Skip to main content

Edmund Otis Hovey records

Identifier: Mss .H683

Scope and Content Note

The Edmund Otis Hovey Records collection consists of approximately 50 field notebooks and journals from his and Mrs. Ettie Hovey’s travels around the Caribbean, North America, Europe and the Arctic; as well as, manuscripts of his papers and lectures notes. The collection also includes photographs, postcards, ephemera and newspaper clippings regarding the Crocker Land Expedition that took place from 1913-1917. The collection spans a period of approximately 20 years, beginning in 1890 and ending in 1919. The collection has been arranged chronologically; however, Ettie’s notebooks are at the end


  • 1890-1919


Access Conditions and Restrictions Note

Please contact Special Collections; materials are sometimes restricted.

Biographical Note

Edmund Otis Hovey was a geologist and museum curator. He joined the American Museum of Natural History in 1894 as assistant curator in the Department of Geology and Paleontology, becoming associate curator in 1901 and curator in 1910. He was also acting administrator of the museum for two brief periods. Hovey's main areas of interest were volcanoes, earthquakes and meteorites. He traveled all over the world, taking photographs and collecting specimens from major geological events, most notably to Martinique and Saint Vincent for the eruptions of Mount Pelée and Soufrière, 1902-1903, and the resulting destruction of the city of Saint-Pierre on Martinique; to San Francisco after the earthquake of 1906; and to Portland, Oregon, to study the Willamette meteorite. He also visited mines and caves in the U.S., including Luray Caverns in Virginia. Hovey's longest journey began in 1915, heading the museum's rescue effort for the members of the 1913-1917 Crocker Land Expedition. Due to ice conditions, Hovey was forced to spend the year of 1916 in Greenland. Hovey was also a productive writer and editor, with approximately 150 articles to his credit, and serving as editor of The American Museum journal (later Natural History Magazine) during its first ten years from 1900 to 1910, and of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences from 1908 to 1916. He was a delegate to several international geological congresses and secretary of the Geological Society of America from 1907-1922


4.5 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Folder 1 in Box 9 contains a typewritten sheet from July 1981 indicating that some of the materials in this collection may have been pulled from the Hovey files in the archives and were never returned. There is also a handwritten comment at the bottom of this sheet that says “All microfilmed 4/88.”


Good to Poor. Book measurements have been taken so protective sleeves can be made since many of the notebooks have red rot present. According to a document in folder 73, all of the material in this collection was microfilmed in April 1988

Related Archival Materials Note

Call number: PPC .H6837 Title: Scrapbooks and Correspondence Author: Hovey, Edmund Otis, 1862-1924. This is a small collection that is primarily comprised of Edmund Otis Hovey’s notes regarding photographs he took on trips between 1891-1915. It includes a Kodak memo book, expense register for trips between 1891-1892, field label notebook, as well as correspondence files.

The AMNH Special Collections also has several photographic print collections relating to Hovey’s field studies and travel. Call numbers include PPC .H683 and PPC .H6831 through PPC .H6839.

For a full list of archival material relating to the Crocker Land Expedition (1913-1917), please see “Crocker Land Resource Guide” available online at

Physical Description Note

Collection consists of field notebooks and journals (bulk of collection); manuscripts, including printed and handwritten materials; photographs; postcards; linen maps and newspaper clippings. Many of the notebooks are fragile

Edmund Otis Hovey records, 1890-1919
Traci Faughnan
December 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation provided support to make this finding aid available in ArchivesSpace (2016-2017). Finding aid created with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant, 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420