James W. Atz papers
- Majority of material found within 1950-1980
- Atz, James W. (Creator, Person)
10 Linear Feet (10 boxes)
Dr. Atz began his career at the New York Aquarium first as a lab technician in 1937, then as assistant curator in 1947, associate curator in 1957, and finally as a full curator in 1961. He joined the American Museum of Natural History with an honorary position as a research associate in the Department of Animal Behavior in 1960. In 1965 he moved to the Department of Ichthyology where he became an associate curator and then a full curator in 1970. In 1981 he retired and took the title of Curator Emeritus but still enjoyed coming in to the museum for research. For much of his life he resided in the town of Malverne and later Port Washington, both in Long Island, NY, with his wife Ethel Hafter to whom he was married in 1952. The pair had three children, Alison, Mical, and Joshua. James W. Atz passed away in March of 2013.
One of Dr. Atz’s most notable contributions during his time in the Department of Ichthyology was the undertaking of a comprehensive bibliography covering ichthyological literature, known as the Dean Bibliography of Fishes. (3) His main research interests included the endocrinology of fishes, oral brooding in cichlids, and the domestication of fishes and their maintenance in captivity. Other notable publications by Dr. Atz include his book Aquarium fishes: their beauty, history and care and his research done with notable ichthyologist Grace Pickford on the physiology of the pituitary gland of fishes. He was also involved in the AMNH’s acquisition and subsequent study of a Coelacanth specimen in the 1970s (see related collections).
Dr. Atz was a member of a number of organizations including the New York Zoological Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the Genetics Society of America, and the American Society of Zoologists.
(1), (2) Curriculum Vitae, James Wade Atz. 1964. Folder Atz, James Wade (1915-2013) Ichthyologist. Vertical Files, American Museum of Natural History Research Library.
(3) A Brief Expedition into Science at the American Museum of Natural History. 1969. Folder Atz, James Wade (1915-2013) Ichthyologist. Vertical Files, American Museum of Natural History Research Library.
Source of Acquisition
- American Museum of Natural History. Department of Ichthyology
- Clark, Eugenie (Correspondent)
- Fishes -- Research
- Ichthyologists -- United States -- Correspondence
- Manuscript Collection
- Natural history museum curators
- Smith, J. L. B. (James Leonard Brierley), 1897-1968 (Correspondent)
- James W. Atz papers, 1949-2003 (bulk) 1950-1980
- Emily Pagano
- March 2014
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 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, 2012.