Main content

William Beebe Papers

Notifications

Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. 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

Beebe, William

William Beebe (1877-1962) was an American naturalist, marine biologist, explorer, and writer. After attending Columbia, Beebe was appointed to the New York Zoological Society as curator of ornithology and then later as the director of the Department of Tropical Research. Throughout his lifetime Beebe led several successful expeditions to support his research and writing. He is credited alongside engineer Otis Burton as being the designer of the bathysphere, a diving vessel that allowed Beebe to observe marine life in the deep sea.

The collection consists of journals, writings, correspondence, scrapbooks, documents, photographs, and printed matter of William Beebe, primarily relating to his association with the New York Zoological Society (NYZS). There are 75 journal volumes beginning in 1890 and including diary entries, natural history notes, collection lists, essay material, and course notes taken at Columbia University. From 1903 to 1961 the journals focus mainly on Beebe's many expeditions for the NYZS--as its first curator of birds (1902-1916), he went to Mexico, the West Indies, Venezuela, and Guiana, and as founder (1916) and director (1923-1952) of its Department of Tropical Research (DTR), he made terrestrial expeditions to Guiana, Trinidad, the West Indies, Venezuela, and Singapore, and oceanographic expeditions to the Bermuda Islands, the Galapagos Islands, and the Gulf of California. Beebe continued conducting research at the Simla Station, Trinidad, after his retirement until his death in 1962. Beebe and the DTR were responsible for the discovery and description of over 800 new species of fish, insects, mollusks, and animals; cataloging and preserving specimens; publications and exhibits; and the collection of live specimens for the NYZS.

Also included are reports, field notes, articles, and other data relating to Beebe's expedition to Asia (1909-1911) to collect information on pheasants, which resulted in his major work, A Monograph of the Pheasants (1918-1922); correspondence, records, and logs of dives made by Beebe in his bathysphere off the coast of Bermuda (1930-1934), sponsored, in part, by the National Geographic Society, and material related to its exhibition at the New York World's Fair (1939); the manuscript for Zaca Venture (1938), an account of the 24th DTR expedition on the schooner Zaca in the Gulf of California; additional writings on his Singapore and Trinidad expeditions; and miscellaneous articles such as "Abyssal Life" and "The Destiny of Ships." Also present are notes entitled "Mid-Ocean" for a projected book on deep-sea life.

A selected file of correspondence includes letters from NYZS associates Madison Grant, William Hornaday, and Henry Fairfield Osborn, expedition financiers Anthony R. Kuser and Harrison Williams, and such diverse contemporaries as John Burroughs, Frank M. Chapman, Lord Dunsany, Prince George, Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne, Theodore Roosevelt, Otis Skinner, and Casey Wood.

In addition, there are certificates and awards; a few photographs of Beebe, his mother, Henrietta Younglove Beebe, and friends and associates; bibliographic material; memorabilia and scrapbooks (1910-1926) of newspaper clippings about Beebe and his works; and tearsheets of a few of Beebe's articles and reviews of his books.

"Additional Papers" contains letters from Beebe to his lecture agent James Pond regarding his extensive lecture schedule and other business matters, related lecture programs and announcements, as well as other miscellaneous correspondence and a bound "Guest Book."

Series: I. Journals (1890-1961); II. Writings--A. Pheasant Expedition, B. Bathysphere Material, C. Mid-Ocean, D. Zaca Venture, E. Singapore Expedition, F. Trinidad Expeditions, G. Miscellaneous, H. Bibliographical Material; III. Correspondence--A. General, B. Bathysphere Related; IV. Documents; V. Photographs; VI. Memorabilia; VII. Scrapbooks; VIII. Printed Matter; IX. Papers of Persons Other Than Beebe; X Additional Papers.

The papers came directly (1989) from Jocelyn Crane Griffin who was William Beebe's research assistant and former assistant director (1952-1962) and director (1963-1966) of the Department of Tropical Research of the New York Zoological Society.

Purchase: Swann, NY, Feb. 7, 1990. AM 1990-81.

Purchase: Beebe estate, in 1962. AM 18021.

Gift of: Charles A. D. Burke, Class of 1909, in Sept. 1937. AM 11471.

A chronological listing of the journals, noting the contents of each volume, is available, as well as a computer printout of indexed correspondents.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

No appraisal information is available.

People
Organization
Subject
Place

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2008
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Physical Description

10 boxes

Journal, 1890 August 16-1893 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1894 January 1-1894 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1894 January 1-1895 June 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1895 July 1-1896 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1897 January 1-1898 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1899 January 1-1899 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Notes On The Arifauna Of Essex Co., NJ, 1890-1897. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Fauna Of The Bay Of Fundy, Nova Scotia, 1899. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, List Of Birds Of NJ, 1895. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Catalogue Of Collections, 1896. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Nova Scotia Notes, 1899. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Journal, Columbia College, Biology II, Vol. I, 1896-1897. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology II and III, Vol. II, 1897. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology III, Vol. III, 1897-1898. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology III, Vol. IV, 1898. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Notes, 1896-1900. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology II, Drawings, 1896-1900. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology V, Vol. V, 1898. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Columbia College, Biology V, Vol VI, 1899. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jounal, 1900 January 1-1901 November 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1901 December 1-1903 July 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1903 July 21-1904 March 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1903 February 13-1904 February 2. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1904 April 1-1909 December 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1908 February 22-1908 April 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1909 February 15-1909 May 4. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1909 December 29-1910 June 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1910 June 8-1911 May 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1911 June 1-1915 June 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1916 March 1-1916 August 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1916 January 1-1921 January 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, 1918 August 1-1919 November 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Steamer Notes, 1915-1917. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Kartabo, 1919. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, British Guiana, 1920-1922. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Journal, Galapagos Expedition And Notes, 1923. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Galapagos Expedition, James F. Curtis' Log Of The "Noma", 1923. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Daily Diary, 1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, British Guiana, 1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Arcturus Expedition, 1925. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Bermuda Diary, 1928-1932. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Bermuda Reports, 1929-1931. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Antares Expedition, 1932-1933. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Journal, Daily Diary, USA, 1934. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bermuda Journal, 1933-1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, N.Y. And Bermuda, 1937. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, England, 1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, "Zaca," Gulf Of California, Mexico, 1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, "Hardi Biaou," West Indies And Caracas, 1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, "Zaca," Eastern Pacific, 1937-1938. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Journal, Hollywood Diary, 1939. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Bermuda (39th And 40th Expeditions), 1939-1941. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Venezuela, 1942. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, New York, 1943-1945. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Venezuela (Rancho Grande), 45th Expedition, 1945. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Venezuela (Rancho Grande), 46th Expedition, 1946. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Venezuela (Rancho Grande), 47th Expedition, 1948. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 48th Expedition, 1950. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 49th Expedition, 1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 50th Expedition, 1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 51st Expedition, 1952-1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 52nd Expedition, 1953-1954. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 53rd Expedition, 1954-1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Singapore, 54th Expedition, 1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 55th Expedition, 1956. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 57th Expedition, 1956-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 59th Expedition, 1957-1958. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 60th Expedition, 1958-1959. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Journal, Trinidad, 61st and 62nd Expeditions, 1959-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

5 boxes

Pheasant Expedition, Manuscripts And Notes, 1909-1911. 4 folders.
Physical Description

4 folders

Pheasant Expedition, Documents And Memorabilia, 1909-1911. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Pheasant Expedition, Bird Labels, 1909-1911. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Singapore Expedition, Reports (54th D.T.R. Expedition), 1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Singapore Expedition, Manuscripts And Notes, 1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Singapore Expedition, re: Birds: Singapore vs. Trinidad, 1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Singapore Expedition, re: Heliotropium, 1955. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trinidad (Simla) Expeditions, Report Data And Notes, 1950-1961. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Trinidad (Simla) Expeditions, Notes On Birds, 1950-1961. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Trinidad (Simla) Expeditions, Miscellaneous, 1950-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Abyssal Life", 1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Animal Doors", 1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Apotheosis Of Baby Snooks", 1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Birds, Caracas, 1945-1947. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Birds, Tobago, 1936-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Birds, Zaca expedition, 1936-1938. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bivalves, 1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"British-American Ambulance Corps. Friendship Bridge", 1941. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Cable Life", 1935. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Depths Of The Sea", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Destiny Of Ships", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Evaluation Of Zoologica", 1941. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Evolution, 1931-1935. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Fourteenth Street, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"From A Hollow Tree", 1906. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Gobble And Turk", 1939. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Horses And Men", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Jungle Islands", 1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Mora Swamp At High Noon", 1916. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"My Pet Vulture", 1908. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

New York Zoological Society, Annual Meeting Lecture Data, 1909-1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Nonsuch Notes (Bermuda), 1933-1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Roosevelt Medical Citation, 1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Sargasso Sea", 1910-1923. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Scents Of Flowers", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Seriema: A Study Made In The Summer Of 1907 In The Zoological Park", 1907. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Superstitions Of The Sea", 1899-1907. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Telegraph Ants", 1919. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

This Is Living By D.C. Peattie (Book Review), 1938. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Notes And Ideas, 1898-1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bibliographical Material, 1897-1956. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Biographical Material, 1852-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere, Records And Reports, 1930-1934. 6 folders.
Physical Description

6 folders

Bathysphere, Records And Reports, Fish And Animal Data, 1930-1934. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere, Records And Reports, Miscellaneous, 1930-1934. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere, New York World's Fair Exhibition, 1939-1940. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Mid-Ocean, Manuscript Material For A Proposed Book, 1881-1939. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Zaca Venture, Typed Manuscript, 1938. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Lane, Ferdinand C., Typed Manuscript "The World's Great Lakes", With Holograph Corrections And Autograph Of Beebe, 1948. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Lane, Ferdinand C., Manuscript, With Holograph Corrections And Autograph Of Beebe, 1947. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Franklin, Dwight, Typed Manuscript, 1948. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

2 boxes

Honors, Awards, Etc, 1949-1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Passports, Licenses, etc, 1917-1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Roosevelt Medal Award, 1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Photographs, 1929-1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Natural History Sticker Book, 1887. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

New Year's Cards, 1943-1956. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Memorbilia, Miscellaneous, 1906-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Guest Book, 1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

2 boxes

Scrapbook, 1910-1927. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scrapbook, 1916-1922. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scrapbook, 1923-1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scrapbook, Arcturus Trip No. 1, 1925. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Arcturus Trip No. 2, 1925. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Arcturus Adventure, Book Reviews, 1925-1926. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

4 boxes

Correspondence, A, 1911-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Atlantic Monthly, 1917-1921. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, B, 1912-1938. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, C, 1910-1948. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, D, 1910-1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Dunsany, Edward..., Baron, 1878-1957. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Correspondence, E, 1931-1956. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, F, 1910-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, G, 1906-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, George, Prince (Duke Of Kent), 1902-1942. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Grant, Madison, 1914-1933. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, H, 1910-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Hornaday, William T, 1906-1925. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, I, 1911-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, J, 1906-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, K, 1910-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Kuser, Anthony R, 1862-1929. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, L, 1927-1952. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, M, 1905-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, N, 1910-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, O, 1910-1945. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1906-1934. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, P-Q, 1907-1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Putnam, George Palmer, 1925-1926. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, R, 1911-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Roosevelt, Edith K, 1924-1940. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, S, 1905-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, T, 1925-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, U-V, 1926-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, W, 1910-1951. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Williams, Harrison C, 1873-1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Woods, Casey A, 1856-1942. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, X-Y-Z, 1909-1937. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Unidentified, 1920-1954. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Miscellaneous Correspondence And Papers Received With Books, 1906-1956. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence, Ponds, James, 1900-1981. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Additional Correspondence, 1928. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Bathysphere Correspondence, A-C, 1933-1940. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, D-G, 1933-1935. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, H-M, 1926-1939. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, National Geographic Society, 1933-1935. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, O-S, 1932-1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, Symons, John Prower, 1937. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bathysphere Correspondence, T-Z, 1930-1940. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

Articles By William Beebe, 1907-1943. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Articles About William Beebe, 1907-1940. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Book Reviews, Book Of Bays, 1942. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Book Reviews, High Jungle, 1949. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Book Reviews, Unseen Life Of New York, 1953. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

By/About Roy Chapman Andrews, 1938. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

19th Century Articles, 1830-1873. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Articles, Miscellaneous, 1907-1952. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Papers Of Persons Other Than William Beebe, "Poems" By Hesper Le Gallienne, 1918. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Papers Of Persons Other Than William Beebe, Miscellaneous, 1924-1939. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest