Edward Bruce Williamson papers: 1891-1950 (Majority of material found within 1899-1933)
Summary Information
Title: Edward Bruce Williamson papers
Creator: Williamson, Edward Bruce, 1878-1933
Dates: 1891-1950 (Majority of material found within 1899-1933)
Extent: 7 linear feet
Abstract:
Edward Bruce Williamson was a noted entomologist and botanist in the early part of the 20th century. He spent most of his career as an amateur, but active and well-respected, scholar of odonata (dragon and damselflies) and served as the curator of odonata for the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology from 1916 to his retirement in 1933. He also owned and maintained the Longfield Iris Farm in Bluffton, Indiana where he propagated award-winning irises. The collection includes correspondence, drawing, field notes and reports from his collecting trips, and photographs.
Call number: 0799 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Carrie Hintz, July 2007

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Material was donated to the library in April of 2007 by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (donor no. 837).

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Edward Bruce Williamson papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Edward Bruce Williamson was born into a banking family in Bluffton, Indiana. Williamson joined the family business as a clerk, and took over as president of the Wells County Bank in 1918. Though he retained banking as his profession, his true interest was not finance, but biology. He had a profound interest in entomology, and in particular odonata, the order of insects encompassing dragon and damselflies. He went on frequent odonata collecting trips, often accompanied by his cousin and fellow dragonfly enthusiast, Jess Williamson. These trips took him as far Venezuela and Trinidad, though much of his research focused on the dragonflies of Indiana and the American Midwest.

Though Williamson was never a professional scholar, he was considered one of the foremost odonata experts in the world by his colleagues. He was particularly interested in taxonomic entomology and identified a number of new dragonfly species throughout his career. He donated many of the specimens he collected to museums around the country, and was regularly asked to identify species collected by other museums, universities, and scholars. His many correspondents include odonata experts as well as representatives of Chicago's Field Museum, the Smithsonian, and the British Museum. He was a member of the Entomological Society of America, as well as the Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio Academies of Science. He was appointed president of the Indiana Academy of Science in 1918, and was the first man to hold that post for two successive years.

In December, 1916, the University of Michigan Board of Regents, at the recommendation of Alexander Ruthven, appointed E.B. Williamson to the post of curator of odonata at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. During his tenure as curator Williamson facilitated the growth and development of an impressive collection of odonata which he made available for research and exhibition. He remained in the post until 1933 when he retired to dedicate his time to his iris farm in Bluffton.

Though the bulk of this collection focuses on Williamson the entomologist he was also a respected botanist and iris breeder. He bred a number of award-winning irises, many of which are still considered premium-breeding stock today. It was this business which supported his family after his bank collapsed at the height of the Great Depression.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Edward Bruce Williamson collection contains material dating from 1891 and spanning the next forty years until his death in 1933. Most of the collection focuses on Williamson's activities as an entomologist, though also it includes some personal correspondence and photographs. The collection is divided into four series, Correspondence, 1891-1935, Drawings, Miscellaneous, Notes and Paper Drafts, and Photographs.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Dragonflies.
  • Expeditions and surverys -- Colombia.
  • Expeditions and surveys -- Venezuela.
  • Expeditions and surveys -- Southern states.
  • Colombia -- Description and travel.
  • Venezuela -- Description and travel.
  • Southern States -- Description and travel.
  • Dragonflies.
  • Drawings.
  • Photographs.
  • Williamson, Edward Bruce, 1878-1933.
  • University of Michigan. Museum of Zoology.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Zoology.
  • University of Michigan. University Museum.
  • Williamson, Edward Bruce, 1878-1933.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence 1891-1935 [series]

The Correspondence series dates from 1891-1935 and comprises the bulk of the collection. The first files in the general correspondence contain various letters from individuals and organizations that were not regular correspondents of Williamson's. The rest, and majority, of the correspondence is organized by correspondent. These files contain letters from the foremost odonata experts working contemporaneously with Williamson, as well as early luminaries in the field of museum studies working at museums as diverse as Chicago's Field Museum, the British Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum. While the majority of this correspondence relates to the identification and classification of dragonfly specimens, the collection also contains letters from Alexander Ruthven and Frederick Gaige relating to the U of M Museum of Zoology, and epistolary exchanges with friends and colleagues that give insight into Williamson's personality beyond his entomological interests.

 
General
Box   1  
A-C 1899-1933
Box   1  
D-F 1902-1932
Box   1  
G-J 1898-1933
Box   1  
K-L 1911-1933
Box   1  
M 1900-1932
Box   1  
N-Q 1900-1932
Box   1  
R 1899-1933
Box   1  
S 1900-1932
Box   1  
T-V 1903-1932
Box   1  
W 1899-1932
Box   1  
Y-Z 1902-1931
Box   1  
Adams, C.C. 1899-1923
Box   1  
Allen, G.M. 1902
Box   1  
Aldrich, J.M. 1916-1933
Box   1  
Alexander, C.P. 1911-1932
Box   1  
Atkinson, D.A. 1899-1932 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Baker, C.T. 1905-1920
Box   1  
Baker, H.B. 1919-1926
Box   1  
Banks, N. 1901-1933
Box   1  
Banta, A.M. 1901-1914
Box   1  
Bartenef, A.N. 1909-1931
Box   1  
Bassett, C.C. 1900-1901
Box   1  
Becker, H.R. 1909-1930
Box   1  
Belmontes,G. 1931-1932
Box   1  
Benjamin, M. 1904-1915
Box   1  
Bennett, L.F. 1917
Box   1  
Bentivoglio, Tito 1908
Box   1  
Billinghurst, F.M. 1905
Box   1  
Bird, R.D. 1929-1933
Box   2  
Blatchley, W.S. 1897-1927
Box   2  
Bonis, F. 1904-1906
Box   2  
Borror, D.J. 1930-1933
Box   2  
Bradley, J.C. 1909-1924
Box   2  
Brauer 1903
Box   2  
Bridwell, L.H. 1930-1932
Box   2  
Brimley, C.S. 1903-1925
Box   2  
Broadway, W.E. 1913-1918
Box   2  
Brown. W.H. 1899-1904
Box   2  
Brunetti, E. 1905
Box   2  
Bueno, J.R. dela Torre 1902-1906
Box   2  
Busch, A. 1910-1913
Box   2  
Butler, A.W. 1907-1923
Box   2  
Byers, C. F. 1925-1932
Box   2  
Calvert, P.P. 1898-1930 (12 folders)
Box   3  
Calvert, P.P. 1931-1933
Box   3  
Calvert, P.P. undated
Box   3  
Campion, H. 1919-1924
Box   3  
Carpenter, G.H. 1901-1904
Box   3  
Clark, H.W. 1900-1917
Box   3  
Cockerell, D.A. 1907-1930
Box   3  
Collins, F. 1907
Box   3  
Combs, A.F. 1915-1931
Box   3  
Cory, C.B. 1912-1920
Box   3  
Coulter, J.M. 1904-1925
Box   3  
Crampton, G.C. 1918
Box   3  
Crampton. H.E. 1911
Box   3  
Currie, R.P. & B.P 1900-1922 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Carriker, M.A. 1916-1927
Box   3  
Davis, J.J. 1919-1932
Box   3  
Davis, W.T. 1913-1933
Box   3  
Deam, C.C. 1898-1931
Box   3  
Dietz, H.T. 1910-1932
Box   3  
Ditzler, W.H. 1921-1932
Box   3  
Donaldson, S. 1906-1907
Box   3  
Dury, C. 1900-1919
Box   3  
Earnshaw, R.A. 1899-1911
Box   3  
Eigenmann, C.H. 1898-1923
Box   3  
Elrod, M.J. 1901-1906
Box   3  
Enders, H.E. 1916-1923
Box   3  
Engel, H. 1901-1902
Box   3  
Evermann, B.W. 1894-1923
Box   3  
Faxon, W. 1897-1899
Box   3  
Field, H.H. 1903-1919
Box   3  
Fisher, M.L. 1913-1917
Box   3  
Foley, A.L. 1923
Box   3  
Forbes, S.A. 1902-1915
Box   3  
Förster, F. 1899-1927
Box   3  
Förster, R. 1906-1930
Box   3  
Foster, E. 1898-1923
Box   3  
Franz, Elli 1932
Box   3  
Fraser, F.C. 1922-1954
Box   3  
Fudakowski, J. 1932
Box   3  
Fuller, E.L. 1900-1901
Box   3  
Fyles, T.W. 1903-1904
Box   3  
Gaige, F. 1916-1927 (3 folders)
Box   4  
Gaige, F. 1928-1932
Box   4  
Garman, P. 1915-1927
Box   4  
Geddes, J.M. 1912-1930
Box   4  
Geijskes, D.C. 1930-1931
Box   4  
Germain, Bro. 1913
Box   4  
Gerhard, W.J. 1919-1930
Box   4  
Gloyd, H. 1930-1932
Box   4  
Graf, J.L. 1898-1925
Box   4  
Gregor, D.K. 1907
Box   4  
Grinnell, F. 1900-1906
Box   4  
Grimberg, K. 1903-1904
Box   4  
Hankinson, T.L. 1906-1918
Box   4  
Harris 1908-1912
Box   4  
Hart, C.A. 1901-1917
Box   4  
Harvey, A.L. 1900
Box   4  
Hay, W.P. 1900-1906
Box   4  
Henshaw, S. 1898-1923
Box   4  
Higgins, M.L. 1922-1924
Box   4  
Hine, J.S. 1898-1931 (2 folders)
Box   4  
Holland, W.J. 1899-1931
Box   4  
Hood, J.D. 1909-1932
Box   4  
Howard, L.O. 1921
Box   4  
Howe, R.H. Jr. 1915-1923
Box   4  
Howe, W.T.H. 1900
Box   4  
Indiana Academy of Science 1918-1919
Box   4  
Juday, C. 1903-1916
Box   4  
Kahl, H. 1916-1932
Box   4  
Kellerman, W.A. 1898-1905
Box   4  
Kellicott 1895-1910
Box   4  
Kimmins, D.E. 1930-1933
Box   4  
Kirby, W.F. 1899-1912
Box   4  
Laidlaw, F.F. 1911-1932
Box   4  
Lacroix, J.L. 1924-1932
Box   4  
Leigh, G.F. 1904-1914
Box   4  
Lieftinck, M.A. 1928-1932
Box   4  
Light, S.F. 1909
Box   4  
Link, G.A. 1907
Box   4  
Livermore, E. 1920
Box   4  
Loomis, H. 1904-1907
Box   4  
Lucas, W.J. 1917-1931
Box   4  
Lund, W. 1910-1914
Box   4  
Lutz, F.E. 1914-1930
Box   4  
Kennedy, C. 1900-1915 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Kennedy, C. 1916-1932 (4 folders)
Box   5  
Kinsey, A. 1920-1933
Box   5  
MacGillivray, A.D. 1917-1921
Box   5  
McDunnough, J. 1922-1933
Box   5  
McLachlan, R & H 1900-1932
Box   5  
Marshall, G.A.K. 1899-1905
Box   5  
Martin, R. 1898-1921
Box   5  
Medsgar, O.B. 1900-1901
Box   5  
Menger, E. 1919-1922
Box   5  
Meek, S.E. 1903-1908
Box   5  
Miller, N. 1905-1913
Box   5  
Monkhaus, W.J. 1900-1902
Box   5  
Montgomery, B.E. 1923-1933 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Morris, E.L. 1912
Box   5  
Morton, K.J. 1903-1932
Box   5  
Muttkowski. R.A. 1908-1924 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Navas, L. 1930-1935
Box   5  
Needham, J. 1899-1933 (4 folders)
Box   5  
Oguma, K. 1911-1930
Box   5  
Orton, E. 1896-1898
Box   5  
Osburn, R.C. 1899-1923 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Oslar, E.J. 1913
Box   5  
Parker, J.B. 1899-1906
Box   6  
Parker, J.B. 1907-1932
Box   6  
Pearse, A.S. 1910-1933
Box   6  
Peterson, E. 1906-1920
Box   6  
Porter, A.F. 1912-1932
Box   6  
Rathbun, R. 1900-1916
Box   6  
Ravenel, W. de C. 1902-1920
Box   6  
Rehn, J. 1915-1918
Box   6  
Rhodes, S.N. 1899-1915
Box   6  
Riley, C.F. 1907-1932
Box   6  
Ris, V. 1901-1932 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Ruthven, A. 1908-1932 (3 folders)
Box   6  
Schmidt, E. 1926-1931
Box   6  
Schmidt, R. 1914
Box   6  
De Selys 1900-1901
Box   6  
Severn, G. 1905-1930
Box   6  
Shafer, J.M. 1900-1904
Box   6  
Sjöstedt, Y. 1908-1931
Box   6  
Skinner, H. 1905-1910
Box   6  
Snow, L.H. 1904-1932
Box   6  
Spieth, H. 1929-1931
Box   6  
Tepper, J.G.O. 1902-1906
Box   6  
Thomas, E. 1931-1932
Box   6  
Tillyard, R.J. 1907-1933 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Todd, W.E.G. 1899-1909
Box   6  
Tough, J. 1899-1929
Box   6  
Townsend, C.H. 1910
Box   6  
Tsao, Y.S. 1907
Box   6  
Tucker, E.S., 1904-1906
Box   6  
Urich, F.W. 1913-1916
Box   6  
Valle, K.J. 1929-1933
Box   6  
Wadsworth, M. 1901-1923
Box   6  
Walker, E.M. 1905-1933 (3 folders)
Box   6  
Weith, R.J. 1898-1902
Box   6  
Wheldon, A.D. 1900-1918
Box   6  
Whitehouse, F.C. 1917-1920
Box   6  
Wilcox, E.M. 1897-1905
Box   6  
Williamson Family 1891-1928
Box   6  
Wilson, C.B. 1906-1916
Box   6  
Winslow, M.L. 1920-1927
Box   6  
Wurzlow, E.C. 1914-1918
 
Drawings [series]

The Drawings series contains Williamson's anatomical drawings of odonata. The series includes both Williamson's original drawings and plates made from them for publication purposes. Many of these plates were used in Williamson's book Dragonflies of Indiana.

Box   7  
Original Drawings (5 folders)
Box   7  
Plates
 
Miscellaneous [series]

The Miscellaneous series contains Williamson's personal and professional papers, as well as clippings relating to "bug hunting". Included in this series are catalogs from the Longfield Iris Farm, materials relating to collecting expeditions, and lists of awards and honors. Also included are lists of species either discovered by or named for Williamson.

Box   7  
Awards and Memberships 1898-1932
Box   7  
Clippings
Box   7  
Collecting Expeditions 1909-1924
Box   7  
Longfield Iris Catalogs 1929-1950 (2 folders)
Box   7  
New Species
 
Notes and Paper Drafts [series]

The Notes and Paper Drafts series includes field notes and reports from Williamson's collecting trips as well as drafts and reviews of scientific papers and articles.

Box   7  
"Biological Conditions of Round and Shriner Lakes, Whitley County, Indiana"
Box   7  
"A Census of Neurocordulias (Dragonflies)"
Box   7  
"Common Names for Dragonflies (Odonata)"
Box   7  
"Dragonflies Collected in Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia in 1931" 1931
 
Field Notes
Box   7  
1923
Box   7  
1930
Box   7  
Undated
 
Filed Reports
Box   7  
1913
Box   7  
1923
Box   7  
Undated
Box   7  
"Five New Mexican Dragonflies (Odonata)" 1923
Box   7  
"A New North American Somatochlora (Odonata-Cordulinae)"
Box   7  
"Notes on the Red-Shouldered Hawk in Indiana" 1913
Box   7  
A Review of "A Contribution to the Knowledge of Florida Odonata" 1930
Box   7  
"Some Peculiarities of the Dragonfly Fauna of Trinidad" 1923
Box   7  
Tables of Coryphaeschua Study
Box   7  
"Two New Species of Stylurus" 1931
Box   7  
"The Upper Wabash River, Past, Present, and Future"
Box   7  
Venezuela Trip
 
Photographs [series]

The Photographs series contains three photo albums as well as a number of loose photographs. The albums contain snapshots and document various collecting trips in and out of the United States. The loose photographs are a mix of snapshots and portraits of E.B. Williamson or photographs of odonata.

Box   7  
Album-Collecting Trips to Columbia and Venezuela 1916-1920
Box   7  
Album-Southern U.S. Collecting Trip 1931
Box   7  
Album Undated
Box   7  
E.B. Williamson
Box   7  
Odonata