Arthur Sperry Pearse papers, 1904-1960 18 Linear Feet — 16 boxes
The Arthur Sperry Pearse papers include the professional papers and photographs of A. S. Pearse's scholarly career. His professional papers span the length of his academic career and include: correspondence, writings and lectures, lab notes and data, fieldwork notes, teaching materials, clippings and printed materials, many photographs and negatives, book illustrations, and glass slides. Images are of animal and plant life, but also landscapes, people, villages, and social aspects of life from about 1915-1935 in Nigeria and the Yucatán Peninsula, and from other research trip locations in South America and Southeast Asia, 1910s-1930s. Included are snapshots of fellow scientists in the laboratory and in the field. There are also early photographs and materials regarding the Marine Biology Laboratory in Beaufort, N.C. and other marine labs, as well as images of the N.C. coast and people such as fishermen. A large group of images consists of illustrations used in Pearse's textbooks, articles, and teaching lectures.
Prominent subjects throughout the collection include the establishment of and research projects at the Duke University Marine Laboratory, the promotion of forestry as a scientific discipline at Duke, Pearse's role as editor of the journal Ecological Monographs, and his research interests: marine biology, ecology, crustaceans, parasitology and parasitic diseases, microbiology and biological adaptation, and forestry.
Correspondence primarily reflects his role as editor of Ecological Monographs which includes correspondence concerning receipt of drafts for publication, recommended revisions, and future publication dates. Other prominent topics include Pearse's involvement with professional organizations, various symposiums and conferences, publications, research in Nigeria and the Yucatán, and the founding and early operations of the Duke University Marine Laboratory at Beaufort, North Carolina. Also, in 1938-1939, there is a series of correspondence between Pearse and President William Preston Few concerning lack of support for and conditions within the department and Pearse's consequent resignation as departmental chair.
Other materials include research notes, tables, and sketches; graduate student correspondence, plans of work, and dissertation abstracts; manuscripts of various publications authored by Pearse including Animal Ecology and his 1952 autobiography, Adventure: Trying to be an Ecologist; laboratory and field notebooks containing research notes and statistics from Nigeria, the Yucatan, Wisconsin, and various other research locations.
There are many photographic prints, nitrate and safety negatives, and glass-plate lecture slides, all documenting Pearse's research travels, particularly in Nigeria and the Yucatán, but also in Alabama, Florida, and coastal North Carolina, Japan, China, Burma, the Phillippines, Colombia, and Venezuela. Images include local flora, fauna, landscapes, villages, localized crafts and industries, and indigenous peoples, as well as maps, charts, tables, drawings, and photographs used in Pearse's lectures and publications.