Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921

Alternative names
Birth 1838-07-19
Death 1921-08-29

Biographical notes:

Ornithologist, Curator in the Dept. of Mammalogy and Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History.

From the description of Correspondence, 1870-1920, 1899-1903 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155513490

Ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History.

From the description of Correspondence, 1868-1900. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155510520

Canadian geologist Robert Bell directed the Geological Survey of Canada from 1901-1906.

From the guide to the Robert Bell correspondence, 1874-1908, 1874-1908, (American Philosophical Society)

Joel Asaph Allen was a museum curator, ornithologist, zoologist, taxonomist and writer. He was curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Dept. of Mammalogy and Ornithology, 1885-1920.

Allen began collecting and classifying birds at the age of 13. He studied at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) and became a staff member in 1871, meanwhile participating in the 1865-1866 Thayer Expedition to Brazil, on which he collected bird and mammal skins, geological specimens, fishes, reptiles and other vertebrates. Allen also participated in several U.S. expeditions, collecting, surveying and making scientific observations. At the AMNH, Allen increasingly concentrated his attention on acquisitions, research and writing, and editorial work, cataloging thousands of specimens of birds and mammals in the museum's collections and providing editorial supervision for the Bulletin of the AMNH and the Memoirs of the AMNH. He was the first president of the American Ornithologists' Union for seven years from its formation in 1883, and was editor of The Auk for 27 years.

From the description of Correspondence, 1870-1919 (bulk 1899-1902). (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 55497181


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  • Geology--Canada
  • Mammals--Collection and preservation
  • Herpetology--Research
  • Turtles--Collection and preservation
  • Amphibians--Identification
  • Natural history museums
  • Zoologists--Correspondence
  • Reptiles--Identification
  • Ornithology--Field work
  • Eskimos--Canada
  • Mammalogy--Field work
  • Birds
  • Game protection
  • Birds--Collection and preservation
  • Ornithologists--Correspondence
  • Amphibians--Collection and preservation
  • Natural history museum curators--Correspondence
  • Museums--Acquisitions
  • Reptiles--Collection and preservation
  • Hunting--Public opinion
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Birds--Classification
  • Ichthyology--Field work
  • Mammals--Classification
  • Geography--Canada
  • Fishes--Collection and preservation
  • Hunting guns


  • Museum curators
  • Ornithologists


  • New England (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • New England (as recorded)
  • Russia (Federation)--Siberia (as recorded)