The Ward C. Russell papers consist of field notes, correspondence, and oral histories. The field notes cover the years 1928-1969,
mostly overlapping the time that Russell served as the MVZ's preparator and collector. The correspondence dates from 1931-1967.
The oral histories, which include transcriptions of interviews with Russell and his wife Virginia Miller Russell, date from
Ward C. Russell (1907-2000) began his UC Berkeley studies in 1924, at first focusing on Chemistry and Forestry before settling
on Zoology. He was hired by the MVZ in 1929, temporarily filling in for Chester Lamb. Russell ended up serving as the MVZ’s
preparator and collector for forty years. While at MVZ, he spent two weeks on Joseph Grinnell’s final field trip, collected
numerous bird and mammal specimens, and cleaned roughly 80,000 skeletons. Russell brought to the museum the dermestid beetle
approach to cleaning bones, a practice that proved to be quite effective. He primarily focused on collecting birds and mammals
in the western United States and Mexico.
Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate
Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.
The collection is open for research.