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Guide to the Arthur Sperry Pearse papers, 1904-1960 and undated

Abstract

Arthur Sperry Pearse was Professor of Zoology at Duke University from 1927 until his retirement in 1948. Pearse played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Marine Biology Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina, and served as the lab's first director from 1938 until 1945.

Collection contains correspondence, course material, manuscripts, research and lab notes, field notebooks, graduate student material, and photographs including glass-plate lantern slides. Prominent subjects throughout the collection include the establishment of and research projects at the Marine Biology Laboratory, the promotion of forestry as a scientific discipline at Duke, Pearse's role as editor of Ecological Monographs, and his eclectic research interests including marine biology and ecology, parasitology and parasitic diseases, microbiology and biological adaptation, and forestry.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Creator
Pearse, A. S. (Arthur Sperry), 1877-1956.
Title
Arthur Sperry Pearse papers 1904-1960
Language of Material
English
Extent
13.5 Linear Feet, Approx 12,000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection primarily contains the professional papers of Arthur Sperry Pearse with inclusive dates, 1914-1956. Collection includes correspondence, writings and addresses, research and teaching material, manuscripts, clippings and printed material, photographs, and glass plate slides. A small amount of material was accumulated by Pearse while professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Correspondence primarily reflects his role as editor of Ecological Monographs which includes correspondence concerning receipt of drafts for publication, recommended revisions, and future publication dates. Other prominent topics include Pearse's involvement with professional organizations, various symposiums and conferences, publications, research in Nigeria and the Yucatan, and the founding and early operations of the Duke Marine Laboratory at Beaufort, North Carolina. Also, in 1938-1939, there is a series of correspondence between Pearse and President William Preston Few concerning lack of support for and conditions within the department and Pearse's consequent resignation as departmental chair.

Other material includes research notes, tables, and sketches; graduate student correspondence, plans of work, and dissertation abstracts; manuscripts of various publications authored by Pearse including Animal Ecology and his 1952 autobiography, Adventure: Trying to be an Ecologist ; laboratory and field notebooks containing research notes and statistics from Nigeria, the Yucatan, Wisconsin, and various other research locations; and photographic prints, negatives, and glass-plate lantern slides documenting Pearse's research travels, publication figures, tables, and illustrations as well as local flora, fauna, landscapes, and peoples.

Administrative Information

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warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the University Archives to use this collection.

Collection is open for research.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence primarily reflects his role as editor of Ecological Monographs which includes correspondence concerning receipt of drafts for publication, recommended revisions, and dates for future publication. Other prominent topics include Pearse's involvement with professional organizations including the Ecology Society of America and Society of American Zoologists; various symposiums and conferences, publications, and research; and the founding and early operations of the Duke Marine Biology Laboratory at Beaufort, North Carolina. Correspondence also reflects Pearse's professional activities outside of the academy including work with the Office of the Quartermaster General interviewing soldiers recently returned from tropical environments in New Guinea, India, Burma, and the Caribbean; promoting the physical rehabilitation of the sciences in Europe in the wake of the Second World War through the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and as special investigator for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, the International Health Board, and the Carnegie Institute. In 1938-1939, there is a series of correspondence between Pearse and Duke University President William Preston Few concerning conditions within and lack of support for the department of zoology and Pearse's consequent resignation as departmental chair. Series is arranged chronologically.

1921-1944
(15 folders)
Box 1
1945-1960, undated
(10 folders)
Box 2

A bulk of subject files reflect Pearse's research interests and his involvement with professional organizations and institutes. Material present includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, and hand-written notes. Prominent subjects include research and staffing at the Beaufort Marine Lab, Ecological Monographs, his 1926 tenure at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the National Science Foundation, and numeruous research topics.

Anemotropism, Rheatropism, Geotropism, undated
1928-1929
1931-1938
Beaufort, plan for resident investigator, undated
Beaufort research, 1932-1941
Bibliographies, undated
Bimini, 1948-1949
Biological data handbook, 1948-1949
Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1928-1933
Chemical senses, 1934, undated
Cockroaches, 1937-1938
Color, 1936-1937, undated
Duke University committees, undated
Ecological Monographs abstracts, 1930-1948
Ecological Monographs, 1931-1951
Eustylochus, undated
Fish anatomy, undated
(2 folders)
Fishes, undated
Forest identifications, 1942-1943
Hell's Bells, undated
Homoeothermic animals, undated
Hearing, undated
Hygiene, 1931, undated
Identifications, 1931-1932
India, 1929-1932, undated
Insects and disease, undated
International Health Board, Rockefeller Foundation, 1925-1926
Japan, 1928-1931
Box 3
Lasioderma, 1928-1929
Box 3
Lecture notes, undated
Box 3
Light, undated
Box 3
1930, undated
Box 3
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1926
Box 3
British Army School of Hygiene [lecture and lab notes], 1926
(2 folders)
Box 3
Maya, 1931-1937
Box 3
Maine, 1933-1934
Box 3
Methods, 1930, undated
Box 3
Migration from Ocean, 1930, undated
Box 3
Mind development, undated
Box 3
Mind experiments, undated
Box 3
Misaki, 1926-1929
Box 3
Miscellaneous, 1936-1958, undated
Box 3
Advisory Committee to Biological Science Division, 1952, undated
Box 3
Biological and Medical Sciences Advisory Panel, 1952 Oct. 17
(2 folders)
Box 3
Nervous system, 1932, undated
Box 3
Notes-Abstracts, [ca. 1920s-40s]
(4 folders)
Box 3
Notes on soil, 1937-1950
Box 3
Parasitology, 1933, 1938, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Phylum, 1952
Box 3
Printed material and clippings, [ca. 1940s-1950s]
Box 3
Problems, undated
Box 3
Protozoa, undated
Box 3
Research grant material, 1949-1953, undated
Box 3
Research proposals, 1926, 1931, undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Salamanders, 1929-1931
Box 3
Sand beaches, 1929-1931
Box 3
Siam, 1929-1933
Box 3
Snails, 1951-1952
Box 4
Speeches and lectures, notes, 1927-1939
Box 4
Spatial temperature, undated
Box 4
Stylochus inimicus, undated
Box 4
Systematic, 1925
Box 4
Systematics (reading), undated
Box 4
Tortugas, 1928, 1931-1933, undated
(2 folders)
Box 4
Touch, undated
Box 4
Turtles, 1914-1933
Box 4
Tropical medicine and parasitology, 1933
Box 4
The Tropics, 1929, undated
Box 4
Vitae, undated
Box 4
Vitalism, 1932, undated
Box 4
Worm commensals, 1927
Box 4
Worms in F.W., 1927, undated
Box 4
Zoological drawings and maps, undated
Box 4
Zoological Journal Club, 1928-1934
(4 folders)
Box 4
Zoology (lecture notes), 1914-1924
Box 4

Graduate students series contains correspondence concerning research and thesis progress, plans of work, assigned reading lists, dissertation abstracts, and records of courses completed. Material is arranged alphabetically by student's name.

In accordance with the federal government's Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records. Education records include those records which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained as official working files by the University.

Altland-Young, 1917-1948
(4 folders)

Series contains manuscripts of essays, monographs, and textbooks written by Pearse during his professional career including reprint editions of Animal Ecology and various working drafts of The Migration of Animals from Sea to Land. Also present is an undated manuscript of a textbook written by Pearse's colleague B. Cunningham.

Adventure, 1942, 1948
Text, 1950
(4 folders)
Text, 1950
(3 folders)
Box 5
Tables and bibliography, 1950
Box 5
Bibliography and figures, 1950
Box 5
Beaches, undated
Box 5
Bimini, 1948
Box 5
Biota of the Reefs off the Carolinas, with Louis Williams, 1949
Box 5
Cunningham, B., textbook, undated
Box 5
Ecology in the Twentieth Century, undated
Box 5
Emigration of Animals from the Sea, undated
Box 5
Introduction, 1923-1929
Box 5
Routes, 1950-undated
Box 5
Causes, undated
Box 5
Changes, undated
Box 5
Ends, undated
Box 5
The Migrations of Animals from Sea to Land, [ca. 1950s]
Box 5
The Migration of Animals from Sea to Land, [Chinese], 1937
Box 5
Miscellaneous writings, undated
Box 5
Parasitic Crustaceans from Alligator Harbor, Florida, 1952
Box 5
Parasitic Crustacea from the Gulf of Mexico, 1951
Box 5
Some Observations on the Land Snails in the Duke Forest, undated
Box 5
Stability, undated
Box 5

Series contains material relating to courses taught by Pearse and includes laboratory guides, exercises, and techniques; lecture notes and outlines; lists of manuals, supplies, equipment, and specimen dealers; field trip locations, itineraries, and notes; and ruminations on pedagogical theory with inclusive dates 1905-1923. Most of the material is undated, however, all of the material relates to courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where Pearse taught from 1912-1927.

Field trips, undated
Box 6
Zoology 161, undated
Box 6
Zoology 18a, undated
Box 6
Zoology, 120, undated
Box 6
Miscellaneous, undated
Box 6
Printed material, 1905, undated
Box 6
Teaching of Zoology (teacher's course), 1923
Box 6

Series contains field notebooks created by Pearse on research trips and in laboratory work with inclusive dates 1904-1952. Notebooks contain notes and statistics on local flora, fauna, and animal life as well as notes on local peoples and culture. Beginning with his graduate work at Harvard University, the notebooks document the eclectic research interests, career, and travels of Pearse throughout his professional life. Arrangement is chronological.

Laboratory work in Paleontology with Prof. R.T. Jackson, 1904 Oct.1-1905 Jan. 25
Comparative Histology under Prof. G.H. Parker, 1904 Oct. 1-1905 3 Jan.
Studies on the Anatomy of Glossiphonia Stagnalis, [ca. 1904-1905]
Fiddler wasp's nest, 1912 July
Chaetopterus Commensal: Isopoda, 1914
General field notebook, 1916-1919
(2 notebooks)
Windota, etc., 1916 April-Sept.
Wingra, 1916 April-1917 March
Lakes on Oconomonuac and Fox Rivers, 1917 Aug.-Sept.
Lake Valencia, specimens, 1918 July-Aug.
Lake Valencia, 1918 July-Aug.
Tagging, 1919, 1922
(2 notebooks)
Green Lake, 1919
Lake Pepia, 1920 June 19-July 14
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, 1920 July 17-Aug. 5
Lake Geneva, 1920 Aug. 7-Aug. 25
Mandota, 1921 May 24-1922 Sept. 5
Lagos, Nigeria, 1926
Yaba Yellow Fever Laboratory, Lagos, Nigeria, 1926
Duke Forest, 1927-1933
Beaufort, 1928
(3 notebooks)
Beaufort, fieldwork, 1928
Japan, 1929 March-Sept.
Aburatsuko (Misaki), Japan, 1929 March-Sept.
Tortugas, 1928 July-Aug.
Reminders, 1930
Foochow, 1930 April
Siam, 1930 May-June
India, 1930 June-Aug.
Tortugas, 1931 June-Aug.
(2 notebooks)
Avenido Joaquin Ancona, 1932
(2 notebooks)
Beaufort, 1934 March-July
Maine, North Carolina, Florida, 1934 July 20-1935 Oct. 15
Florida, 1935 Oct.-1936 April
(2 notebooks)
Yucatan, 1936 June-Aug.
General, 1937 March 31-1942 Jan. 7
Beaufort, 1938 June-Aug.
(3 notebooks)
Beaufort, Maine, Canada, 1938 June-Sept.
Beaufort (U.S. Bureau of Fisheries), 1939 June
Doswell S. Edwards, 1940 Aug. 15-1945 Aug. 25
(5 notebooks)
Beaufort (U.S. Bureau of Fisheries), 1941 May 28-1941 Sept. 11
(2 notebooks)
General, 1947-1948
Duke Forest/Fort Aransas, TX, 1951 Feb. 6-Nov. 17
Duke Forest, 1951 Nov. 23-1952 Nov. 25
Alligator Harbor, FL, 1952 April-1952 June
Henrietta Achtenberg, undated

Series contains negatives, prints, and glass-plate lantern slides documenting primarily Pearse's travels abroad and within the United States for research with the inclusive dates of 1911-1953. In addition to photos of local flora, fauna, animal life, and ecosystems, additional photographs document local peoples, customs, and culture including dress, agricultural techniques, food gathering, and architecture. Also present are images copied from other published works.

Africa, 1926
Box 7
Alabama, 1925
Box 7
Albatros Reefs, undated
Box 7
Beaufort [NC], 1936-1938
Box 7
Burma, 1929-1930
Box 7
China, 1930
Box 7
Columbia, 1913
Box 7
Duke Forest, 1934
Box 7
England, 1926
Box 7
Florida, undated
Box 7
India, 1929-1930
Box 7
Japan, 1929-1930
Box 7
Lerner Marine Lab, S.S. Metopan, Sand Dunes [IN], Salisburg Cave, 1913 and undated
Box 7
Maine, undated
Box 7
Maps, charts, and illustrations, undated
(2 folders)
Box 7
Massachusetts, 1912-1913
Box 7
Passport, undated
Box 7
Port Aransas [TX], University of Texas Institute of Marine Science, undated
Box 7
Siam, 1929-1930
Box 7
Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1920
Box 7
Tortugas, 1931
Box 7
Unidentified, undated
Box 7
Venezuela, 1918
Box 7
Yucatan, 1934, 1936
Box 7
Yucatan (cave life), 1934, 1936
Box 7
Association of American Universities, undated
Box 7
Beaufort Marine Lab, 1938
Box 7
Blackbeard Island [NC], undated
Box 7
Burma, 1929-1930
Box 7
Columbia, 1913
Box 7
Duke Forest, 1934
Box 7
India, 1929-1930
Box 7
1929-1930
Box 7
Kyoto Medical School, undated
Box 7
Maps, charts, and illustrations, undated
Box 7
Massachusetts, 1912-1913
Box 7
Nigeria, 1926
(2 folders)
Box 7
Philippine Islands, undated
Box 7
People, 1953, undated
Box 7
Port Aransas [TX], University of Texas Institute of Marine Science, undated
Box 7
Siam, 1929-1930
Box 7
Tortugas, 1931
Box 7
Unidentified, undated
Box 7
Venezuela, 1918
Box 7
Yucatan, 1934, 1936
Box 7
Yucatan (cave life), 1934, 1936
Box 7

Contains glass plate lantern slides used by Pearse in lectures and presentations in 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ and 4 x 5 formats. Subjects are consistent with those found in the photographic prints and negatives. Also present are teaching slides used by Pearse in course lectures which are primarily copies of maps, graphs and charts, illustrations, and photos taken from other published works. Slides are housed in archival boxes within boxes 8-11.

Miscellaneous, undated
Box 8a
Crabs, undated
Box 8a
Oysters, undated
Box 8a
Unidentified locations, undated
Box 8a
Teaching slides, undated
Box 8a
Teaching slides, undated
Box 8b
Teaching slides, undated
Box 9a
Panama, undated
Box 9a
Japan, circa 1930
Box 9b
Yucatan, 1934-1936
Box 9b
India, 1929
Box 9b
St. Louis, MO, 1911-1912
Box 9b
Madison, WI, undated
Box 9b
Bahama Islands, undated
Box 9b
Miscellaneous, undated
Box 9b
Columbia, 1913
Box 10a
Africa, 1926
Box 10a
Africa, 1926
Box 10b
Massachusetts, 1912-1913
Box 10b
Philippine Islands, Manila, undated
Box 10b
Philippine Islands, undated
Box 10b
Miscellaneous, undated
Box 10b
Siam, 1929-1930
Box 11a
Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1920
Box 11a
Tortugas, 1931
Box 11a
Columbia, 1913
Box 11a
Japan, 1929-1930
Box 11b
Teaching slides, undated
Box 11b

Historical Note

Arthur Sperry Pearse was born 15 March 1877, on the Pawnee Indian Reservation near Crete, Nebraska, where his parents ran a trading post. In 1898, Pearse left the University of Nebraska with the 4th Nebraska Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish-American War, returning to receive his B.A. in 1900 and his M.A. in 1904. He went on to complete his doctoral work at Harvard where he received his Ph.D. in 1908. Also, in 1942, Pearse received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Nebraska.

Pearse taught courses at Harvard, the University of Michigan (1908-1910), the University of the Philippines (1911), St. Louis University School of Medicine (1911-1912), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1912-1927), and, finally, as Professor of Zoology at Duke University (1927-1948). In 1926, Pearse spent five months at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and one year as a visiting professor at Keio University in Japan (1929-1930). Pearse was an instrumental participant in the creation of the Duke Marine Laboratory at Beaufort, N.C., in 1938 and served as the lab's first director until 1945. Pearse was also founder and editor of Ecological Monographs (1930-1950), a publication of Duke University Press. In addition to work within the academy, Pearse was also a special investigator for the United States Bureau of Fisheries, a special member of field staff for the International Health Board, and a special investigator for the Carnegie Institute. Pearse was also a member of many scientific societies and served as president of the Ecology Society of America (1925), American Society of Zoologists (1945), and North Carolina Academy of Science (1951), and as vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1936).

During his career Pearse authored about 175 publications on a variety of research interests in the fields of marine zoology and ecology, microbiology, forestry, and parisitology including fresh-water fauna, beach and estuarine animals, the fauna of soil and forest environments, parasitic marine crustacea, and biological adaptation. Pearse's many publications include General Zoology (1917), The Migration of Animals from Sea to Land (1936), Fauna of the Caves of the Yucatan (1938), and Animal Ecology (1939). Pearse also published a collection of essays, Hell's Bells (1941), and an autobiography, Adventure: Trying to be a Zoologist (1952). His research travels took him to the Philippines, Japan, Yucatan, Venezuela, Nigeria, and numerous locations throughout the United States including Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Texas, and coastal North Carolina.

Subject Headings

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  • University Archives Photograph Collection, 1856-[ongoing] (Duke University Archives/David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)
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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Arthur Sperry Pearse Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Arthur Sperry Pearse Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer between 1954-1973.

Processing Information

Processed by Josh Larkin Rowley, April 2009

Encoded by Josh Larkin Rowley, April 2009

Accessions UA48-1843, UA48-2038, UA48-2122, UA60-218, UA62-541, UA73-51 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.