Bashford Dean papers
Among the individuals Dean corresponded with are Richard Rathbun, Tarleton Hoffman Bean, William Clark, Charles Rochester Eastman, David Starr Jordan, William Kepler, and George William Kosmak, as well as staff at the American Museum of Natural History (especially William King Gregory and Francesca LaMonte). Topics covered include his writings, European oyster culture, fish of Fowler Lake (Wisconsin), the Bashford Dean Library, and medals awarded to Dean.
He ascribed two 1892 sketchbooks (26 July and 19-20 August) to the British Museum. His pencil drawings of fishes, many of them double-page spreads and captioned, fill both books. This collection encompasses many of Dean’s colleagues and friends, several from outside the United States. Series II (1892-1908) has the most material, while Series IV (1891-1892) consists solely of letters (written in London, Munich, and other foreign cities) from Dean to George William Kosmak. Series III (1915-1959) contains posthumous material, including some correspondence to and from the family of Bashford Dean. Museum staff is well represented here. Visual observations at the British Museum comprise Series V (1892).
- 1888-1961 and unknown
- Majority of material found within 1901-1902
- Dean, Bashford, 1867-1928 (Researcher, Person)
Access Conditions and Restrictions
1 Linear Foot (2 boxes)
His career at the Museum began in 1897 (Osborn, 102). It culminated with his Bibliography, published 1916-1923, and the Hall of Fishes (later called the Hall of Ocean Life), which opened in 1928. Among the cultures and regions Dean examined were Japan, including the Ainu (1901, 1917), and American rivers (3)
He tutored at the College of the City of New York (1886-1991), an alma mater, and worked briefly for the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries (1889-1890??). In 1891, he started a lengthy career in teaching at Columbia University, another alma mater. (It named him assistant professor of zoology in 1896, professor of vertebrate zoology in 1904, honorary professor in 1927.) In 1925, Dean became professor of fine arts at New York University.
Series I. Letters, 1888-1927
Series II. Letters, 1891-1920
Series III. Letters and other material, 1915-1961
Series IV. Letters to Kosmak, 1891-1892
Series V. Sketchbooks, 1892
Series IV was rearranged in ascending chronological order in 2015 (previously in descending chronological order overall).
Source of Acquisition
Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Ed. Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971: 610-1.
Gregory, William K. “Bashford Dean.” Science LXVIII, no. 1774 (Dec. 28, 1928): 635-638.
Contents of Series I-III were previously housed in three separate containers. Those materials were described in a finding aid (including an inventory) and re-housed by N. Creshkoff on February 16, 2000. That fInding aid was revised in 2015 by Luise Trabucchi.
- Bashford Dean papers, 1888-1961 and unknown (bulk 1901-1902)
- 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.
- Edition statement
- Information for this finding aid expanded on the original catalog record written by Ann Herendeen, 2004.