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Edward Drinker Cope notebooks


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. 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

Edward Drinker Cope, a scientist known for his fossil research, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Alfred and Hanna Cope on July 28, 1840. His parents were wealthy and valued education, sending him to the Westtown Boarding School beginning in 1853, where Cope became interested in biology and other natural sciences. After leaving school, he began research at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where he published his first papers. He attended the University of Pennsylvania to study paleontology, anatomy, and herpetology in 1861 and 1862, where he published research on salamanders.

In the following years, Cope traveled to Europe to meet other researchers and visit scientific museums. After his return in 1863, he began to teach zoology at Haverford College and also got married to Annie Pim, with whom he had a daughter, Julia Biddle Cope, in 1866. During this period, he left Haverford and moved to Haddonfield, New Jersey, to pursue more research, selling his farm for the money. In New Jersey, he conducted field research on the fossil pits of the area, discovering and describing many different species of ancient reptiles and dinosaurs. He also visited the western United States on fossil searches, with his research in the areas of Kansas and Colorado continuing at rapid pace throughout the 1870s. He also engaged in a conflict over the discovery of fossils with colleague Othniel Charles Marsh called the "Bone Wars," in which the two attempted to gain greater notoriety than the other for the discovery and description of species. During this time, Cope lived primarily in Philadelphia and sold his collected fossils to the American Museum of Natural History in 1895. He is known as a member of the Neo-Lamarckian school of evolutionary thought, publishing responses to Charles Darwin's theories. He believed that individuals could pass on inherited traits to their offspring and that free will was impetus for evolution. He died in April 1897.

This folder contains two belongings of Edward Drinker Cope. The first is a textbook that likely refers to Westtown Boarding School, with label "Chart Questions, Edward D. Cope, Westtown B. School, Winter of 1854-55, No. 237." It is a guide to an unspecified historical and geographical chart. The textbook contains a list of questions (divided by region) about the people, places, and dates related to the chart. It included penciled notes and the name "MaryAnna" or "MaryAnne" Cope on the inside cover. The second item is a notebook of original compositions, which is labeled "Edward D. Cope, 2nd Mo. 1857." The notebook contains a list of compositions from 1856-1858, but only the compositions from the year 1857. It includes pencil revisions to the compositions. The compositions themselves are titled and dated, and are related to nature, weather, and animals.

This collection contains two bound volumes.

The Edward Drinker Cope notebooks were purchased by Special Collections, Haverford College in March, 2017 from Natural History Books.

Processed by Alice Berry and Sarah Horowitz; completed September, 2018.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Alice Berry and Sarah Horowitz
Finding Aid Date
September, 2018
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Textbook and Notebook.
Box 2

Print, Suggest