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Walter F. Meister papers

Identifier: DR 124

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of Meister's administrative papers from 1952 through 1967, including correspondence, budget reports from the various scientific departments, contracts for research projects, and records of bequests and grants. Most of the documents are typewritten, and many are photocopies or carbon copies. Among the topics covered are research grants made by the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund and the Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund; proposals for research at the Lerner Marine Laboratory in the Bahamas, including many coordinated with the U.S. Office of Naval Research; the establishment of the Southwestern Research Station in 1955; material relating to the museum's 1949 acquisition of Great Gull Island, N.Y., for educational research purposes; and a 1961 readership survey of the periodical Natural history.


  • 1952-1967


Biographical / Historical

Walter F. Meister was an administrator in the American Museum of Natural History. In his 53 years with the museum, Meister rose from office boy to the rank of assistant director and executive secretary. Meister began his career in 1916 at the age of 15, as assistant to director Henry Fairfield Osborn, but transferred to the Bookkeeping Dept. after three months, becoming assistant treasurer in 1942 and general office manager in 1952. In 1953, director Albert E. Parr made Meister responsible for financial accounting, budgetary operations and planning, and in 1959 Meister became chairman of the Budget Committee and secretary of the Finance Committee. Meister retired in 1968.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged alphabetically by subject.


Previous number: MSS .M45

Walter F. Meister papers, 1952-1967
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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