, 1899-
    Rutter, Cloudsley, d. 1903
    California Academy of Sciences--Executive directors
    Golden trout
    Natural history museum directors
    Northern fur seal.
    Tule elk
    Wildlife conservation.