Benjamin Sharp papers and glass lantern slides
Held at: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia [Contact Us]1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Benjamin Sharp (1858-1915), was a zoologist and a professor of invertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Born on November 1, 1858 to Quaker parents, Benjamin and Hannah B. Sharp in Germantown, Philadelphia, Sharp earned his A.B. degree from Swarthmore College in 1878. He then went to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied medicine, earning his M.D. in 1879 and his Ph.D. in 1880. His education continued when he traveled to Europe and received another Ph.D. from the University of Wurzburg in Bavaria in 1883.
In 1883, Sharp returned to Philadelphia and was offered the position of professor of invertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. A year later, in 1884, he began teaching the same subject at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a professor for the rest of his life, working at the University of Pennsylvania until 1896 and at the Academy of Natural Sciences until his death in 1915. From 1890 to 1901, Sharp served as corresponding secretary for the Academy of Natural Sciences. Not content to simply teach, Sharp participated in expeditions to the Carrebee Islands from 1888 to 1889; to the Arctic with Commander Robert Peary in 1891; to the Hawaiian Islands in 1893; and to Alaska, Siberia and the Arctic in 1895.
In 1881, Sharp married Virginia May Guild of Massachusetts and they had three children: Karl, Harold and Dorothy. In 1905, the family moved to Massachusetts. From 1910 to 1913, Sharp served as a representative for Nantucket in the Massachusetts Legislature, and on the Committee on Fisheries.
Sharp died in 1915 at the age of 56 years as a result of pneumonia.
New York Times. "Dr. Benjamin Sharp Dead." January 26, 1915.
The first series, "Papers," includes 9 items. The second series, "Glass Lantern Slides," contains over 1000 lantern slides documenting culture, agriculture, geologic formations, and trades in Australia, Alaska, Greenland, Hawaii and Siberia. Particularly well documented in these slides are volcanoes, lava formations, fishing, and natives of Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands. Also, there are a significant number of lantern slides regarding leprosy, lepers and leper colonies. There are also a few depicting Benjamin Sharp or H. A. Pilsbry. The majority of the slides are in black and white, but when the slides are in color, it is noted.
The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.
- Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Date
- The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.