THE MUSEUM OF ZOOLOGY
THE Museum of Zoology is a research and teaching unit of the University for the study of the evolution, distribution, and systematic relationships of animals. Its collections comprise some 50,000 mammals, 110,000 birds, 130,000 reptiles and amphibians, 2,100,000 fish, 2,500,000 insects, and 2,000,000 mollusks, with the accompanying data essential for study. The collections are as notable for the wealth and accuracy of their field data as for the excellence of their representation of the respective groups, and they have given the Museum an international reputation as a center for graduate teaching and research in natural history.
The Museum occupies the first, second, and third floors and much of the basement in the north wing of the University Museums Building. The collections are housed in fireproof ranges designed for safe storage and ready access to any individual specimen or desired series. Complementing the ranges are staff offices and study rooms, aquarium and live-rooms, preparation rooms, divisional libraries, and a seminar and classroom, an over-all area of some 46,000 square feet. The staff includes a director and eleven curators, as well as research and student assistants, an artist for the illustration of its publications, and a small secretarial staff. The curators and the director have academic status in the Department of Zoology, and their duties are more or less equally divided between curatorial work, research, and teaching. These functions, indeed, are not separable in any real sense. The extensive collections and the data that accompany them are the essential tools for both research and teaching, and so long as they are in use require a continuing Page 1503curatorial process which, if it is at all competent, depends upon current as well as completed research.
The teaching is largely but not exclusively graduate. In addition to directing the doctoral studies of some thirty to forty students, staff members give courses and seminars in mammalogy, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, entomology, malacology, and systematics and supervise individual studies, which any qualified student may elect.
The Museum of Zoology is one of the University's oldest units for specialized research. Although its official existence as a separate unit dates from as late as 1912-13, its modern existence began in 1903, as a direct descendant of the University Museum of Natural History provided for in the enabling act of 1837. The transformation of the old Cabinet and later Museum of Natural History into a Museum of Zoology came in large part from the cumulative enthusiasm and efforts of three great naturalists who were successively in charge of the zoological part of the natural history collections.
The first, Professor Joseph Beal Steere ('68, '70l, Ph.D. hon. '75), Curator of the Museum from 1876 to 1894, was a pioneer student of animal geography. His zoological explorations in South America, the Philippines, and parts of the Dutch East Indies brought the first large accessions of study materials as contrasted with those for exhibit, and gave the Museum of Natural History a strong zoological bent. The second man, Charles Christopher Adams (Illinois Wesleyan '95, Ph.D. Chicago '06, Sc.D. Illinois Wesleyan '20), was brought to Michigan in 1903 by Jacob Reighard, Steere's successor as Professor of Zoology, to be Curator in charge of the Museum, because Reighard's own interests were in other fields. Adams was one of America's pioneer students of ecology and faunal relationships, and it was due to his interest that attention was turned to a detailed study of the Michigan fauna and an analysis of its ecological and geographic history and relationships. He instituted a series of faunistic and ecological surveys of the state and stressed the fact that abundant specimens and detailed field data are essential for the development of scientific natural history. The third man was Alexander Grant Ruthven (Morningside '03, Ph.D. Michigan '06, LL.D. California '38, D.H.C. Catholic University of Chile '44), Adams' student and chief lieutenant in the zoological explorations of the state and in 1906 his successor as Curator of the University Museum. Ruthven's own researches related the data and problems of geographic distribution with those of ecological adaptation. He conceived of both as playing a part in racial differentiation and speciation. To him museum collections and data were one of the essential tools for deciphering the course and much of the mechanism of evolution, and a sine qua non for the construction of a systematics that could aspire to an accurate presentation of taxonomical relationships. Ruthven's twenty-three years of leadership — until 1929, when he resigned to accept the presidency of the University — were devoted to developing the Museum for this purpose and gave it its peculiar status as a university museum for research and teaching.
In 1909 the geological material was transferred to the Department of Geology, leaving only the zoological and anthropological collections in the custody of the University Museum. The anthropological specimens, although accumulating and cared for, were inactive, held in trust for a future museum of anthropology. In 1913 the Regents, in view of the restricted scope of the collections and the active interest in zoological research, formally recognized the Museum of Zoology as a separate administrative Page 1504unit, with Ruthven as Director. In reviewing this action in his Report for 1912-13, Ruthven stated:
This distinctly separates the museum from all other departments in the university, placing it upon the same footing as the General Library, and definitely fixes the responsibility for its development upon the person directly in charge.
The museum is now in position to pursue energetically the policy that has been adopted in recent years. Briefly, this policy requires that primary attention be given to the preservation of materials for the study of the Michigan fauna, that limited explorations be made outside of the state for the purpose of acquiring material for illustration and comparison, that schools and working naturalists in the state receive such assistance as can be rendered them, and that as much research work as possible be done on local problems and in the general fields in which the members of the staff have specialized.
The staff of the newly recognized Museum of Zoology consisted of Alexander G. Ruthven, Director, Norman A. Wood, Curator of Birds, Bryant Walker, Honorary Curator of Mollusca, William W. Newcomb, Honorary Curator of Lepidoptera, Arthur S. Pearse, Honorary Curator of Crustacea, Etta Van Horn, Administrative Assistant, Crystal Thompson, Scientific Assistant in Charge of Fish and Invertebrates, Helen Thompson, Scientific Assistant in Charge of Amphibians and Reptiles, Bradshaw H. Swales, Associate in Ornithology, Arthur W. Andrews, Associate in Entomology, and Charles K. Dodge, Associate in Botany. Wood, who was to become the dean of Michigan ornithology, began his association with the Museum in 1895 as a taxidermist, employed to mount the birds of the Steere Collection, but his innate abilities and rapid development as an ornithologist and field naturalist made his appointment as Curator of Birds a particularly happy one.
Helen Thompson, later Helen T. (Mrs. Frederick M.) Gaige, and Crystal Thompson had been associated with the Museum since 1911 as students of natural history and had won a place on the staff by their enthusiasm and competence. Walker, Newcomb, Pearse, Swales, Andrews, and Dodge held honorary appointments that recognized their deep interest in natural history and their enthusiastic response to the opportunity to share in a program of field and museum studies. Of these only Pearse was a professional zoologist, then at the beginning of an academic career that was to lead to professorships at Wisconsin and Duke and recognition in the development of ecology in America. Bryant Walker was a Detroit attorney who had already won as high a place in his avocation of malacology as in his profession as a corporation lawyer. Newcomb was a physician, living first in Detroit and then in Ann Arbor, with an enduring interest in the Lepidoptera; Swales, a Detroit and later a Washington, D. C., attorney, found time to carry on studies on the natural history of birds, and Andrews, a master cabinet-maker, became a serious student of the Coleoptera and for many years contributed greatly to a knowledge of the insect fauna of Michigan. Dodge, a customs collector at Port Huron, had made himself an authority on the botany of Michigan and had developed an extraordinary knowledge of plants in the field. He continued to add to knowledge of the Michigan flora until his death in 1918. This group of professionally competent amateurs who participated in the councils of the Museum took part in its program of studies and established a strong tradition of the peculiar worth of gifted and devoted amateurs in the maintenance of an esprit de corps and as associates in museum research.
Walker and Newcomb had been generous Page 1505in support of the earlier biological explorations carried on by Adams and Ruthven. The expeditions to Isle Royale and the Porcupine Mountains in 1904 and 1905 and the field work in 1907 in Iowa by Ruthven and Max Peet, in Dickinson County in 1909 and in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1910 by Ruthven and H. B. Baker were made possible by their financial support. These expeditions by Adams and Ruthven, the 1908 state-supported field work in Huron County, and the Mershon expeditions to the Charity Islands in Lake Huron in 1910-11 had an essential part in the emergence of the Museum of Zoology.
Its reorganization as a separate department was a stimulus to increased activity. Thanks very largely to the continued generous support of Walker, Newcomb, and Swales, field work in Michigan and in regions outside the state was carried out on an extensive scale. Expeditions were sent to the Maggie Basin in Nevada in 1912, to southern Illinois and to the Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia in 1913, to British Guiana and the Davis Mountains of Texas in 1914, to Schoolcraft County in Michigan in 1915, to the Davis Mountains again and to the Appalachians of North Carolina in 1916. George Shiras, of Marquette, provided for museum field work at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in Chippewa County in 1912, 1913, and 1916, in Alger County in 1916, and, with Bryant Walker, supported field parties in Berrien County in 1917.
In 1913, through the support of Walker, Swales, and Newcomb, the Occasional Papers, the Museum's first scientific series, was begun. In the same year Frederick Mahon Gaige ('14) was added to the staff as Scientific Assistant in Charge of Insects, and in 1914 George R. LaRue of the Department of Zoology was made Honorary Curator of Parasitic Worms. In 1916, with the support of Walker, Swales, and Newcomb, the second scientific series of the Museum, the Miscellaneous Publications, was established. This year is also memorable for the appointment of Edward Bruce Williamson (Ohio State '95) as Honorary Curator of Odonata. Williamson, a banker and horticulturist of Bluffton, Indiana, was a student of the dragonflies. Like Bryant Walker he was an amateur who had achieved an international reputation as an authority in his field, and, like Walker, he contributed greatly to the Museum's growing scientific reputation.
In 1916-17 much progress was made toward the present organization of the Museum into divisions: a Division of Birds and Mammals with Wood as Curator and Swales as Honorary Associate Curator in Ornithology; a Division of Reptiles and Amphibians with Ruthven as Curator and Crystal Thompson and Helen T. Gaige as scientific assistants; a Division of Insects with Frederick M. Gaige as Curator, Newcomb as Honorary Curator of Lepidoptera, Williamson as Honorary Curator of Odonata, and Andrews as Honorary Associate Curator in Entomology; a Division of Mollusks with Mina Winslow as Scientific Assistant in charge and Bryant Walker as Honorary Curator; a Division of Crustaceans with Pearse as Honorary Curator; a Division of Parasitic Worms with LaRue as Honorary Curator; and a Division of Botany with Dodge as Honorary Associate Curator. Such provision as could be made for a collection of fishes was for the time assumed by the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians.
The next year Mrs. Gaige was made Assistant to the Director, and three new honorary associate curators were appointed: Cecil Billington, of Detroit, in botany, Calvin Goodrich, of Toledo, in mollusks, and James Speed Rogers, of Page 1506Guilford College, North Carolina, for the order Diptera. In 1919 Miss Winslow was made Curator of Mollusks, Mrs. Gaige became Assistant Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians as well as Assistant to the Director, and Lee R. Dice was brought in as Curator of Mammals. The earlier Division of Birds and Mammals was split into separate divisions of Birds and of Mammals, with Wood and Swales now responsible for the bird collection. In 1920 a Division of Fishes was created. Carl L. Hubbs, following Walter N. Koelz, took over the then modest collection of fishes that had been cared for by the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians — a collection accumulated chiefly through the work of Professor T. L. Hankinson, Professor Jacob Reighard, and Walter N. Koelz.
In 1921 the Section of Botany was transferred to the newly formed University Herbarium. This left the Museum with six major divisions — Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fishes, Insects, and Mollusks, each with a full-time curator — and with two minor divisions that were essentially repositories for incidental collections of Crustacea and parasitic worms.
The growth of the collections, which had been continuous since the inauguration of the early surveys by Adams in 1903, began to accelerate markedly with reorganization of the Museum of Zoology in 1913. The intensive investigation of Michigan's fauna had continued with more emphasis on ecological relationships and correlation with the detailed physical and historical geography of the state. Each of the divisions was also studying the distribution and ecological relationships of particular groups or faunas and sending field parties on expeditions into South America, Central America, Mexico, the mountain and desert regions of the western United States, such peculiarly isolated faunal areas as the Davis Mountains of Texas and the Olympics of Washington, and present and former river drainage systems of North America. Much work was also done by staff members in collaboration with special biological surveys of other states, and all of this added to the growth of the collections and to their increasing adequacy for research and teaching.
By 1920 the old Museum Building was outgrown and an overflow into other quarters began. Several rooms in the Natural Science Building were made available for the Division of Fishes, but these were soon inadequate, and "annexes" helped to meet the increasing need for space — part of the third floor of the Old Medical Building and a succession of frame houses acquired by the University in plans for campus expansion.
In 1925 the legislature appropriated funds for a University Museums Building. This was not ready for occupancy until 1928, but the congestion in the old Museum Building and its annexes was made more endurable in the knowledge that adequate quarters were in prospect.
Both Adams and Ruthven thought of collections as essential tools for the investigation of an important group of broadly related problems: the bearing of geography and geological history on present and past distribution of animal species and faunas; the interaction in nature between animal populations and the kind and availability of habitats suitable for their needs. This was an aspect of natural history of common importance to many fields of theoretical and applied biology, but badly limited by the dearth of truly extensive and sufficiently documented collections of actual specimens. Because of the multiplicity of animal forms and their intricate patterns of distribution and interrelationship, the amassing of adequate collections can at best be only a gradual process, and, because of its Page 1507complexity, can proceed only by alternating the study of collections at hand with fresh excursions afield to fill discovered gaps in collections and data.
This concept loomed large in maintaining the support that had come from Walker, Williamson, and other honorary curators and had long been one of Ruthven's basic teachings. His essays on "Geography in Museums of Zoology," "Systematic Zoology in Museums," "The Relation of the Museum to the High Schools and Grade Schools of the State," and "Some Considerations Pertinent to the Development of a Museum Policy," in his Report of the Director of the Museum of Zoology for the years 1920-26, attest this broadly conceived idea of the role of a University museum.
The years 1925-28 were especially busy ones. In addition to the nearly normal programs of expeditions, research, and curatorial work, the translating of long-developed ideas of specimen ranges, live rooms, aquaria, divisional libraries, and laboratory-offices into working plans, and the designing of the special equipment and of the uniquely accessible shelving for the huge reptile and amphibian and fish collections were completed, and 1928 brought the huge task of installing the collections in their new quarters.
The new building, which included space for the University Herbarium, the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Paleontology, and a Section of Exhibits, as well as for the Museum of Zoology, was a notable example of pleasing highly functional museum planning and construction. The needs of the growing Museum of Zoology for the ensuing twenty-five years were, on the whole, admirably anticipated, and only within the past few years has the Museum again begun to feel the limitations of increasingly crowded quarters.
The fiscal year 1927-28 was marked by a number of important changes in staff. Ruthven was appointed to the newly created post of Director of University Museums, Gaige was made Assistant Director of the Museum of Zoology and Mrs. Gaige Assistant to the Director of University Museums. All of these appointments were in addition to those previously held. New personnel included Josselyn Van Tyne, Assistant Curator, Bird Division, Grace Eager, Museum Artist, William G. Fargo, of Jackson, Honorary Curator of Birds, and William P. Harris, of Grosse Pointe, Honorary Associate Curator of Mammals. The year also brought the loss by death of Bradshaw H. Swales, Honorary Associate Curator of Birds since 1912.
The next year was Ruthven's last as Director of the Museum of Zoology. His appointment to the directorship of the University Museums had been a part of the long-planned organization of natural history museums in the University, and had been conceived as an extension of his extraordinarily fruitful development and administration of the Museum of Zoology; but in the same month (June, 1928) in which the new Museum was formally dedicated the Regents asked him to act as Dean of Administration for the University. In June, 1929, following the resignation of President Little, the Regents requested that he "divest himself so far as possible, for the present, of his responsibilities centering about the Museum and the Department of Zoology" and that he "allow his resignation as Dean of Administration, which he had desired to have the Board consider, to lie upon the table" (R.P., 1926-29, p. 1017). Then, in October of 1929, he was asked to accept the presidency of the University.
Ruthven hoped to keep his close association with the Museum, and he retained his positions, Director of University Museums and Curator of Reptiles Page 1508in the Museum of Zoology, as long as there was any hope that the duties of the presidency could be lightened sufficiently to allow a part-time return to herpetological research and museum policies. Instead, he was soon faced with the problems of University administration in a great depression and then in World War II.
The problem of filling the directorship of the Museum of Zoology was chiefly one of persuading Gaige to accept administrative duties at the expense of his research and concern with the Insect Division. He had been associated with the Museum since 1908, and had been a member of many of its expeditions. He had been Curator of Insects since 1916 and had not only assisted Ruthven in the development of the Museum, but his extraordinarily broad knowledge of natural history, its literature and workers, and his unselfish loyalty to the Museum made his appointment in November, 1929, a happy one.
Gaige's first Report of the Director of the Museum of Zoology for the year ending June, 1929, issued early in 1930, lists the following staff:
- Museum Faculty
- Alexander G. Ruthven, Director of University Museums
- Frederick M. Gaige, Director of Museum of Zoology
- Helen T. Gaige, Assistant to Director of University Museums
- Geneva Smithe, Secretary of University Museums
- Crystal Thompson, Curator of Department of Visual Education
- Kimber C. Kuster, Librarian
- Morley W. Williams, Superintendent of Building
- Scientific Staff
- Division of Mammals
- Lee R. Dice, Curator
- William P. Harris, Jr., Associate Curator
- Adolph Murie, Assistant Curator
- Ruth D. Svihla, Assistant
- Division of Birds
- Norman A. Wood, Curator
- Josselyn Van Tyne, Assistant Curator
- William G. Fargo, Honorary Curator
- Walter E. Hastings, Custodian of Birds' Eggs
- Division of Reptiles and Amphibians
- Alexander G. Ruthven, Curator of Reptiles
- Helen Thompson Gaige, Curator of Amphibians
- Howard A. Kelly, Honorary Curator
- Norman E. Hartweg, Assistant
- Division of Fishes
- Carl L. Hubbs, Curator
- Walter Koelz, Assistant Curator
- Laura C. Hubbs, Cataloguer
- Division of Insects
- Frederick M. Gaige, Curator
- E. B. Williamson, Research Associate
- Samuel A. Graham, Research Associate
- William W. Newcomb, Honorary Curator of Lepidoptera
- Sherman Moore, Associate Curator of Lepidoptera
- James Speed Rogers, Associate Curator of Diptera
- Arthur W. Andrews, Associate Curator of Coleoptera
- Ada Olson, Assistant
- Division of Mollusks
- Mina L. Winslow, Curator
- Calvin Goodrich, Assistant Curator
- Bryant Walker, Honorary Curator
- Ruth Morris, Assistant
- Division of Crustaceans
- Edwin P. Creaser, Assistant in Charge
- Division of Annelids
- Frank Smith, Honorary Curator
- Division of Parasitic Worms
- George R. LaRue, Research Associate
- Division of Protozoans
- Dora S. Lemon, Custodian
- Division of Extension
- Crystal Thompson, Curator
- Technical Staff
- Carleton W. Angell, Sculptor, University Museums
- Grace Eager, Artist
- James Wood, Preparator
- A. Russell Powell, in charge of shop
- Elsa Hertz, Telephone and Information Clerk
Of the eleven divisions listed in the report, the first six — Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fishes, Insects, and Mollusks — were strongly entrenched with extensive and rapidly growing research collections, full-time staffs, and expanding research and teaching programs. With the exception of the Fish Division their origins had antedated the organization of the Museum into divisions.
The divisions of Crustaceans, Annelids, Parasitic Worms, and Protozoans were set up as tentative trials of the feasibility of establishing such collections without continued curatorial care, solely with the interested collaboration of honorary curators. The Division of Crustaceans owed its origin to Professor A. S. Pearse of the Zoology Department, an interest and collaboration that continued for several years after Pearse left Michigan. In 1929 the division was reactivated with the appointment of Edwin P. Creaser, a graduate student of crayfishes, as Assistant in Charge. He was promoted to Curator in 1933 and resigned in the same year. No further curatorial appointments were made. During and following Creaser's curatorial activity the crustacean collection grew considerably. It remained inactive, however, and in 1950 the Museum obtained permission of the Regents to present it to the National Museum, where it is assured of continued accessibility to workers in this group.
The divisions of Annelids, Parasitic Worms, and Protozoa had an even briefer existence than that of Crustaceans, and none survived the interest and collaboration of their honorary curators or custodians. The collection of parasitic worms built up by Professor George R. LaRue and his students, of the Department of Zoology, was transferred to the Bureau of Parasitology, Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Maryland. This was done at LaRue's request when, in 1949, he retired and moved to Beltsville to continue his studies in helminthology.
The Division of Extension was later combined with the Department of Visual Education and transferred to the University Museums. Both extension and visual education were under the direction of Crystal Thompson and formed the basis for the present Section of Exhibits of the University Museums.
The year 1930 was notable for the gift of the Edwin S. George Reserve to the University. The Reserve, a tract of approximately two square miles of rolling knob-and-basin topography with extensive areas of woods, old fields, marshes, and swamps, providing a wide range of animal and plant habitats of southern Michigan, was accepted as a native wildlife preserve to be administered by the Museum of Zoology. It has proved a magnificent laboratory in natural history not only for the study of an abundant natural biota but as an area where field studies may be carried on safe from the interference of fires, tillage, trespass, or change of ownership.
Gaige's directorship extended from 1929 until August, 1945, through the difficult depression years of the 1930's and World War II. Although he never lost his distaste for the routine forms and minutiae of administration he carried on as Director through the academic disruption of the war years, but a few weeks Page 1510after the final surrender of Japan he resigned both the directorship and the curatorship of the Insect Division. Mrs. Gaige resigned as Curator of Amphibians on the same date, and the double loss was severely felt by the entire Museum. Gaige's outstanding contributions as Director had been his loyal support of his staff and the example of his extraordinarily broad knowledge of natural history. The friendship and moral and material support that he and Mrs. Gaige gave to so many beginning and often uncertain younger naturalists became a tradition to a whole generation of museum students. William H. Burt, Curator of Mammals and chairman of the Museum's Executive Committee, served as administrative head from the time of Gaige's resignation until 1947, when James Speed Rogers, ('15, Ph.D. '31), Honorary Associate Curator of Diptera since 1918, a former student of both Ruthven and Gaige, and Professor of Biology at the University of Florida since 1922, was appointed Director.
The account of the Museum since 1929 can best be related in a brief review of the divisions.
Mammals. — The establishment of a separate division for mammals dates from 1919, when Dr. Lee Raymond Dice (Stanford '11, Ph.D. California '15) was appointed Mammalogist and took over the mammal collection that until then had been the responsibility of the Curator of Birds. The first objectives set by Dice were the rounding out of the modest and rather random collection and intensive field work on the mammals of Michigan. This was soon supplemented by field work in other areas pertinent to the needs of the collection and to the interests of the curator, and special attention was given to the hares, rabbits, and coneys.
In 1927 the enthusiastic co-operation of William P. Harris, of Grosse Pointe, was recognized by his appointment as Honorary Associate Curator, a relationship that continued to be a most happy one for the Museum. His studies on the North American squirrels and the generous sponsorship he has given through the Harris Fellowship in Mammalogy, the purchase of specimens, and the support of expeditions have greatly aided the division. In 1931 Philip M. Blossom was appointed Honorary Associate Curator. He contributed materially to the stature of the Museum, particularly in his work in the Southwest on desert mammals.
Dice became particularly interested in the bearing of genetics and ecological factors on the evolutionary relationships of wild mammal populations and increasingly preoccupied with his own important researches in these fields. Breeding stocks of wild rodents were established to test the inheritance of characters used in systematics, and a long series of breeding experiments was planned and carried out on crosses between taxonomically distinct races and species. This work was greatly furthered by the gift of the breeding stocks studied by Sumner at the University of California at La Jolla, and by close co-operation with the Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics.
In 1929 Adolph Murie (Concordia '25, Ph.D. Michigan '29), who had taken his doctorate in mammalogy under Dice, was appointed Assistant Curator and took over much of the responsibility for the general mammal collection. He was succeeded by Seth B. Benson in 1934-35, and Benson by William Henry Burt (Kansas '26, Ph.D. California '30) in 1935.
In 1934 Dice was also made Director of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics, and in 1938 he resigned as Curator of Mammals to direct the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics. Burt was made Page 1511Curator of Mammals, and Dice became Honorary Associate Curator, a position he continued to hold until 1946.
In 1938 Emmet Thurman Hooper (California '33, Ph.D. '39) was appointed Assistant Curator of Mammals, becoming Associate Curator in 1946. Under Burt and Hooper the division has continued to expand and to maintain an active program. Burt's own researches and those of his students have been chiefly in the ecology of wild populations, especially the behaviors associated with home ranges and other manifestations of territoriality. Hooper's studies have centered chiefly about the derivation and relationships of the mammal fauna of Mexico, particularly the geographic factors in speciation and evolution.
Much of Burt's and Hooper's concern has been to add to the knowledge and appreciation of Michigan's mammal fauna and resources, a project that has been popularly summarized in Burt's The Mammals of Michigan.
Birds. — The bird collection had been the special concern of Norman A. Wood in the days of the old Museum when Wood was employed as a taxidermist for the birds of the Steere Collection. Adams recognized Wood's ability and intimate knowledge of birds and gave him the responsibility for ornithology in the expeditions to the Porcupine Mountains and Isle Royale. Under Ruthven, Wood carried on studies of migration at Point Pelee, Ontario, and continued to be responsible for both ornithological field work and the care of the bird collection, a status that was officially recognized by his appointment as Curator in 1911.
The division was also fortunate in the support it continued to receive from honorary curators and other collaborators. Bradshaw H. Swales was Honorary Curator from 1912 until his death in 1928, Walter E. Hastings, Custodian of Birds' Eggs from 1921-32, and William G. Fargo, Honorary Curator from 1927 to 1943. Fargo, a civil engineer, has since 1926 given much support to the division by his own field work, the purchase of extensive collections, and generous financial aid for expeditions. Other longtime collaborators and generous sponsors were Dr. Max M. Peet of the University's surgical staff, an enthusiastic student and collector of birds since his early student days, A. D. Tinker, of Ann Arbor, and the Michigan Department of Conservation.
Josselyn Van Tyne (Harvard '25, Ph.D. Michigan '28) was appointed Assistant Curator in 1928 and Curator in 1931; in 1933 Wood, after some forty years of continuous studies, chiefly on the birds of Michigan, was made Curator Emeritus. William Pierce Brodkorb (Illinois '33, Ph.D. Michigan '36) was appointed Assistant Curator in 1936, a position he held until 1946. He was succeeded by Joseph James Hickey (New York Univ. '30, Ph.D. Michigan '49). After Hickey's resignation George Miksch Sutton (Bethany College, '23, Ph.D. Cornell '32) was appointed Curator, half time, reserving the remainder of his time for his bird paintings and illustrations. In 1949 Sutton resigned the curatorship to devote himself to his illustrations and research but remained as Research Consultant until he resigned in 1952 to accept a professorship at the University of Oklahoma. In 1949 Robert W. Storer (Princeton '36, Ph.D. California '49) was appointed Assistant Curator.
The collections of the Bird Division have been guided largely by three chief objectives: the development and maintenance of an exhaustive and precisely documented representation of Michigan and North American birds, an adequate synoptic collection of the families and genera of the birds of the world, and the Page 1512establishment of strong research collections in those groups of especial interest to the staff. Much attention is also given to assembling adequate skeletal and other anatomical series needed for the critical revision of familial and intergeneric relationships.
Even so brief a review of the Bird Division would be remiss if it failed to stress the indefatigable work of Van Tyne in building up the increasingly adequate research collection and the outstanding ornithological library that so greatly facilitates the work of the division. An exceptional series of gifts has contributed greatly to the growth of the division. Among the more notable gifts have been the Walter Koelz collection of 3,350 specimens, one of the many important gifts of William Fargo; the huge collection of Dr. Max M. Peet, extraordinarily rich in many rare species and series, the gift of Mrs. Max M. Peet; the Shufeldt collection of Mexican birds; and the extensive collections made in Costa Rica by Paul Slud.
Reptiles and Amphibians. — The cold-blooded vertebrates had received scant attention in the Museum prior to the Isle Royale expeditions of 1904 and 1905, when Ruthven began an intensive study of Michigan herpetology. By 1910 he had the enthusiastic collaboration of Helen Thompson (later Mrs. F. M. Gaige) and Crystal Thompson. They had accumulated sufficient collections and data by 1912 to publish the first Herpetology of Michigan, in which forty-four species of reptiles and eighteen of amphibians were recorded from the state.
Although the concern with Michigan fauna continued to be a primary interest of the division, explorations were carried much farther afield. The Maggie Basin of Nevada was visited in 1912, and in 1913 the expedition to the Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia initiated the series of trips to northern South America, Central America, and Mexico that were to give the Museum notable collections of a rich neotropical fauna on which Ruthven, Mrs. Gaige, and their students were to base a long series of important papers.
By 1917, when the organization of the Museum into divisions was begun, the reptile and amphibian collections were already extensive and important, and the Museum had acquired a reputation as a strong center of herpetological research. In 1918 Mrs. Gaige was made Assistant Curator, and in the same year Frank N. Blanchard began a doctoral problem under Ruthven on the kingsnakes of the genus Lampropeltis. This was the beginning of a program of graduate teaching and research in which a large proportion of the American workers in herpetology of the present generation were trained.
The excellence and efficiency of this training, and Ruthven's ability to keep in touch with it so long after he had become President of the University, owed much to the long and close co-operation between Ruthven and Mrs. Gaige. In 1927 Ruthven became Curator of Reptiles and Mrs. Gaige Curator of Amphibians, an arrangement that recognized Mrs. Gaige's share in the work and research of the division. Within a little more than a year, however, it was necessary for Mrs. Gaige to assume curatorial care of the entire division and to take increasing responsibility for much of the direction of graduate instruction.
Norman Hartweg ('30, Ph.D. '34) was added to the staff as Assistant Curator in 1934 and became Associate Curator in 1942. In 1945, after Mrs. Gaige's resignation, Hartweg was given charge of the division and was made Curator in 1946. In 1947 Charles Frederic Walker (Ohio State '30, Ph.D. Michigan '35), formerly associate professor at Ohio State University, became Associate Curator.
Both Hartweg and Walker obtained Page 1513their doctorates under Ruthven and Mrs. Gaige, and they have continued the old traditions as far as has been practicable with an expanding teaching program and an ever-growing collection. Hartweg's primary research interests have been largely with turtles, Walker's with the amphibians, but their students' researches have included almost the entire taxonomic range of herpetology.
Fishes. — The small fish collection accumulated over the years was augmented in 1919 by the gift from the U. S. Fish Commission of some 3,000 specimens from the Great Lakes region, consisting largely of whitefishes collected by Walter Norman Koelz (Olivet '15, Ph.D. Michigan '20) in furtherance of his monographic study of that group. Koelz was appointed Curator of Fishes by the Regents in December, 1919, but left the following March to take a position with the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries. Carl Leavitt Hubbs (Stanford '16, Ph.D. Michigan '27), a student of Charles Henry Gilbert and protégé of David Starr Jordan at Stanford, assumed the curatorship in July, 1920, and the present Division of Fishes, with its unrivaled collection of North American freshwater fishes and excellent synoptic representation of other faunas, is largely a monument to his untiring energy, enthusiasm, and ability.
There was no room for another collection in the overcrowded old Museum Building. Instead, temporary and often makeshift quarters were found. Two rooms provided in the new Natural Science Building in 1919 were outgrown by 1921, and the collections were moved to the Museum Annex, a frame house on East University Avenue, then into rooms in the old Medical Building, and once more into the Natural Science Building. In spite of handicaps the collections grew rapidly. The first concern was to build up the Michigan collection, and the first two years were devoted to this objective.
Of the more than 50,000 specimens accessioned for 1922-23, some 18,000 were taken by Hubbs in California, a large collection was obtained in North Dakota by T. L. Hankinson, Professor at the Michigan State Normal College and a long-time collaborator, and approximately 20,000 specimens from Michigan or the Great Lakes were received through the co-operation of the United States Bureau of Fisheries and by the field work of Hubbs and his students. Hubbs had remarkable success in obtaining active co-operation from other individuals and institutions, in large part because of the essential aid he provided in making taxonomic determinations and the sound practical suggestions which he was able and willing to give to workers on fishery problems and surveys. As a consequence the division became a repository for many of the collections made by state surveys, the Great Lakes section of the United States Bureau of Fisheries, and many independent workers. The co-operation with the Michigan Department of Conservation and the Great Lakes Division of the Bureau of Fisheries has continued to be especially close and important.
In 1925 Jan Metzelaar (Sc.D. Amsterdam '19), fishery expert for the Michigan Department of Conservation, was made Honorary Custodian of Michigan Fishes, in recognition of his work with the Fish Division since 1923. This continued until his untimely death, by drowning, in 1929 while engaged in fishery investigations. In 1927 Mrs Laura C. Hubbs received appointment as Cataloguer of Fishes, in view of her work as a volunteer, and in 1929 Walter Koelz returned as Assistant Curator of Fishes.
Hubbs organized the Institute for Fisheries Research in 1930 under the sponsorship and with the support of the Michigan Department of Conservation and was its director until 1935, as well as Curator of the Fish Division.
Page 1514Koelz resigned as Assistant Curator to accept the post of Ichthyologist in the Institute, and Carroll Willard Greene ('25, Ph.D. '34) was made Assistant Curator.
Hubbs's broad interest in the evolution and systematics of fish had brought him in contact with the problem of hybridization in nature, a question of great theoretical importance in systematics and evolution and one that is particularly pertinent and pressing in ichthyology. In 1927 he began a series of breeding experiments to test the possibilities, limits, and results of crossing taxonomically distinct forms, experiments that were soon expanded to the capacity of the aquarium room in the new building. The long series of aquarium investigations, in which Mrs. Hubbs and his graduate students were important collaborators, was supplemented by extensive and detailed analyses of hybridization in nature, based upon studies of many extensive series and of ecological and geographic factors. These investigations, continued until 1944, resulted in a number of publications of marked importance in general systematics and evolutionary theory as well as in fish taxonomy.
The studies on hybridization did not lessen the other activities of the division. The collections continued to expand with attention both to taxonomic representation and to the correlation of distribution with present and former drainage systems. Staff and student publications on this accumulating material appeared as reports on regional faunas and on ecological and geographic distribution, as descriptions of new forms and groups, and as taxonomic revisions of genera and families.
In 1930 Greene resigned as Assistant Curator and was replaced by John Greeley (Cornell '25, Ph.D. ibid. '30), until 1934, when he became ichthyologist for the New York Department of Conservation. He was replaced by Miltion Bernhard Trautman, who resigned in 1939 to accept a post with the Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. The position of Assistant Curator was not continued after Trautman's resignation; instead, provision was increased for graduate assistantships. Hubbs resigned in 1944 and accepted a professorship of biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at La Jolla, California, having served twenty-four years as Curator of Fishes. In that time the collections had grown from 5,000 to almost 2,100,000 specimens, the Museum had become the outstanding center for the systematics of North American fishes, and more than forty graduate students had received training in ichthyology or fishery biology.
Reeve Maclaren Bailey ('33, Ph.D. '38), who had been assistant professor at Iowa State College and head of the Iowa Fisheries Research Unit, was appointed Associate Curator to replace Hubbs in 1944, and William Alonzo Gosline III (Harvard '38, Ph.D. Stanford '41) was added to the staff as Assistant Curator in 1945. Bailey was promoted to Curator in 1948, and, also in 1948, when Gosline resigned to accept a professorship in zoology at the University of Hawaii, Robert Rush Miller (California, '38, Ph.D. Michigan '44), formerly associate curator at the National Museum, was appointed Associate Curator.
Both Bailey and Miller were trained in the Hubbs tradition, having completed their doctorates under his direction. They have continued the program of staff and student research based upon the rich store of material and have carried on extensive field explorations to fill gaps in geographic, ecological, and taxonomic coverage.
Insects. — The organization of this collection dates from 1913, when Frederick M. Gaige became the Assistant in Page 1515Charge of Insects. Two honorary appointments had already been made in entomology: Dr. William W. Newcomb, Honorary Curator of Lepidoptera in 1909, and Arthur W. Andrews, Associate in Entomology in 1912. Both Newcomb and Andrews were enthusiastic students of Michigan insects and were eager to help build up the Museum's collections as soon as the specimens could be assured of proper care. Aside from a small series of Michigan moths, butterflies, and beetles contributed by Newcomb, Andrews, and other members of the Detroit Natural History Club, there were a few incidental collections of insects made by earlier Museum field parties, some remnants of the old Beal-Steere collections of the 1870's, an extensive collection of Philippine insects presented to the Museum by Professor E. M. Ledyard of the University of the Philippines, and the ants taken by Gaige in the 1912 expeditions to the Charity Islands in Lake Huron and the Maggie Basin in Nevada.
In 1913, however, two immediate objectives were established. One was an adequate representation of the Michigan insect fauna, the other a comprehensive collection of the ants, the group which Gaige had chosen for his own research. As a member of the 1913 and 1914 expeditions to Colombia and British Guiana, respectively, Gaige began the Museum's extensive collections of neotropical ants. The Newcomb expedition to the Davis Mountains of Texas in 1914 paid especial attention to securing ants, Lepidoptera, and beetles, and in 1915 the field party sent to Schoolcraft County in the Upper Peninsula included three entomologists in addition to Gaige and Andrews.
In 1916 a Division of Insects was created with Gaige as Curator, and E. B. Williamson was appointed Honorary Curator of Odonata. Williamson was a well-known amateur authority on the Odonata; he had already given much help in the determination of the dragonfly material and shared the Museum's great interest in the neotropical fauna. The general pattern for the development of the division was beginning to take a definite form. The ants and dragonflies were to be studied on a world-wide basis with especial attention to North America and the neotropical region. For other insects the special concern was to be the Michigan fauna. Both goals were ambitious ones and were necessarily planned as accumulative projects. The most rapid progress on the Michigan fauna was in the butterflies and moths, beetles, and various conspicuous families of other orders, such as the cicadas, bumblebees, robberflies, and horseflies, in which the cordial co-operation of outside specialists such as W. T. Davis, T. H. Frison, and J. S. Hine was available. The accession of specimens was not, of course, limited to the above groups. Insects of nearly all orders were collected and preserved with the proper field data, to be stored unworked for the day when a competent investigator would undertake their study, and several such workers were in time found or trained. In 1918 J. Speed Rogers, who as a member of the Schoolcraft expedition of 1915 had begun the study of the craneflies, was made Honorary Associate Curator of Diptera. T. H. Hubbell, as a student Aid in Entomology, 1919-22, developed an enduring interest in the Orthoptera that was to result eventually in the Museum's outstanding research collection in that group. At about that time, Roland F. Hussey, a student in the Department of Zoology, began work on the Hemiptera and as a member of several field expeditions and by much collecting about Ann Arbor developed a very respectable representation of the Michigan Hemiptera. Melville T. Hatch, another student of entomology in the Department of Page 1516Zoology and a specialist in the Coleoptera, collected intensively about Ann Arbor and in Cheboygan County and gave much aid in the determination and arrangement of the beetle collection.
The rapid growth of the division brought difficulties. Despite the small size of an individual insect the material was beginning to overflow all available space in the old Museum. Fortunately, several of the honorary curators were able to provide quarters for their rapidly growing accessions until the new museum building became available, and for several years perhaps less than half of the annual accessions were actually deposited in the Museum. In 1926 Sherman Moore, an engineer of the United States Lake Survey, was made Honorary Associate Curator of Lepidoptera. He had already given much attention to the collection and to the study of moths and butterflies of the Great Lakes region, and eventually (1952) was to complete the critical determination and arrangement of the extensive collection of Michigan Lepidoptera.
The year 1929-30 brought many important changes, one of them unforeseen and unplanned. Gaige was made Director of the Museum of Zoology while still holding his curatorship, an increasing responsibility that gradually brought an end to his work on ants. E. B. Williamson, who had retired from his profession as a banker, accepted a full-time position as Research Associate in Odonata, and Professor Samuel A. Graham was appointed honorary Research Associate. The years 1928-33 were notable for the tremendous development of the Odonata collections and active research on this group. Williamson's own private collection, perhaps the most extensive in North America, was given to the Museum, and the combined collections were further expanded by an energetic program of field work. Leonora K. Gloyd was made Assistant in Odonata, and in 1932 Justin W. Leonard began his doctoral problem under Williamson's direction on a group of the neotropical dragonflies.
Williamson's death in 1933 was a severe loss to the division. Mrs. Gloyd, who continued to care for the collection until 1938, completed one of Williamson's unfinished papers and carried on a number of studies of her own. Leonard completed his doctoral dissertation in 1937 under Gaige's direction.
In 1935 T. H. Hubbell was made Honorary Associate Curator of Orthoptera in recognition of his already important research and the extensive collection of North American Orthoptera he was establishing in the Museum.
From the mid-thirties until 1946 the division was concerned chiefly with the development of the Michigan collections. Particularly intensive studies were carried on at the Edwin S. George Reserve, with Sherman Moore, Wilbur MacAlpine, W. F. Lawler, G. W. Rawson, W. C. Stinson, and J. H. Newman, working on Lepidoptera, Andrews on Coleoptera, Irving J. Cantrall on the Orthoptera, Rogers on the craneflies, and George Steyskal on the higher Diptera. All of these men except Cantrall and Rogers were members of the Detroit Natural History Club or its successor, the Detroit Entomological Club, and competent amateur specialists in the groups they studied. Irving James Cantrall ('35, Ph.D. '40), a graduate student who was engaged on a doctoral problem on the ecology of the Orthoptera under Hubbell, in 1949 became Curator of the Reserve. The extensive collections of Orthoptera and of craneflies grew rapidly, but were to a large extent either in the laboratories of their nonresident honorary curators or in compact storage in the Insect Division. From the date of Gaige's resignation in 1945 until January Page 15171, 1947, the division was in the charge and under the efficient care of Ada L. Olson, Senior Technical Assistant in Entomology, who maintained cooperation with the honorary curators and other collaborators.
In July, 1946, Professor Theodore Huntington Hubbell ('21, Ph.D. '34), of the Department of Biology of the University of Florida, was appointed Curator of Insects, effective January 1, 1947, and under his direction marked progress has been made in reorganizing the collections, determining a great backlog of unworked material through the aid of specialists, and meeting the problems of expanding collections and limited storage facilities. J. Speed Rogers, in his research and teaching, since 1947 has been a member of the division and has shared with the curator responsibility for active resumption of staff and student research on insects. Although emphasis is on the Orthoptera and craneflies, graduate students are carrying on studies in ants and dragonflies. A system of summer curatorships has been established, whereby recognized specialists can be brought to the University to study and arrange the Museum's collections in insect groups outside the competence of the resident or honorary staff. This makes authoritatively determined specimens available for reference and teaching and leads to the publication of research papers based on the Museum's collections. Dr. F. N. Young of Indiana University has spent two summers on the water beetles, Dr. Roland F. Hussey of the University of Florida two summers on the Hemiptera, and Mrs. Leonora K. Gloyd of the Illinois Natural History Survey a summer on the Odonata. The collection of Odonata again has been greatly augmented. In 1951-52, the Museum acquired the huge collection of dragonflies and the magnificent Odonata library of Dr. Clarence H. Kennedy of Ohio State University. The combined Williamson and Kennedy collections form an unrivaled archive of dragonfly taxonomy and distributional data and, though at present relatively inactive, constitute the chief of the Museum's outstanding research series of insects, the others being the Orthoptera, craneflies, and ants.
Mollusks. — A mollusk collection had existed since the Beal-Steere expedition of the 1870's but, except for a few gifts of small and miscellaneous lots of specimens, was dormant until 1903. Then, with the inauguration of a vigorous program of field work by Adams, a steady influx of material began. The renascent Museum soon attracted a series of gifts, notably from and through Bryant Walker of Detroit, an amateur student of mollusks who had gained an international reputation as an authority on the North American land and fresh-water fauna.
In 1909 Walker was made Honorary Curator of Mollusca and in 1912 was given an honorary degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution to a knowledge of the classification and distribution of North American mollusks. Mina Winslow (Smith '13, M.A. Michigan '16) was added to the staff as Scientific Assistant in 1916, and the formal organization of the collections was begun.
Another skilled amateur student, Calvin Goodrich of Toledo, Ohio, in 1917 was made Honorary Associate Curator. A Division of Mollusks was set up in 1918 with Miss Winslow as Curator, and through the generosity of Mr. Goodrich, Miss Doreen Potter was employed as a student assistant in the division. Policies for the development of the division included the amassing of a collection of Michigan mollusks with attention to local and ecological distribution, the development of a synoptic representation of the mollusk fauna of Page 1518the world, and the accumulation of ample series in the groups selected for intensive study.
Both Walker and Goodrich had an important part in the researches of the division and produced a notable series of important papers on the classification and distribution of North American mollusks. Miss Winslow was largely concerned with the Michigan fauna, and, in addition to much important work on faunal lists and bibliographies, she added materially to a knowledge of the state's fauna and its distribution. She also gave attention to the synoptic collection of the world fauna and by visits to European museums and an expedition to South Africa arranged many important exchanges and made extensive additions to the collection.
Miss Winslow resigned in 1929, and Goodrich, who had recently retired from newspaper work, was made Curator; Henry van der Schalie, then a graduate student in malacology, was appointed Assistant. That year also brought an end to Walker's long collaboration in the researches of the division and to his even longer career as a malacologist. Goodrich's first report as Curator of Mollusks (in the Report of the Director for 1929-1930) ends with the following paragraph:
Because of illness, Dr. Bryant Walker — for the only twelve months in forty-one years — has been unable to add to his writings upon mollusca. Dr. Walker's first paper, written in collaboration with Mr. C. E. Beecher, appeared in the Proceedings of the Ann Arbor Scientific Association for 1875-76, and in 1879 he published the first of his several catalogues of Michigan mollusks, but it was not until 1889 that he began upon the scarce interrupted begetting of papers.
Walker never fully regained his health and died in May, 1936. His collections and library were willed to the division: 100,000 lots of shells and 1,500 volumes. This bequest was a major factor in giving the division its outstanding position as a center for research and instruction in malacology.
In 1931 Allan F. Archer began graduate work in mollusks under Goodrich and served as a voluntary assistant in the division until 1936, when he completed his doctorate and was appointed Assistant. He resigned in 1937 to accept a Rackham fellowship. In 1934 Henry van der Schalie (Calvin College '29, Ph.D. Michigan '34) was made Assistant Curator. On Goodrich's retirement in 1944 with the title of Curator Emeritus, van der Schalie was made Curator. His curatorship has been marked by important changes in the division. The program of graduate teaching has been greatly expanded, and a course and a seminar in malacology have been established. He and his students have continued to develop the collection but with several important changes in emphasis. There is concern with life histories and ecology, a revival of interest in the Michigan fauna, and active collaboration with public health agencies in relation to control of snail-borne diseases.
Publications. — The publications of the Museum of Zoology are in two main series — the Occasional Papers and the Miscellaneous Publications — made possible by funds donated by Walker, Swales, and Newcomb. The Occasional Papers, begun in 1913, are based principally on the Museum collections. The papers are issued to libraries and specialists. More than 570 have appeared. The Miscellaneous Publications are monographic studies and other contributions not within the scope of the Occasional Papers. More than ninety have been published. Other Museum publications are in the Michigan Handbook Series.
Adams, Charles C.Report of the Curator of the University Museum … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1903-6.
Ark, The. Ann Arbor: Museum of Zoology, 1922-32.
Gaige, Frederick M.Report of the Director of the Museum of Zoology … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1929-34.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1921-54.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1865-1954.
Rogers, J. Speed. Report of the Director of the Museum of Zoology … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1947-54.
Ruthven, Alexander G.A Naturalist in a University Museum. Ann Arbor: Privately Printed, 1931.
Ruthven, Alexander G.Report of the Director of the Museum of Zoology. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1913-29.
Ruthven, Alexander G.Report of the Head Curator of the University Museum … Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1907-12. (Title varies.)
The University Museums Building of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1929.