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Parr, Albert Eide, 1900-1991



  • Existence: 1900-08-15 - 1991-07-17


Albert Eide Parr, an oceanographer and ichthyologist, was director of the American Museum of Natural History from 1942 to 1959. Parr was born in Bergen, Norway, went to sea during school and college vacations, studied zoology, and was appointed assistant in the Norway Bureau of Fisheries while an undergraduate. In 1926, Parr came to the United States, worked at the New York Aquarium, and in 1927 was invited by Harry Payne Bingham to serve as naturalist on an expedition to the Caribbean. The fishes collected, including over 100 new species, were eventually housed at Yale University, and the Bingham Oceanographic Laboratory was established with Parr as curator. More expeditions followed, offering Parr the opportunity to study the Sargasso Sea and chart the origins of the Gulf Stream. In 1931, Parr began a career at Yale, eventually becoming professor of oceanography, research associate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and director of the Peabody Museum. During his term as director of the AMNH, Parr faced the need to retrench during wartime and contract the museum's research geographically. He focused on ecology and education, emphasizing the interrelationship of human beings and natural forces, and defining the museum's mission as attracting and maintaining the interest of the public. Parr was the first director of the AMNH to resign in order to pursue research, becoming senior scientist after fifteen years in administration. He founded and served as the managing editor of the journal published by the Sears Foundation for Marine Research, continued his work on classifying fishes and studying ocean currents, and lectured for the American Association of Museums and UNESCO. Parr died in 1991.

Library of Congress Name Authority File
From biographical note for Parr's archive collection at the AMNH Library, Mss .P371-.P375, written by Schuyler Volz, 2012.


Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

Albert E. Parr (1900-1991) / UR "Willard W. Cummings"

 Item — Frame: 1
Identifier: Art Survey No. 263
Scope and Contents

Portrait of Albert E. Parr, President of A.M.N.H. 1942-1959. Norwegian-American zoologist, oceanographer. Frame: Silver gilt wood, 49 1/2 x 44 1/2.

Dates: 1960

Frick Laboratory administrative and personnel records

Identifier: VPA 111
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Childs Frick correspondence. The majority of the papers consern his relationship with the American Museum of Natural History while running the Frick Laboratory as well as his role as museum Trustee.

There is also Frick's correspondence with other scientists and institutions that deals with both research in paleontology and Frick's financial support of their activities.

A very small number of letters are of personal nature.

Dates: 1912-1968

William King Gregory papers, 1889-1948 (bulk 1906-1948)

Identifier: Mss .G7441
Scope and Contents The collection consists of administrative, scientific, academic and personal papers, and correspondence. Papers include Gregory's general correspondence with universities, colleges and scientists about his research topics and publications; correspondence with museums about purchasing replicas of fossils; and with students seeking employement. Other papers include lecture notes prepared for zoology classes emphasizing evolution, 1925-1926 and 1939; and manuscripts and notes for his...
Dates: 1889-1948; Majority of material found within 1906-1948

American Museum of Natural History Hall of North American Forests notebook

Identifier: DR 094
Scope and Content This collection contains documents used in the planning, preparation and construction of exhibits for the Hall of North American Forests. The material relates largely to the financial aspects of exhibit construction. The contents of the box are organized into 30 folders, which were originally separate tabs in a ring-binder. The first folder relates to the hall in general, and includes an index of exhibits, a list of funds from the Department of Conservation and General Ecology, progress...
Dates: 1954-1956; Majority of material found within 1955-1956

Lerner Marine Laboratory papers

Identifier: DR 088-089
Scope and Contents The Lerner Marine Laboratory (LML) collection at the American Museum of Natural History contains documents, photographs, and clippings documenting the history of the lab from 1947-1977. Important elements of the collection include correspondence to and from key staff members; files on conferences, symposiums, meetings, and ceremonies; information about financial contributors; general paperwork; photographs of the lab, employees, and visitors; publicity documents and correspondence regarding...
Dates: 1947-1977; Majority of material found within 1948-1975

Albert Eide Parr papers

Identifier: Mss .P371-.P375
Scope and Content Note

The collection contains a wide variety of documents pertaining to Albert E. Parr, particularly during his tenure as Museum Director (1942-1959). Additionally, the collection also hosts a large collection of his original publications, as well as an assortment of newspaper clippings, receipts, meeting minutes, drafts of speeches, and correspondence.

Dates: 1933-1935, 1942-1980

Trip through space ; Life in a garden ; Tuna fishermen

Identifier: Film Collection no. 25
Scope and Contents SEGMENT 1: Trip Through Space. Man in space and what he would find on a journey through the universe is the topic of this first segment. Frank H. Forrester and Joseph M. Chamberlain, astronomers at the AMNH-Hayden Planetarium, are introduced alongside the Zeiss projector at the planetarium. With the help of film and rear-view projectors the audience is shown planets and stars while Chamberlain discusses verified scientific facts about space travel. SEGMENT 2: Life in a Garden. Richard H....
Dates: 1953

Additional filters:

Department Records 3
Education -- Museums 2
Ichthyologists -- United States -- Correspondence 2
Manuscript Collection 2
Animals -- Classification 1