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COLLECTION Identifier: MCZ-ARC-234

Bernhard Kummel Papers, ca. 1941-1977

Scope and Contents

Papers of Harvard geology professor and Museum of Comparative Zoology Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology Bernhard Kummel.

The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to Kummel's publications. These are primarily photographs of fossil sites and specimens, maps, charts and diagrams. Some of them, mounted on photomount boards, were to be used as plates in Kummel's publications. Others were loose, in folders and envelopes of various sizes, or scattered in the boxes.

The second largest portion of the collection are Kummel's manuscripts (hand-and type-written drafts, carbon copies of versions submitted for publication, galley proofs, and reprints). These were found in folders or envelopes together with the correspondence concerning the manuscripts.

Other items include miscellaneous research notes in notebooks, on loose sheets of paper and on index cards; course syllabi and bibliographies; correspondence; published maps; and, finally, several manuscripts (published or type-written) by other authors.

Some materials cannot be dated with any certainty. This is particularly true for photographs and maps, many of which do not bear any inscription. However, from correspondence, course syllabi and other dated items it is obvious that the collection is not limited to Kummel's Harvard years. In fact, the earliest dated item in the collection is a draft of the B.A. thesis written by Kummel in 1941, more than ten years before he joined the Harvard faculty.


  • 1941-1977

Conditions Governing Access

Researchers interested in viewing the collection should seek permission from the Special Collections Librarian.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for publication should be referred to the Special Collections Librarian.


17.57 cubic feet (24 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Bernhard Kummel (1919-1980) was a professor of geology at Harvard University from 1952 to 1980. He was Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1963-1980.

Processing notes

The collection is arranged by type of material. Since the collection itself is a subseries, the intern found it unnecessary to create further subdivisions. Rather, she arranged the containers in a certain logical order, as follows:

- Correspondence; - Materials related to Kummel's writings: Manuscripts; - Materials related to Kummel's writings: Visual materials; - Materials related to Kummel's teaching and administrative funcitons - Research notes - Published materials - Miscellaneous

The collection is described to the file unit level. The file unit may be a folder, an envelope, or a binder. Wherever the materials were found gathered together in a file, they were kept in that file, their original order undisturbed, to preserve all possible relationships between the items. Where materials were gathered in a file by the intern, they were arranged as seemed fit for that file, either chronologically or alphabetically.

At this point, containers 1 through 7 are arranged and described completely. The rest of the containers will need further attention. Some of the materials in these containers will most likely be disposed of.


Organized into the following groups:

- Container 1: Correspondence, 1950-1977; - Container 2: Manuscripts with accompanying correspondence, A-M: 1942-1969; - Container 3: Manuscripts with accompanying correspondence, N-Z: 1941-1976; - Container 4: Manuscripts, ca. 1975; - Container 5: Page proofs, ca. 1961; - Container 6: Page proofs, ca. 1961-1964; - Container 7: Illustrations, ca. 1965 and Miscellaneous photos [no date] (from ARC 169); - Container 8: Miscellaneous maps, diagrams and charts; - Container 9: Miscellaneous plates; - Container 10: Loose (not mounted) fossil photographs; - Containers 11 and 12: Loose fossil photographs; - Container 13: Miscellaneous fossil drawings and sketches; - Container 14: Photographs of geological sites; - Container 15: Negatives; - Container 16: Academic and administrative materials; - Container 17: Species notes; - Container 18: Specimen cards; - Container 19: Stratigraphy notes; - Container 20: Stratigraphy notes; - Container 21: Miscellaneous research notes; - Container 22: Vertical file; - Container 23: Miscellaneous; - Container 24: Miscellaneous maps (published)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

234. Donated by Fred Collier of the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology; received: 3 March 1993.

After Kummel's death in 1980, most of his papers were donated by the family to the Harvard University Archives. However, papers from his office in the department of Invertebrate Paleontology of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) were not transferred to the Archives with the rest of the materials, as they were the property of the Museum. There is no record as to whether the Harvard University Archives attempted to obtain these papers. These papers remained in the department until 1993, when they were finally transferred to the MCZ Archives at the Ernst Mayr (then MCZ) Library.

Related Materials

See also Portrait File under Kummel for expedition photos.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Marina Dzidzigiuri in December 1994.

As given to the MCZ Library, the Kummel collection consisted of eight boxes of tightly packed materials. Some of these materials were gathered together neatly in folders and envelopes, while others were scattered throughout the boxes in complete disarray.

Bernhard Kummel Papers, ca. 1941-1977
Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University Repository

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