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Graceanna Lewis natural history papers


Held at: Delaware County Institute of Science [Contact Us]11 Veterans Square, Media, PA, 19063

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County Institute of Science. 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

Graceanna Lewis (1821-1912) was a published scholar, naturalist, lecturer, abolitionist and social reformer. She was well respected in the scientific community for her scholarship and keen observations of the natural world. She studied ornithology under John Cassin at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Her work was displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893 and she published papers in Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science, and The American Naturalist. Her legacy includes exquisitely detailed botanical illustrations and the first published comprehensive work on American birds.

She meticulously classified the Animal, Mineral and Plant kingdoms and contemplated the order of the universe. Here is an example of her thoughts from a lecture given in Nantucket in 1877:

In addition to her scientific contributions, Lewis was a social reformer who spoke out for the equality of all. She was an abolitionist, providing relief and shelter to slaves running for their lives via the "underground railroad." She advocated for the equality of women and spoke out against the limitations American society placed on women by restricting them to a gendered sphere. In her case, she was restricted from an academic position in higher education.

The collection contains lectures, published articles, notes, notebooks, charts, sketches, correspondence and specimens. The strength of the collection is found in the written lectures given by Lewis, which primarily pertain to the subject of natural history. There are notes and lectures concerning her views on divinity as it pertains to natural history, and she addresses the question of the relevance of the study of natural history by offering a course beginning with the study of water crystals and ending with the study of man's place in the universe.

There are many sketches and published charts of the classification of the Animal and Plant Kingdoms.

Some lectures are in the original order of sequence, while others are by subject. Some of the folders contain portions of notes and lectures as Graceanna Lewis wrote multiple drafts of lectures. The collection is arranged alphabetically within nine series.

Gift of Mr. Robert and Miss Alice Fussell, 1937

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This collection was processed as part of the HCI-PSAR Internship Program, facilitated by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) in spring of 2016. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The HCI-PSAR Intern who processed this collection, Tracey deJong, received guidance and supervision from professional archivists at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.

Delaware County Institute of Science
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Tracey deJong
This collection was processed as part of the HCI-PSAR Internship Program, facilitated by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR). The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Delaware County Institute of Science for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

From Delaware Institute of Science to Graceanna Lewis, 1869 June 5.
From Fussell, Rebecca L. to Charles Fussell, Media, 1890 December 7.
From Lewis, Graceanna to Hannah, 1893 April 2.
From Lewis, Graceanna to Professor Morse, 1890 April 15.
From Nellie to Uncle Charlie, Media PA, 1893 March 26, March 28.
From Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction, June 1893.
Envelopes, empty.

Preface, Key to Chart of Classification of Animal Kingdom.
Lecture I, The Force of Nature.
Lecture II, Life.
Lecture III, The Science of Embryology.
Lecture IV, Metazoans.
Lecture V, Comprehensive Vertebrates.
Lecture VI, Specialized Vertebrates.
Lecture VII, Recent Reptiles.
Lecture VIII, Birds.
Lecture IX, Mammals.
Lecture X, The Tonarians.
Lecture XI, Locomotive Apparatus.
Lecture XII, Progressive Development. The Brain.
Classification: Animals, Animal Kingdom.
Classification: Animals, Animal Kingdom: The Development of the Animal Kingdom, 1877.
Classification: Animals, Animal Kingdom: Invertebrates.
Classification: Animals, Bats.
Classification: Animals, Butterflies.
Classification: Animals, Butterflies: Life of Butterflies.
Classification: Animals, Butterflies: Swallow Tailed Butterflies.
Classification: Animals, Chitonidae.
Classification: Animals, Fishes: Devil Fish, 1875 January 2.
Classification: Animals, Fishes: Jellyfish.
Classification: Animals, Fishes: Some Modern Fishes.
Classification: Animals, Fishes: Toad Fish and Cold Blooded Vertebrates.
Classification: Animals, Insects in Relation to Birds, Geology in Connection with Birds, Progression in Order of Creation.
Classification: Animals, Mammals.
Classification: Animals, Musk Rats.
Classification: Animals, Primates.
Classification: Animals, Species of Animals Which Have Become Extinct.
Classification: Animals, Vertebrata or Back-boned Animals.
Classification: Animals, Ornithology (See also Oversize Case, (3) Charts).
Classification: Animals, Ornithology: Natural History of Birds.
Classification: Animals, Zoology.
Classification: Animals, Zoology: Difference Between Chart of the Animal Kingdom Between 1876 and 1893.
Classification: Minerals, The Mineral Kingdom, Mineral Animal Kingdom.
Classification: Plants, Beeches and Maples.
Classification: Plants, Beeches, Maples and Oaks.
Classification: Plants, How the Oaks Should be Studied.
Classification: Plants, Oaks.
Classification: Plants, Oaks.
Classification: Plants, Oaks in Delaware County.
Classification: Plants, On the Care and Preservation of Trees.
Classification: Plants, Vegetable Life.
Classification: Plants, Vegetable Life.
Classification: Plants, Vegetable Life.
Classification: Plants, Vegetable Kingdom/Useful Plants.
Classification: Plants, Lecture given at house of D. Henry Wright, Riverton, New Jersey, 1889 October 2.
Classification: Plants, Leaf Charts (19) See Oversize case.
The Cassin Homestead.
Evolution and the Welfare of Man.
Forces of Nature.
Four Streams: Darby, Crum, Ridley, Chester Creeks.
Frost Work.
Media and its Environs, 1890 May.
On the Universality of Life.
Outdoors, 1881 April 11.
The Position of the Quadrumana, The Apes and Monkeys, Man.
Principles of Classification (Read before the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1882 September 26).

An Appeal (Anti-Slavery Pamphlet).
Clifton Springs, Media, PA, Newspaper, 1882 June 21 (Newspaper Article, 2 copies).
Meehan's Monthly, 1900 February, See page 23, Willow tree in Painter Arboretum.
Memorial to Honorable John M. Broomall (Prepared by Grace Anna Lewis).
Preparatory Studies in the Woods, Opening Buds (Newspaper article).
Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science, 1909 January, Volume IV, No. 2, Some Remarkable Fishes.
Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science, Volume IV, No. 3, 1909 April, At Longport, New Jersey, in September.

Ancient Seats of Civilization.
Animal Kingdom.
Canute's Song, 11th Century.
Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen.
Classification of Birds, Seebohm, 1890.
Feminine Influence.
Parvin(?), Theophilus, MD, Address before the American Medical Association.
Religion and Science, Extracts from Professor Haldeman.
Supreme Intelligent Power/Divinity and Natural History/Why Study Natural History?.
Miscellaneous Fragments of Lectures and Notes.

Classification Diagrams.
Classification Diagrams (See oversize).
Lewis' Leaf Charts for the Use of Public Schools, 1895-1900 (See oversize).
Nuts, Prototypes for Leaf Charts.
Delaware County Botany, Media Borough, Pennsylvania, 1910.

Lectures , Birds, 1869.
Lectures 1-8, Classification.
Lectures 9-13, Classification.
Lectures, First Forms.
Lectures, Natural History, Class B, 1883 September-1884 February.
Lectures, Natural Hisstory, Class C, 1885 February.
Lectures, Various Topics.
Notes, 1891, 1892, 1893.
Notes, Birds Described.
Notes, Birds, Gray's Genera.
Notes, Classification, 1884 March.
Notes, Classification.
Notes, Classification of Plants.
Notes, Fishes.
Notes, Indian Tailor Bird.
Notes, Leidy, Ancient Fauna of Nebraska Dana, Classification of Mammals.
Notes, Leidy, Nebraska and Dakota, Extinct Mammals (Includes extract of a letter from Dr. George Bennett, Sydney, 1866 January 20 -- transcribed by Grace Anna Lewis.
Notes, Miscellaneous, 1884 March.
Notes, References.
Notes, Scientific, 1897, 1898.
Notes, Systematic Classification of Dr. E. Warming, University of Copenhagen.
Notes, Warming's Handbook of Systematic Botany; Classification of Vegetable Kingdom, No. 1 and No. 3; Hooker, Bentham, and Warming, No. 4.
Notes, Vertebrates and Invertebrates.
Subscriptions for Atlas of the Animal Kingdom and Various Notes.

Academy of Natural Sciences, Virtual Exhibition, Women of the Academy.
Biographical notes on Graceanna Lewis.
Brody, Susannah, Graceanna Lewis, Naturalist: Antiques, 2006 March.
Broomall, Carolus M., Editor, Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science, Volume VII, Number 4. (See page 85, Graceanna Lewis' birth and death.).
Cope, E.D., Syllabus of Lectures on Geology and Paleontology, University of Pennsylvania.
Dawkins, W. Boyd, Address of the Antiquity of Man, 1877 October 30.
Harshberger, Botanists of Philadelphia, 1899.
Huxley, T.H., Science Primers: Introductory, 1882.
Jordan, David S., Brayton, Alembert W., Contributions to North American Ichthyology, No. 3, Department of the Interior, U.S. National Museum, 1878.
Kennedy, Joseph S., A Renaissance Woman... 2005 March 6.
Maybery, Charles F., On Bromtetrachlorpropionic Acid, Harvard College, 1884 March 12.
Warner, Deborah Jean, Grace Anna Lewis, Scientist and Humanitarian, 1979.

Columbia Exposition, 1893 and Universal Exposition (See Oversize).

98 -2-6C.

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