Robert Cushman Murphy Collection, 1907-1971

Mss.B.M957

Date: 1907-1971 | Size: 25 Linear feet

Abstract

Robert Cushman Murphy (1887-1973), one of the twentieth century's great ornithologists, was curator of mammals and birds at the Brooklyn Museum (1911-1917) and was curator of birds and later chairman of birds at the American Museum of Natural History (1917-1973). The world's foremost authority on sea birds, in 1936, he penned Oceanic Birds of South America, a two volume set. An ardent traveler and explorer, he kept copious notes of his travels, which he typed up, illustrated and had bound. The APS library owns forty-two bound journals. Murphy was made an APS member in 1946. A pioneer in the study of the ecology, a louse, fish, plant, lizard, an Antarctic inlet, spider, and two mountains have acquired his name. This collection contains diaries, journals, articles, addresses and observations of Murph;, generously illustrated with newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, sketches, maps, and charts.

Background note

Scope and content

This collection contains the diaries, journals, articles and addresses of Murphy, generously illustrated with newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, sketches, maps, and charts.

From his earliest travels to South American and the Antarctic regions in 1912, until his Australia voyage in 1971, Murphy continually explored animal and bird life as a scientist, and also as a concerned citizen who became one of the earliest advocates of conservation and ecology.

Native American Images note : Seventy Native American black & white silver gelatin photographs, sketches, maps and prints by Robert Cushman Murphy from 1900-1965. Taken or drawn during his natural history expeditions to Baja California, Florida, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, the images represent native portraits, encampments, dress and weapons. Tribes covered include Choco, Cocopa, Seminole, and Quechua. Also, includes images of the Montauk of Long Island, N.Y. Of particular interest, a sketch of Huaco pottery and watercolors of Quechua Indians. Note: the images are in the journals entitled Baja California, 1915; Florida Fisheries, 1919; Peruvian Littoral Expedition, 1919-1920; Expedition to Peru and Ecuador, 1924-1925; Choco Expedition, 1937; Long Island and Elsewhere, 1900, 1964-1965. Also referenced in Freeman's Guide to Manuscripts relating to the American Indian and its Supplement and Murphy Smith's Historical American Sketches.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

30 boxes + 42 volumes

Provenance

Presented by Robert Cushman Murphy, 1967-1970; Mrs. Grace E. B. Murphy, 1973, 1975; #42 journal presented by Mrs. Alison Murphy Conner, 1979 and accessioned, 1984 (1984 607ms). See in-house shelf list for additional accession numbers and dates.

Processing information

Only bound volumes are and items from accession M2002-37 are noted.

Indexing Terms


Corporate Name(s)

  • American Geographical Society of New York
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • American Philosophical Society
  • Brooklyn Museum.

Family Name(s)

  • Beck, R. H.
  • Belt, Charles Banks.

Genre(s)

  • Articles.
  • Charts.
  • Clippings.
  • Diaries.
  • Gelatin silver prints
  • Journals (notebooks).
  • Maps.
  • Photomechanical prints
  • Photoprints.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Sketches.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Antarctica -- Discovery and exploration.
  • Australia -- Description and travel.
  • Bahamas -- Description and travel.
  • Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula) -- Description and travel
  • Bermuda Islands -- Description and travel.
  • British Columbia -- Description and travel.
  • Colombia -- Description and travel.
  • England -- Description and travel.
  • Europe -- Description and travel.
  • Georgia -- Description and travel.
  • Mexico -- Description and travel.
  • Philippines -- Description and travel.
  • South America -- Description and travel.
  • United States -- Description and travel.

Occupation(s)

  • Ornithologists.

Personal Name(s)

  • Armstrong, John Charles
  • Avila, Enrique
  • Bowman, Isaiah, 1878-1950
  • Brooks, Paul
  • Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 1888-1957
  • Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964
  • Chapman, Frank M.
  • Deevey, Edward Smith, 1914-1988
  • Falla, R. A. (Robert Alexander)
  • Faunce, Wayne M.
  • Fleming, C. A. (Charles Alexander), 1916-1987
  • Greely, A. W. (Adolphus Washington), 1844-1935
  • Grosvenor, Gilbert H., 1875-1966
  • Mayr, Ernst, 1904-2005
  • Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978
  • Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990
  • Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973
  • Peterson, Roger Tory, 1908-1996
  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001
  • Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962
  • Vogt, William, 1902-1968

Subject(s)

  • Bermuda petrel.
  • Biogeography.
  • Birds -- Geographical distribution.
  • Birds -- New York (State) -- Long Island.
  • Birds -- Peru.
  • Birds -- Research.
  • Birds -- Venezuela.
  • Choco Indians
  • Cocopa Indians
  • Conservation of natural resources.
  • DDT (Insecticide)
  • Ecology.
  • Fisheries -- Florida.
  • Fisheries -- North Carolina.
  • Fisheries -- Peru.
  • Fishes -- Peru.
  • Fishes -- Venezuela.
  • Guano.
  • Indians of Central America -- Panama
  • Indians of North America -- Florida
  • Indians of North America -- New York (State)
  • Indians of South America -- Colombia
  • Indians of South America -- Ecuador
  • Indians of South America -- Peru
  • Marine biology.
  • Montauk Indians
  • Oceanography.
  • Ornithology -- South America
  • Quechua Indians
  • Seminole Indians
  • Sperm whale.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Water birds.
  • Whaling.
  • Zoology -- New York (State) -- Long Island.
  • Zoology -- New Zealand.
  • Zoology -- South Carolina.
  • Zoology.


Detailed Inventory

I. Papers
 15 Linear feet
Monti, Mario.
Robert Cushman Murphy
19755 p.

Transcript of taped interview with Murphy from February 2, 1972 concerning Long Island and conservation. Monti was a public school teacher. Printed in Long Island Forum magazine, February 1975.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Founding of the Whaling Museum at Cold Spring Harbor
196710 p.

Printed pamphlet

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Genealogical Data
1917-19191 folder

Includes Records of Family traits for the Barstow and Murphy families, lists of ancestors, a 1918 letter to Robert Cushman Murphy from a sibling with further family information, a copy of Robert Cushman Murphy's birth certificate, and a family tree.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Murphy, Robert Cushman. Obituaries and Tributes
19735 items

Includes articles from the East Hampton Star, Newsday, Providence Journal, and Wetlands Magazine.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Robert Murphy's Long Island
19731 p.

Remarks were part of a lecture on life in Long Island given before APS in 1962. Reprinted in Newsday, March 21, 1973.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Three Days at the Bottom of the World
19715 p.

Article in Oceans magazine, September-October 1971, in which Murphy describes a 1912 Antarctic expedition he took part in.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

Watson, George E.
19682 items

Two letters to Robert Cushman Murphy. One includes distribution maps for an Antarctic bird guide.

Provenance: M2002-37. Gift of Eleanor Mathews, October 2002

DDT Spraying Data
  
Long Island Environmental Council, Inc
  
II. Bound Volumes
 10 Linear feet
1. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
1. Long Island, 1940-1942
1940-19421 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Hollins Island, Long Island
24 August 19401 map, 2 pieces, 8.3 x 15.2 cm
2. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
2. Long Island, 1943-1945
1943-19451 Volumes
3. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
3. Long Island, 1946-1949
1946-19491 Volumes
4. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
4. Long Island and elsewhere, 1950-1952
1950-19521 Volumes
5. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
5. Long Island and elsewhere, 1953
19531 Volumes
6. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
6. Long Island and elsewhere, 1954-1955
1954-19551 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Riverhead tract, Long Island
16 September 19551 map, 18.4 x 21 cm
7. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
7. Long Island and elsewhere, 1956-1958
1956-19581 Volumes
8. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
8. Long Island and elsewhere, 1959
19591 Volumes
9. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
9. Baja California, 1915
19151 Volumes

Abstract: Diary kept on the Brooklyn Museum Expedition to Lower California, 1915.

Native American images note: 28 black and white silver gelatin prints, 1 map.

Cocopa settlement
1915 
Papa Laguna
1915 
10. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
10. Florida fisheries, 1919. West coast of Florida and North Carolina capes
19191 Volumes

Native American images note: 1 black and white silver gelatin print of Seminole Indians at Turners River, Florida.

11. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
11. Tring, 1932. Visit to England to secure the Rothschild collection of birds for the American Museum of Natural History
19321 Volumes
12. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
12. Peruvian Littoral Expedition, 1919-1920
1919-19201 Volumes

Abstract: Diary kept on the Peruvian Littoral Expedition of the Brooklyn Museum, 1919-1920.

Native American images note: 4 pencil sketches of Huaco twin vases.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Bay of Pisco and waters about Paracas Peninsula
4 November 19191 map, 14 x 21.6 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Chincha Islands
14 October 19191 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Chincha Islands, Middle Island
1 January 19201 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

Huaco (pottery)
1919-1920 
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Isla de Lobos de Afuera
19201 map, 14 x 21.6 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Islas de Guanape
1 January 19201 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Islas de Lobos de Tierra
19201 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Islas de Macabi
19201 map, 14 x 21.6 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Peruvian coastline
1919-19201 map, 5.1 x 18.4 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
San Gallan Island
19191 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Santa Rosita Island and Isla Viegas
16 November 19191 map, 14 x 21.6 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
South Island, Chincha
14 October 19191 map, 14 x 21.6 cm

Colored.

13. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
13. Peru, 1953-1954. Oceanography, fish, birds, fishing operations, guano
1953-19541 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Coastal valley north of Lima, Peru
12 December 19531 map, 10.2 x 17.8 cm
14. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
14. Florida and the Gulf Stream, 1937
19371 Volumes
15. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
15. Askoy Expedition, 1941. Voyage in the schooner Askoy along the coasts of Darien, Colombia, and Ecuador to the Malpelo Islands, investigating shorelines and outlying pelagic waters from points of view of geographer, oceanographer, and marine biologist
19411 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Malpelo Island
30 March 19411 map, 2 pieces, 28 x 21.6 cm
16. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
16. New Zealand, 1947-1948. New Zealand flora, fauna, and sea-life; Seventh Pacific Science Congress
1947-19481 Volumes
McCaskill, Murray.
R. C. Murphy's New Zealand travel route
8 March 19481 map, 17.1 x 19.1 cm
17. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
17. New Zealand, 1949. New Zealand flora, fauna, and sea-life; Seventh Pacific Science Congress
19491 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and Island of Hawaii
30 January 19491 map, 21.6 x 28 cm
18. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
18. Low Country, 1928-1947. South Carolina and southeastern United States
1928-19471 Volumes
19. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
19. Bermuda, 1951. Rediscovery of the cahow, or Bermuda petrel
19511 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Northeastern end of Bermuda
19511 map, 16.5 x 25.4 cm
20. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
20. Coast to Coast, and Mexico, 1955-1956. A 12,000-mile motor trip to British Columbia, the west coast of the United States, and Mexico
1955-19561 Volumes
21. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
21. Around the World, 1957-1958. Ninth Pacific Science Congress
1957-19581 Volumes
22. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
22. Operation Deep Freeze, 1960. Cruise of the U.S.S. Glacier in Antarctica, to the head of the Bellingshausen Sea
19601 Volumes
23. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
23. South Georgia Expedition, 1912-1913. Microfilm. Printed as Logbook for Grace. See volume 30 below
1912-19131 Volumes
24. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
24. Venezuela, 1952. Birds and fish of the coastal areas
19521 Volumes
25. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
25. Philippines, 1953. Eighth Pacific Science Congress
19531 Volumes
26. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
26. Europe, 1950. Congressus Internationalis Ornithologicus, at Uppsala
19501 Volumes
27. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
27. Stranger Pacific Cruise, 1956. Journal of the Scripps Cooperative Oceanic Productivity Expedition
19561 Volumes
28. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
28. San José Island, 1945. Flora and fauna of an island "which has had almost no human inhabitants since the extermination of the native Indians early in the 16th century"
19451 Volumes
29. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
29. Expedition to Peru and Ecuador, 1924-1925
1924-19251 Volumes

Native American images note: 2 watercolor sketches, 1 ink sketch.

Quechua man
1924-1925 
Quechua woman and child
1924-1925 
30. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
30. Logbook for Grace, Published, Logbook for Grace: Whaling Brig Daisy, 1912-1913. (New York, 1947)
1912-19131 Volumes
31. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
31. Europe, 1926
19261 Volumes
32. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
32. Coast to Coast, 1951
19511 Volumes
33. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
33. Inagua, 1956, 1958
1956-19581 Volumes
34. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
34. Long Island and elsewhere, 1960-1962
1960-19621 Volumes
35. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
35. Long Island and elsewhere, 1964-1965
1964-19651 Volumes

Native American images note: 2 newspaper clippings, Montauk Indians.

36. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
36. Long Island and elsewhere, 1965-1966
1965-19661 Volumes
37. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
37. Long Island and elsewhere, 1967-1968
1967-19681 Volumes
38. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
38. Chocó Expedition, 1937. Field work in the launch "Wilpet" between Panama and Ecuador
19371 Volumes

Primarily concerned with collection of water samples from the Pacific, meteorological data, etc. Some notes and discussion of Indians of Colombia and Ecuador. Groups mentioned: Choco, Citara, Noanama, Cholo, Paparo, Tucura, and Cuna. Native American images note: 2 photomechanical prints, 2 black and white silver gelatin prints.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Chocó, Columbia
19371 map, 16.5 x 17.1 cm
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Map of Panama and Colombia Indian tribes
19371 map, 12.7 x 15.2 cm
39. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
39. Long Island and elsewhere, 1969-1970
1969-19701 Volumes
40. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
40. Australasia, 1971
19711 Volumes
41. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
41. The Way of the Sperm Whale, 1912-1913. Photo essay on whale hunting and way of life, while aboard the brig Daisy
1912-19131 Volumes
42. Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
42. The birds of Long Island, 1907
19071 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Columbia University, 1941-1942
1903-19491 Volumes

Diary of Robert Cushman Murphy, includes many illustrations, sketches, and photographs pertaining to his early life. Native American images note: 23 pencil and ink sketches of arrowheads found near boyhood home, portraits of Sioux.

Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Migrant Cruise, June - July 1933
19331 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Oceanography Notes, 1941
19411 Volumes
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973.
Panama, 1924-1925. Third Pan-American Scientific Congress, Lima
1924-19251 Volumes