Conway Zirkle Collection

Mss.B.Z67

Date: 1948-1966 | Size: 1.5 Linear feet

Abstract

A botanist and historian of science at the University of Pennsylvania, Conway Zirkle published on the history of evolutionary thought and genetics, with a particular interest in the discipline as practiced in the Soviet Union.

The Zirkle Papers consist of approximately one linear foot of materials accrued by Zirkle during research for his book on Lysenko-era biology in the Soviet Union, The Death of Science in Russia (1949). Among the miscellaneous materials in the collection are four volumes (0.5 linear feet) of pressed specimens of ferns and algae.

Background note

A botanist and historian of science at the University of Pennsylvania, Conway Zirkle published on the history of evolutionary thought, with a particular interest in the discipline as practiced in the Soviet Union. His major works included The Death of Science in Russia (Philadelphia, 1949) and Evolution, Marxian Biology, and the Social Scene (Philadelphia, 1959).

Scope and content

Consisting largely of newspaper clippings and translations from Pravda, the Zirkle Collection was assembled by Conway Zirkle while preparing his book on Soviet biology during the Lysenko era, Death of Science in Russia. It focuses primarily on the Soviet rejection of the chromosomal theory of inheritance and Mendel-Morgan genetics in favor of the biology of Michurin and Lysenko, and the social and political context. In addition to a small volume of correspondence, the collection includes typescript essays on Lysenko by L.C. Dunn, H.J. Muller, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and N.I. Vavilov.

Among the even smaller number of miscellaneous items in the collection is an important 10 page letter from James McKeen Cattell addressed to Allyn A. Young of the Committee on Academic Freedom regarding Cattell's dismissal from Columbia in 1917. There are, in addition, a group of 22 letters of congratulations to Zirkle upon his retirement from the University of Pennsylvania, a copy of Henry H. Dale's resignation from the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1948, materials used by Zirkle in research for his article "Animals impregnated by the wind," and four volumes containing specimens of pressed ferns and algae.

Collection Information

Physical description

1.5 linear feet

1.5 linear feet

Provenance

The Zirkle Papers were presented to the APS by the Bryn Mawr College Library, 1972.

Preferred citation

Cite as: Conway Zirkle Collection, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Recatalogued by rsc, 2002.

Related material

Additional material on Soviet biology and Lysenko is located in the papers of L. C. Dunn (B D917), Theodosius Dobzhansky (B D65), Michael Lerner (B L563), and Curt Stern (Ms. Coll. 5), among others.

Bibliography

Zirkle, Conway, Death of Science in Russia: the Fate of Genetics as Described in Pravda and elsewhere (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1949).

Call no.: 575.12 Z6d.

Zirkle, Conway, Evolution, Marxian Biology, and the Social Scene (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1949).

Call no.: 575 Z6

Genetics Note

AuthorFormatDate
Academic Freedom of Science in RussiaManuscripts (13 pages)Circa 1957
An Appraisal of Science in the U.S.S.R.Manuscripts (23 pages)1951
Biology in the U.S.S.R.Manuscripts (4 pages)1949
Cattell, James McKeenCorrespondence (9 pages)1917
Communist Pseudo-Science in AgricultureManuscripts (10 pages)1955
Concerning the Inheritance of Acquired CharacteristicsManuscripts (21 pages)n.d.
Dale, Henry Hallett, SirCorrespondence (3 pages)1948
Death of a Science in RussiaManuscripts (7 folders)1948-1959
Destruction of Science in RussiaManuscripts (4 pages)n.d.
Deutsch, Albert -- Degradation of Soviet ScienceManuscripts (3 pages)1948
Dimitrova, Elena -- Lysenko in BulgariaManuscripts (3 pages)1949
Divergent attitudes toward science in east-west tensionManuscripts (7 pages)n.d.
Dobzhansky, Theodosius -- End of Genetics in the Soviet UnionManuscripts (2 folders)1948-1949
Dunn, Leslie Clarence -- Concerning the Lysenko ReportManuscripts (4 pages)1948
Evolution, Marxian Biology and the Social SceneManuscripts (16 pages)1959
Fall of a CharlatanManuscripts (4 pages)1956
Genetics in RussiaManuscripts (8 pages)1956
Genetics, the science of heredityManuscripts (3 pages)n.d.
Goldschmidt, Richard Benedict -- Presidential address to Phi SigmaManuscripts (5 pages)n.d.
Lysenko, Trofim DenisovichManuscripts (3 folders)1952-1958, n.d.
Moore, Barrington -- Terror and Progress, U.S.S.R.Manuscripts (7 pages)1954
Muller, Hermann Joseph -- Destruction of a science in the U.S.S.R.Manuscripts (2 folders)1948-1949
Muller, Hermann Joseph -- Genetics in relation to modern scienceManuscripts (9 pages)Circa 1948
Muller, Hermann Joseph -- Rise and fall of genetics in the U.S.S.R.Manuscripts (6 pages)n.d.
PravdaRecords (5 folders)1948, n.d.
Prezent, Isaac Israilevich -- Creative Darwinism in the Soviet UnionManuscripts (31 pages)1947
Science and the Scientist in the Soviet UnionManuscripts (20 pages)Circa 1956
Science in RussiaManuscripts (3 pages)n.d.
Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich -- Botanical-geographic principles of selectionManuscripts (84 pages)1935

Indexing Terms


Personal Name(s)

  • Cattell, James McKeen, 1860-1944
  • Dale, Henry H. (Henry Hallett), 1875-
  • Davitashvili, L.
  • Demidov, Sergei Federovich
  • Deutsch, Albert, 1905-1961
  • Dimitrova, Elena
  • Dobzhansky, Theodosius Grigorievich, 1900-1975
  • Dunn, L. C. (Leslie Clarence), 1893-1974
  • Goldschmidt, Richard, 1878-1958
  • Lysenko, Trofim, 1898-1976
  • Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967
  • Nachtsheim, Hans, 1890-1979
  • Shmalgauzen, I. I. (Ivan Ivanovich), 1884-1963
  • Vavilov, N. I. (Nikolai Ivanov
  • Zirkle, Conway, 1895-1972

Subject(s)

  • Agriculture -- Soviet Union
  • Algae.
  • Evolution (Biology) -- Soviet Union
  • Ferns
  • Genetics -- Soviet Union


Detailed Inventory

Correspondence and manuscripts
1948-19662 boxes
Academic Freedom of Science in Russia
Circa 195713 p.box 1

Subject(s): Russian politics and science; Academic freedom; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; History of biology, especially genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Lectures, public speaking

Animals Impregnated by the wind. [see also: Impregnation by the wind]
  box 1
An Appraisal of Science in the USSR
195123 p.box 1

Subject(s): Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; American Association for the Advancement of Science; Lectures, public speaking; Political issues; Russian politics and science; Conferences and symposia; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Publication -- Pravda; Genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Greben, Leonid Kondratevich; Zea (maize) genetics; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Academic freedom

Biological Abstracts
  box 1
Biology in the USSR
19494 p.box 1

Subject(s): Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Conferences and symposia

Birthday Greetings, 1966
  box 1
British literature in the Eighteenth Century
  box 1
Cattell, J. McKeen (James McKeen)
19179 p.box 1

Subject(s): World War I -- Impact on science; Political issues; Biographical and personal data; Committee activities; Columbia University; Academic freedom

Checkmenev, E. M.
  box 1
Communist Pseudo-Science in Agriculture
195510 p.box 1

Subject(s): Zea (maize) genetics; Botany and plant genetics; Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Mendel, Gregor; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Russian politics and science; Lectures, public speaking; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich

Conant, George H.
  box 1
Concerning a hemophiliac family
  box 1
Concerning the inheritance of acquired characteristics
n.d.21 p.box 1

Subject(s): Political issues; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de; Russian politics and science; Kammerer, Paul; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Dale, Henry Hallett, Sir
19483 p.box 1

Subject(s): Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Academy of Sciences -- U.S.S.R.; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science

Davitashvili, L..
An Institute's Serious Mistakes
  box 1
Death of a Science in Russia
1948-19597 foldersbox 1

Subject(s): Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Political issues; History of biology, especially genetics; Kammerer, Paul; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Muller, Hermann Joseph; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Publication -- Pravda; Academy of Sciences -- U.S.S.R.; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Genetics of plants; Botany and plant genetics; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Lectures, public speaking; Publication -- Death of a Science in Russia; Russian politics and science

Death of a Science in Russia
  box 1
Death of a Science in Russia [Preface to the Japanese Edition]
  box 1
Death of a Science in Russia [Manuscripts - not used]
 5 foldersbox 1
Degeneration of plants
  box 1
Demidov, S. F.
  box 1
Destruction of Science in Russia
n.d.4 p.box 1

Subject(s): Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Political issues; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; History of biology, especially genetics; Russian politics and science

Deutsch, Albert, 1905-1961.
Degradation of Soviet Science
19483 p.box 1

Subject(s): Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science; Political issues; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Muller, Hermann Joseph; Sonneborn, Tracy M.

Dimitrova, Elena.
Lysenko in Bulgaria
19493 p.box 1

Subject(s): Morgan, Thomas Hunt; Mendel, Gregor; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Conferences and symposia -- Bulgaria; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Divergent attitudes toward science in east-west tension
n.d.7 p.box 1

Subject(s): Russian politics and science; Political issues; Academic freedom; Philosophy of science; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Dobzhansky, Theodosius Grigorievich, 1900-1975
  box 1
Dobzhansky, Theodosius Grigorievich, 1900-1975.
End of genetics in the Soviet Union
1948-19499 p.box 1

Subject(s): Academic freedom; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Political issues; Anthropology; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; International Congress of Genetics; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich

Dunn, L. C. (Leslie Clarence), 1893-1974.
Concerning the Lysenko report
19484 p.box 1

Subject(s): Mendel, Gregor; Muller, Hermann Joseph; Political issues; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich

Early ideas of inbreeding crossbreeding and hybrid-vigor
  box 1
Evolution, Marxian Biology, and the Social Scene
195916 p.box 1

Subject(s): Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de; Political issues -- Marx, Karl; History of biology, especially genetics; Darwin, Charles; Evolution; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Evolution: Miscellaneous notes
  box 1
Fall of a charlatan
19564 p.box 1

Subject(s): Zea (maize) genetics; Genetics of plants; Political issues; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Lectures, public speaking; Russian politics and science; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich

Fast, Howard.
I write as I please... the Lysenko theory and the Saturday Review
  box 1
Genetics in Russia
19568 p.box 1

Subject(s): Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Kammerer, Paul; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Political issues; History of biology, especially genetics -- U.S.S.R.

Genetics: the science of heredity
n.d.3 p.box 1

Subject(s): University of Pennsylvania; Genetics; Lectures, public speaking; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Glushchenko, I
  box 1
Goldschmidt, Richard, 1878-1958.
Presidential address to Phi Sigma Societies
n.d.5 p.box 1

Subject(s): Political issues; Genetics -- Amphibians; Kammerer, Paul; Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de; Lectures, public speaking; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Havas, László
  box 1
Herbert, Danby
  box 1
Herbert, Henry L.
  box 1
How to find a book in a Library
  box 1
Howard, Milton.
Column In Daily Worker
  box 1
Impregnation by the wind - Miscellany.
  box 1
Items in the history of biology
  box 1
Kaftanov, S.
  box 2
The knowledge of generation in the Renaissance
  box 2
Life of science. Introduction
  box 2
Lysenko, Trofim Denishovich
1952-19583 foldersbox 2

Subject(s): Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Political issues; Human genetics; Darwin, Charles; Population, demography; Malthus, Thomas Robert; Evolution; Genetics of plants

Lysenko, Trofim Denishovich
  box 2
Lysenko miscellaneous notes
 2 foldersbox 2
Marxism and the arts
  box 2
Mitin, M. B.
  box 2
Moore, Barrington, Jr..
"Terror and Progress, USSR"
19547 p.box 2

Subject(s): Russian politics and science; Political issues; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Mossige, Jeanne Coyne
  box 2
Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967.
Destruction of a science in the USSR (Manuscript)
1948-1949 box 2

Subject(s): Ethical issues; International Congress of Genetics -- Seventh Congress; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Agol, I. J.; Levit, Solomon G.; Genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Prezent, Isaac Israilevich; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science; Political issues; Academic freedom; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967.
Destruction of a science in the USSR (Published)
1948-1949 box 2

Subject(s): Political issues; Academic freedom; Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Russian politics and science; Prezent, Isaac Israilevich; Genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Levit, Solomon G.; Agol, I. J.; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; International Congress of Genetics -- Seventh Congress; Ethical issues; Publication

Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967.
Genetics in relation to modern science
Circa 19489 p.box 2

Subject(s): Evolution; Genetics; Lectures, public speaking; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; International Congress of Genetics; Russian politics and science; Academic freedom; Political issues

Muller, H. J. (Hermann Joseph), 1890-1967.
Rise and fall of genetics in the USSR
n.d.6 p.box 2

Subject(s): Russian politics and science -- Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Political issues; Levit, Solomon G.; Agol, I. J.; International Congress of Genetics -- Seventh Congress; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Human genetics; History of biology, especially genetics; Genetics; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Nachtsheim, Hans, 1890-1979.
Das Ende der sowjetischen Pseudogenetik
  box 2
Nemchinov, V.
  box 2
Newspaper clippings
  box 2
Pravda
1948, n.d.5 foldersbox 2

Subject(s): Muller, Hermann Joseph; Dubinin, Nikolai Petrovich; Genetics of plants; Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Political issues; Russian politics and science; Publication -- Pravda

Pravda: At the Session of the V.I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  box 2
Pravda: Higher the Banners of Advanced, Michurinist Biological Science
  box 2
Pravda: [Lysenko] various dates
1948 box 2
Pravda: [Lysenko] Editorial
  box 2
Pravda: Reply to Muller; 1948 December 14
  box 2
Prezent, I. I..
Creative Darwinism in the Soviet Union
194731 p.box 2

Subject(s): Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; History of biology, especially genetics; Muller, Hermann Joseph; Darwin, Charles; Evolution; Political issues; Russian politics and science; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de; Human genetics; Genetics of plants

Printed items on Lysenko
  box 2
Refutation of Joravsky's review of his book
  box 2
Rehabilitating a Soviet scientist
  box 2
Return of quackery to Russian medicine
  box 2
Review of Alexander G. Korol: Soviet Education for Science and Technology
  box 2
Review of Darwin's Biological work
  box 2
Review of Evolution of Life
  box 2
Review of Robert Nachtweg: Der Irrweg des Darwinismus
  box 2
Roberts, Brian.
A visit to the USSR on behalf of the Scott Polar Research Institute
  box 2
Schmalhausen, I. I.
  box 2
Science and the Scientist in the Soviet Union
Circa 195620 p.box 2

Subject(s): Genetics of plants; Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich; Kammerer, Paul; Michurin, Ivan Vladimirovich; Vavilov, Nikolai Ivanovich; Political issues; Russian politics and science; Academic freedom; Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.

Science in Russia
n.d.3 p.box 2

Subject(s): Unpublished manuscripts, notes, etc.; History of biology, especially genetics -- U.S.S.R.; Lectures, public speaking; Russian politics and science

Scientific method in communist lands
  box 2
Scientists and the visa problem
  box 2
Soviet science and technology
  box 2
Soviet scientific and technological capabilities
  box 2
Status and trends in Soviet scientific and technical manpower resources
  box 2
Stoletov, V. N.
  box 2
Strohm, John L.
Excerpt from "Just tell the truth.''
  box 2
Unknown
  box 2
Vasilenko, I. F.
  box 2
Vavilov, N. I..
Botanical-geographic principles of selection
193584 p.box 2

Subject(s): Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Russian politics and science; Botany and plant genetics; Genetics of plants

Warecki, A.
  box 2
Weterynaryjna, Med
  box 2
Yudin, V. M.
  box 2
Zhuravsky, V.
Agrotechnical research on the sidewalk
  box 2
Botanical specimen books
 4 volumes
Ferns, part 1
  volume 1
Ferns, part 2
  volume 2
Algae, part 1
  volume 3
Algae, part 2
  volume 4