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Inventory to the papers of Joseph R. Slevin at the California Academy of Sciences MSS.429
MSS.429  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Chronology
  • Biographical note
  • Conditions governing access:
  • Reproduction:
  • Preferred citation
  • Related materials
  • Scope and content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Slevin (Joseph Richard) papers
    Collection number: MSS.429
    Repository: California Academy of Sciences, Special Collections
    55 Music Concourse Drive
    Golden Gate Park
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    Languages: Materials are in English.
    Physical Description: 4.2 Cubic feet 2 archives box, 6 legal archives boxes, 1 half-size archives box, 1 flat archives box, wrapped items
    Date: 1881-1957
    Abstract: The collection consists of papers and materials relating to Joseph R. Slevin’s life, primarily surrounding his research of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The collection also contains numerous research materials relating to Slevin's work as the curator of the herpetology department at the California Academy of Sciences.
    Language of materials: Materials are in English.
    Location note: AR6/I/1-AR6/K/3 and PR6/B/5
    Creator: Slevin, Joseph Richard, 1881-1957

    Chronology

    Chronology

    1881 Born in San Francisco, September 13, 1881.
    1904 Hired by the California Academy of Sciences in preparation for the Galapagos Islands Expedition.
    1905 Sails for the Galapagos Islands onboard the schooner, Academy.
    1906 Returns to San Francisco and helps to rebuild Academy after 1906 earthquake and fire. Becomes the assistant curator of the herpetology department.
    1928 Becomes curator of the herpetology department.
    1954 Elected Honorary Member by the California Academy of Sciences.
    1956 Last bibliography of scientific publications is published.
    1957 Dies in San Francisco on February 17th.

    Biographical note

    Joseph Richard Slevin was born in San Francisco on September 13, 1881. He attended St. Ignatius College, San Francisco and completed his studies in Humanities at St. Mary’s College in Kansas. His mother was an avid philatelist, one brother was an ornithologist, another brother was an entomologist, and his father, Thomas E. Slevin, was a member of the California Academy of Sciences as well as an amateur ornithologist.
    Inevitably, after serving in the United States Navy and completing 20 voyages with the Oceanic Steamship Company, Joseph R. Slevin accepted a position at the California Academy of Sciences in 1904. At this time, the Academy was preparing for a Galapagos expedition and Slevin was found to be uniquely qualified for the trip. Prior to his departure, he was given extensive training by Dr. John Van Denburgh, curator of the Herpetology Department. On June 28, 1905, Slevin and the crew of the schooner, Academy, set sail for the Galapagos Islands.
    While the expedition was taking place, most of the Academy’s collection was destroyed in the San Francisco 1906 earthquake. The expedition returned November 29, 1906, and its collection of the flora and fauna of the Galapagos served as the new building blocks for the Academy collection.
    After the expedition, Slevin continued to work for the Academy as Dr. Van Denburgh’s assistant. Dr. Van Denburgh died in 1928 and Slevin assumed the curatorship for the herpetology department. In addition to his specialty in the Galapagos Islands, Slevin collected in Mexico, the Gulf of California, Australia, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
    After 53 years of service to the California Academy of Sciences, Slevin died on February 15, 1957. At the time of his death, he had two books in manuscripts; a history of explorations in the Galapagos Islands, and a popular handbook of reptiles.
    Sources Consulted: Academy News Letter, No. 207, March, 1957.
    Academy News Letter, No. 164, August, 1953.

    Conditions governing access:

    Access is unrestricted.

    Reproduction:

    All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

    Preferred citation

    [Item], Joseph Richard Slevin papers, Special Collections, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.

    Related materials

    The Smithsonian Institution holds the Schmitt/Slevin Correspondence collection.
    Rollo Howard and Ida Menzies Beck papers, California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
    Francis Xavier Williams papers,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
    Edward Winslow Gifford Galápagos expedition photographs,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
    Alban Stewart papers,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
    Galapagos Islands collection,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.
    Ornithology and Mammalogy Department field note collection,California Academy of Sciences Library, San Francisco, CA.

    Scope and content

    The collection consists of papers and materials relating to Joseph R. Slevin’s life, primarily surrounding his research of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence and photographs. The collection also contains numerous research materials relating to Slevin's work as the curator of the herpetology department at the California Academy of Sciences.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Academy (Schooner).
    California Academy of Sciences. Dept. of Herpetology.
    Photographs
    Field notes
    Galapagos Islands.
    Cowan, John S., Lt.
    Cowley, William, Ambrosia
    Davis, Edward, fl. 1683-1702
    Hancock, Allan, 1875-
    Leviton, Alan E.
    Lindsay, George E., (George Edmund), 1916-
    California Academy of Sciences--Curators
    California Academy of Sciences--History
    California Academy of Sciences--Scientists
    Herpetologists
    Herpetology
    Natural history museum curators
    Scientific expeditions--Galapagos Islands.