Roy Chapman Andrews papers, 1987 Accession
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the collection consists of Andrews' correspondence, manuscripts, and transcripts of Andrews' broadcasts and talks from 1934 to1944. It also contains one folder of family and biographical documents and newspaper clippings received from Charles Gallenkamp, Andrews' biographer, in 1990. The majority of the administrative papers' correspondence concerns requests for speaking engagements about Andrews' explorations, requests for articles, and letters from the public and from companies requesting information, and transcripts of radio broadcasts about Andrew’s and the Central Asiatic Expediton. There is some correspondence relating to the supplies for the Central Asiatic Expeditions (CAE) from Savage Arms Co., Templeton Crocker Pacific Expedition, and William Beebe’s expedition to the waters around Baja, California for the NY Zoological Society. Andrews' correspondents include members of the CAE: Charles P. Berkey and William Wyman as well as other correspondents such as Capt. Robert A. Bartlett, James P. Chapin, Frank M. Chapman, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, George H. (Sir Hubert) Wilkins, William Beebe, C. Forster Cooper, William Mayer, John T. McCutcheon, Erik Nyholm, George Palmer Putnam, Grantland Rice, and Cornelius Wickersham. The manuscripts contained in the collection are handwritten and typed rough drafts with editing marginalia. These manuscripts give insight on the creative process behind the published books and contain information that may have been edited out.
- Majority of material found within 1934-1944
- Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960 (Person)
Please contact Special Collections; materials are sometimes restricted.
Roy Chapman Andrews was an explorer, paleontologist, and a well-known figure at the Museum of Natural History. Born in Beloit, WI, January 26, 1884 to Cora Chapman and Charles Ezra Andrews, he enjoyed hunting and the study of nature. He taught himself taxidermy and, being the only taxidermist in the Beloit area, provided preparation and mounting services for local hunters. After graduating from Beloit College in 1906 with a B.A., Andrews sought a career at AMNH, but there were no positions available. He volunteered to work at the museum as a janitor and assistant to James L. Clark and was hired July 16, 1906. His taxidermy skills were quickly recognized and by 1908 he was able to convince the AMNH director, H.C. Bumpus to allow him to collect specimens in the field.
From 1910 to 1914 Chapman went expeditions to in Alaska, Japan and Korea, including an expedition from 1909-1910 as a Special Naturalist on the U.S.S. Albatross on a voyage to Dutch East Indies, Borneo, and Celebes. From 1911 to 1917 he was the assistant curator of Mammalology and during that time he continued his education at at Columbia University. Andrews earned his Master of Arts in Mammalogy in 1913. That year he was also member of the Borden Alaska Expedition as leader and photographer. From 1918 to 1923 he became the assistant curator of Mammals Eastern Hemisphere.
Andrews’ most famous expeditions were the Asiatic Zoological Expeditions, from 1921 to 1930, known as the Central Asiatic Expeditions, which traveled to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. During this time he was appointed Curator-in-chief of Division IV, Asiatic Explorations and Research (the title changed to Curator in Dept. of Asiatic Exploration and Research). These expeditions produced major discoveries, including skeletons of the extinct rhinoceros Indricotherium (originally named Baluchitherium), the oldest and largest land mammals known at that time; and the first recognized finding of dinosaur eggs. Andrews' first wife, Yvette Borup, traveled with him and photographed many of his early expeditions. In 1931 Andrews was named Vice-Director in charge of Exploration and research in the Administrative and Scientific branches of the Museum. In March 1934, when his friend and colleague Dr. Sherwood became ill and could no longer continue as director for the museum, Andrews was named Acting Director. The title was officially changed to Director of the museum in 1935. Andrews served as the director until his resignation in 1941.
Along with his travels, Chapman gave hundreds for lectures, was the member of numerous scientific societies, and was presented with several awards for his achievements in the scientific community. September 5, 1935 Chapman was awarded the first significant Sig Medal ever awarded by Sigma Chi Fraternity That same year on November 26th he was awarded the Charles P. Daly Medal for 1935 by the American Geographical Society. Chapman wrote several books including two autobiographies “Under a Lucky Star” and “An Explorer Comes Home” and many articles. Andrews married Yvette Borup in 1914. With Yvette he had two sons, George Borup and Roy Kevin. They divorced in 1931 and Chapman remarried to Wilhelmina “Billie” Christmas February 21, 1935. Chapman died of a heart attack March 11, 1960 in Carmel, California.
1 Linear Foot (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
Source of Acquisition
Family documents and clippings Gift; Charles Gallenkamp; 1990
- American Museum of Natural History -- History-Sources
- American Museum of Natural History
- Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960 -- Archives
- Bartlett, Bob, 1875-1946
- Beebe, William, 1877-1962 (Correspondent)
- Central Asiatic Expeditions (1921-1930)
- Chapin, James Paul, 1889-1964
- Chapman, Frank M. (Frank Michler), 1864-1945
- Correia, José G., 1881-1954
- Crocker Land Expedition (1913-1917) -- Archives
- Crocker, Templeton, 1884-1948
- Davison, Frederick Trubee, 1896-1974
- Dodge Brothers
- Gilliard, E. Thomas (Ernest Thomas), 1912-1965
- Haury, Emil W. (Emil Walter), 1904-1992
- Henson, Matthew Alexander, 1866-1955
- Johnson, Osa, 1894-1953
- Lee, Hugh J.
- Manuscript Collection
- McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney), 1870-1949
- Mongolia -- Description and travel
- Nyholm, N. Erik I.
- Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935
- Paleontologists -- Correspondence
- Peary, Josephine Diebitsch, 1863-1955
- Peary, Robert E. (Robert Edwin), 1856-1920
- Putnam, George Palmer, 1887-1950
- Sanford Memorial Hall of the Biology of Birds
- Sanford, L. C. (Leonard Cutler), 1868-1950
- Scientific expeditions -- Gobi Desert (Mongolia and China)
- Shapiro, Harry L. (Harry Lionel), 1902-1990
- Sherwood, George Herbert, 1876-1937
- Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962
- Templeton Crocker Pacific Expedition (1st : 1934-1935)
- Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1920-1941)
- Wilkins, George H., Sir (George Hubert), 1888-1958
- Young, John McKenzie
- Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960 (Person)
- Roy Chapman Andrews papers, 1987 Accession, 1920-1947 (bulk 1934-1944)
- Jessica Fisher
- 2013 July
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- 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, 2012.
- Edition statement
- Collection description from Library catalog record written by Ann Herendeen, circa 2004.
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