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The Division of Paleontology houses an extensive archive of correspondence, field journals, maps, illustrations, and administrative paperwork associated with the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology. (Archival materials relating to invertebrate paleontology are housed with the archives of the Division of Invertebrates, with which the department of fossil invertebrates was formerly associated).
Materials in the archive are important in placing the fossil specimens in greater historical and scientific context. They contain records of expeditions to collect specimens and often include details on the lives of the field crew during these expeditions and the larger cultural and social context in which they occurred. They also illustrate how these findings were interpreted at the time of discovery and how those interpretations may have changed over time as successive generations of scientists studied them.
In Fall 2020 the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology was awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to improve access to the department's archives. Find out more about the IMLS grant.
The archives are open to bona fide academic visitors, subject to appointment. Procedures for requesting access to the archives, together with the rest of the Division's collections, can be viewed on the visitors page.
A selection of archival materials has been made available online. These can be accessed by following the links below.