APS Library Bulletin headline
New Series, vol. 2, 2002

Manuscript Acquisitions, 2002
by Manuscripts Staff

Séance, Eugene Rochas Papers
Séance conducted by John Beattie,
Bristol, England, 1872
from the Eugène Rochas Papers
On occasion, the cards fall into place. Resoundingly. The first two years of new millennium have proven to be among the best years for manuscripts acquisition at the APS in recent memory. In a comparatively short period of time, the Library has received the papers of the paleoanthropologist Ashley Montagu, the papers of the paleontologist Jack Sepkoski, the statistician John W. Tukey, the physicist and bioinformatician Walter Goad, the geneticists Eldon Sutton and Anthony Alison, and a collection of books, manuscripts, and photographs of the Fox family of Philadelphia. Even the "minor" acquisitions that have arrived would be considered major in most years: material from the geneticist Alexander Sokoloff; the mineralogical field journal of William H. Keating in Mexican War-era Mexico, letters from Nicholas Biddle and E. K. Kane, records from Eastern State Penitentiary, a "butterfly book" by Madeline Pasley, six daguerreotypes of J. Peter and Susan Lesley, a lengthy autobiography of the paleobotanist Leo Lesquereux, and the papers of the developer of streptomycin, H. Corwin Hinshaw, the Drosophila geneticist Frances Clayton, and the psychic researcher Eugene Rochas.

In short, it has been an extraordinary year in terms of the quantity and quality of items acquired by the APS. Below are brief descriptions of a few of the highlights.

Frances Clayton Papers, 1940-1996
A geneticist from the University of Arkansas, Clayton is known largely for her work on the speciation and evolution of Hawaiian drosophilids. She worked closely with Hampton Carson for over twenty years, and the two collections cross-fertilize as intensively as the subjects of her research. Although the collection is relatively small (15 linear feet), it forms a worthy adjunct to our existing collections.


Eastern State Penitentiary Records, 1819-1865
A gift of Jacob Gruber, the record books of Eastern State Penitentiary are a remarkable story of survival, and an invaluable resource for the social history of America's prototype for cellular isolation. These consist of five bound volumes of admission records for inmates kept during the institution's earliest years (one volume extends later) and two volumes of other records pertaining to the inmates. The particular value of the volumes lies in the annotations provided by the Penitentiary's moral instructor, indicating not only the inmate's physical characteristics, the crime, and period of incarceration, but comments on their moral condition. Dr. Gruber subsequently donated a collection of approximately 20 letters from prisoners at Eastern State, 1845-1865, including some revealing love letters. These gifts complement an existing collection for Eastern State in the Manuscripts Department, as well as the papers of reformer William Parker Foulke.


Herbert Friedman Papers, ca.1950-2000
A long-time member of the APS, Herbert Friedman was widely recognized as one of the pioneering figures in the space sciences. Working with the Naval Research Laboratory for almost sixty years, Friedman made important contributions to physics, upper atmospheric physics, and x-ray astronomy, and was instrumental in the application of x rays to material analysis. The Friedman Papers includes correspondence, copies of some of Friedman's numerous papers and lectures, and miscellaneous materials dating primarily from the later years of Friedman's career.


Fox Family Collection, ca.1690-1915
Samuel Mickle Fox and his daughter Emily Conant (of Chestnut Hill) generously donated a fine collection of approximately 200 books, and some associated manuscripts and maps relating to their ancestors Samuel and George Fox. Samuel Fox (the elder) was a confidant of William Temple Franklin and it was through his son Charles Pemberton Fox that the APS acquired the bulk of its Franklin Papers in 1840. Between 1780 and about 1815, the Fox brothers assembled the books which include important individual titles, including an complete run of the American Museum, however the real value lies in representing a nearly intact personal library from the hoi poloi of Philadelphia at the turn of the 19th century.

The collection includes works of medical, scientific, literary, and Quaker interest, and contains a number of beautiful, well-preserved bindings by important Philadelphia binders. The manuscripts offer some valuable information on the Foxes' speculation in western lands, and complement an existing Fox Family Collection at the APS. The two elegant manuscript maps, dating from the 1790s and 1830s, depict the family's extensive land holdings in northwestern Pennsylvania, and the collection also includes a remarkably beautiful photograph album from the mid-1890s documenting Chestnutwood, the Fox estate adjacent to Andalusia.


Walter Goad Papers, 1955-2000
A physicist with the T-Division at Los Alamos Laboratories, Walter Goad began work on the development of thermonuclear devices in 1950, however by the 1960s, he and a handful of Los Alamos scientists turned their attention to the computational problems, and opportunities, in molecular biology. Goad helped spearhead the creation of the first nucleic acid database, GenBank, and his approach to nucleic acid analysis helped shape the emerging field of bioinformatics. His greatest public acclaim, however, came late in his career when he emerged as a vocal supporter of Wen Ho Lee, a colleague who had been accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of sending nuclear secrets to the Chinese government.

The finding aid for the Goad Papers ia available on line.


H. Corwin Hinshaw Papers, 1925-1994
Corwin Hinshaw was an important medical researcher who spent almost twenty years on the staff of the Mayo Clinic. He is best remembered as one of the co-developers of streptomycin. The collection came to the APS through a referal from the Minnesota Historical Society.

The finding aid for the Hinshaw Papers ia available on line.


Ashley Montagu Papers, 1935-1999
When the papers of Franz Boas arrived in Philadelphia in 1962, it would have been hard to predict the impact they would have upon the collections of the APS. Together with the papers of his students Frank Speck, Elsie Parsons, and Edward Sapir, his son, Ernst Boas, and more than a dozen of his peers, the APS has become one of the nation's foremost watering holes of historians of anthropology. This papers of yet another Boas student, Ashley Montagu, add yet another option for slaking the thirst of historians of anthropology.

Born in London's East End in 1905, young Israel Ehrenberg seemingly defied orthodoxy from birth. Changing his name upon entering academia in an attempt to avoid antisemitism, the working class Ehrenberg opted for the aristocratic airs of Montagu Francis Ashley-Montagu - later shortened in the American vernacular to a simpler Ashley Montagu. Studying anthropology under Bronislaw Malinowski and later Boas, Montagu imbibed the Boasian interdisciplinarity, eventually pressing it well beyond the confines of traditional anthropology.

After receiving his doctorate in 1937 for Coming Into Being Among the Australian Aborigines, Montagu quickly established a reputation as a productive and provocative physical anthropologist. In 1942, the publication of his second book initiated an unusually creative period devoted to the biological analysis of the "problem" of race and social inequality. In Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race he advanced the argument that race was a social construct imposed upon a complex biological substratum and demolished the arguments for inherent inequality between human populations. Until his death in 1999, he readily took up the scientific cudgel against biological determinists, whether Carleton Coon, William Shockley, Arthur Jensen, or Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, drawing his arguments from data and methodologies derived from fields as disparate as psychology, sociology, linguistics, and genetics. When Montagu extended his egalitarian arguments to gender in the Natural Superiority of Women (1953), he provoked yet another segment of the population, and even in his seemingly harmless work on early hominid evolution, he kicked up controversy. Montagu was the first to document that the famous Piltdown Man fossils were a hybrid forgery.

Montagu's frustration with academia grew during the 1950s as his progressive political views repeatedly raised the hackles of opponents. After delivering a lecture in 1955 critical of Senator Joseph McCarthy, Montagu suffered a storm of abuse, eventually leading him to resign his position at Rutgers. He never again held (or sought) a standard academic appointment, but continued his research and publication unabated. Polemical and more often speculative than technically adept, his writings covered an astonishing terrain. From 1960 on, he became, in effect, a public intellectual, a Promethean figure bringing the ideas of anthropology to the lay public through works on love, swearing, and violence. His penchant for popularization and his lack of respect for disciplinary boundaries has often overshadowed the core of his scientific work: his best known book may be the Elephant Man, rather than anything in physical anthropology. Predictably, his colleagues were as diverse and eclectic as his research, ranging from Theodosius Dobzhansky and Melville Herskovits to Albert Einstein, Marshall McLuhan, Pitirim Sorokin, T. S. Eliot, Gloria Swanson and Katherine Hepburn.


Jack Sepkoski Papers, ca.1969-1999
A central figure in recasting the practice of paleobiology in the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Sepkoski died at a tragically young age. A Harvard graduate, Sepkoski spent his career at the University of Rochester and University of Chicago, helping to consolidate the former as a paleontological hot bed in the 1970s and the latter as one of most vibrant programs of the 1980s and 1990s.

Innovative in his approach to the analysis of large scale patterns in the history of life, Sepkoski and his collaborator, David Raup, helped introduce computer modeling into the field, and in his most famous work, he published a series of papers analyzing the shape of biotic diversity through time. His statistical analyses of the origination and extinction of species resulted in his "three fauna" hypothesis (postulating that the end of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic marked significant changes in faunal composition) and the identification of a statistically significant periodicity in the timing of mass extinction events. The latter provided key, but still underappreciated, support in the paleontological community for the asteroid hypothesis for the Cretaceous/Tertiary extinction event.


Alexander Sokoloff Collection, 1921-1975
Alexander Sokoloff is a geneticist specializing in the beetle Tribolium, one of the most important "systems" for population genetic research after Drosophila. A Russian emigré, Sokoloff was a protégé of Theodosius Dobzhansky and was a graduate student at University of Chicago when Sewall Wright was on faculty. Sokoloff donated his complete correspondence with Dobzhansky -- over 100 letters providing a rare glimpse into Dobzhansky's mentoring side -- as well as a collection of Wright's lecture notes from approximately 1916 to 1940.


John W. Tukey Papers, ca.1940-2000
Brilliant and eccentric, creative and adaptable, John Tukey went to Princeton as a graduate student in the early 1940s and never left. Perhaps the most influential American statistician of the last half of the twentieth century, Tukey had a remarkable ability to translate his statistical insights and methods into other fields, making seminal contributions to quantitative analysis in disciplines ranging from genetics to psychology, sociology, computers, and physics. His achievements, too numerous and diverse to summarize easily, include important work on time series analysis, the development of a fast fourier transform (with Jim Cooley of IBM), the analysis of variance, and the problem of making simultaneous inferences about parameter values from a single experiment. It was he who coined the neologisms bit, byte, and software, and he was equally at home in academia, government, and industry. At Princeton, as a consultant to a variety of federal agencies, at Bell Labs, ETS, and for Merck, he displayed an uncanny ability to apply his mathematical insights to real-world problems in a wide range of disciplines.

The Tukey Papers will eventually contain over 500 linear feet of materials, and although the collection is as yet poorly arranged, we have already located valuable correspondence, for example, with R.A. Fisher, W. E. Deming, and Edgar Anderson, materials relating to Tukey's work with the Fire Control research unit at Princeton during the Second World War, his work with John Vonneumann and the electronic computation group in 1945-1947, and a fabulous run of candid photos -- all identified -- of Tukey and his many associates, including two outstanding, unpublished images of Einstein lecturing. The task of processing the collection is large and complex, perhaps even daunting, but the results will be an unparalled opportunity to delve into the mind and work of man who has been described as a human parallel processor.


Miscellany from all corners
Madeline Pasley Butterfly
Plate xiv from Madeline Pasley's
British Butterflies
Individual letters and small collections continue to accrue, making In 2001, the Library acquired a fine letter from Nicholas Biddle to Rubens Peale, January 7, 1815, regarding the plight of Peale's Museum, and a previously unrecorded Elisha Kent Kane letter of October 30, 1858, came through the good graces of Eliza Cope Harrison, regarding Harpers' handling of Kane's book and the Passmore Williamson case. More impressive, at least volumetrically, the Library received two donations from Mary Wolff, a descendant of J. Peter Lesley, that included an extensive autobiographical manuscript written by the great paleobotanist, Leo Lesquereux, and six marvelous daguerreotypes of Lesley and his wife, Susan.

In an effort to populate the collections with natural beauty, the Library acquired an index to the collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Calcutta, India, ca.1830, and a beautifully illustrated manuscript book "A Selection of British Butterflies...," 1862, written and illustrated by a young English girl, Pasley, Madalene. The Papers of Eugene Albert Rochas document the activities of a fin de siècle psychic researcher, and promise to be of great interest in an area less well represented in the APS manuscript collections than it should.

Among the small collections acquired were the papers of James Curtis Booth, a chemist, the first State Geologist of Delaware, and an official at the Philadelphia mint, and the papers of Stephen Laurent. The Booth material, dating from the mid-1880s, includes a fine draft manuscript on the geology of Delaware and correspondence relating to Booth's duties at the Mint. A student of the Abnaki language, Laurent was a son of Chief Joseph Laurent, whose Abnaki dictionary was an early an important contribution to the field. The Laurent Papers contain a mix of printed and manuscript materials relating to the Abnaki language during the 20th century.