Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964

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American scientist and author of works on environmental problems, including "Silent Spring."

From the description of Rachel Carson collection, 1940-1972. (Johns Hopkins University). WorldCat record id: 49301985

Author and environmental scientist Rachel Carson published juvenile stories in magazines such as St. Nicholas. She studied natural science at the Pennsylvania College for Women and Johns Hopkins, and began teaching and publishing articles in journals. Her masterful books on the sea combine meticulously researched science with a literary sensibility. Her interest in conservation and the environment led to the landmark Silent Spring, cautioning farmers about uncontrolled pesticide use. This controversial bestseller is credited with raising the environmental consciousness of a generation.

From the description of Rachel L. Carson letter to Karl Goedecke, 1952 July 10. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 56429518

Rachel Carson (1907-1964), marine biologist and conservationist, was the author of Silent Spring and other works.

From the description of Rachel Carson papers 1921-1989. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702132883

Rachel Louise Carson, noted biologist and environmentalist who fascinated readers with three books on the wonders of the sea and awakened the American public to the dangers of pesticide misuse with a highly controversial bestseller, was born on May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three children of Robert and Maria Carson. Attending public schools in Springdale and nearby Parnassus, she was interested in writing at an early age and submitted a number of juvenile stories, poems, and essays to leading youth magazines, winning several prizes from the St. Nicholas Magazine for her contributions.

At the Pennsylvania College for Women (later to become Chatham College), she quickly developed an interest in biology, served as president of the Science Club, and graduated magna cum laude in 1929. Deciding to pursue a career in biology, she enrolled in the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University in 1930, studying genetics under H. S. Jennings and Raymond Pearl. After receiving her M.S. in 1932, she held part-time teaching positions at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland until 1936.

She then joined the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D. C., as an aquatic biologist and began her publishing career with a series of articles on various aspects of the sea for the Baltimore Sun . Her first major publication, an article entitled "Undersea," appeared in the September, 1937 issue of the Atlantic Monthly . She served as editor-in-chief of the Fish and Wildlife Service's publications from 1949 to 1952, when she resigned from the Service to devote more time to writing. For her contributions she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Department of the Interior.

Rachel Carson's first book, Under the Sea Wind, attracted little notice on its appearance in 1941, although it was a book-of-the-month selection of the Scientific Book Club. However, her second book on the sea, The Sea Around Us (1951), the research for which was made possible by a Eugene Saxton Fellowship in 1949, remained on the best-seller lists for eighty-six weeks, was eventually translated into thirty languages, and received many awards, among them the National Book Award for 1952, the John Burroughs Medal, and gold medals from the Geographical Society of Philadelphia and the New York Zoological Society. A poll of the Associated Press's women editors named Carson the Woman of the Year in Literature for 1951. Among her many honorary memberships in scientific and literary organizations were elections to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Royal Society of Literature. The critical acclaim for The Sea Around Us paved the way to a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1951.

A reissue of Under the Sea-Wind in 1952 was well received; and her third book, The Edge of the Sea (1955), which shifted focus from the sea to the shore, nearly equalled the popularity of The Sea Around Us and firmly established Carson as the most popular scientific writer in the country.

Long interested in the delicate balance between man and nature, Carson in her next book examined man's destruction of his environment through the careless use of pesticides. Silent Spring (1962) may well be the most controversial American book of the twentieth century. Its first appearance in serial form in The New Yorker triggered the wrath of the chemical industry and associated groups and made Rachel Carson a household name. The continuing controversy sparked federal investigation into the misuse of pesticides and resulted in lengthy Congressional hearings in 1963. Among the many honors accorded Silent Spring were the Audubon Medal from the National Audubon Society, the Cullum Geographical Medal from the American Geographical Society, the Spirit of Achievement Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and a Carey-Thomas Honorable Mention for the most distinguished publication of 1962.

After a long fight with cancer, Rachel Carson died on April 14, 1964. Among many posthumous tributes were a dedication in June, 1964 of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on the Maine coast and the founding of a Rachel Carson Memorial Fund by the National Audubon Society.

From the guide to the Rachel Carson papers, 1921-1989, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Betts, Edwin Morris, 1892-1958. Papers regarding Thomas Jefferson [manuscript] 1933-1960. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Lalley, J. M. (Joseph Michael), 1896-1980. J.M. Lalley papers 1895-1981. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers. Records, 1925-1987. Library of Congress
referencedIn Philip Sterling papers, 1947-1969 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
creatorOf Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. Letter, 1963, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Robert Cushman Murphy journals, 1907-1971, 1907-1971 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Chapman, Paul Jones, 1900-. Paul Jones Chapman papers, 1940-1992. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Westcott, Cynthia, 1898-1983. Cynthia Westcott papers, 1922-1983. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Mays, Victor, 1927-. Rachel Carson, who loved the sea : production material, ca. 1973. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Hanbury, Una, 1904-1990. Una Hanbury papers, 1910-1994, bulk 1966-1990. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Houghton Mifflin Company. Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence, 1881-1981 (inclusive), 1940-1979 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. Rachel L. Carson letter to Karl Goedecke, 1952 July 10. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. : Series I., General Correspondence, 1922-1977 (bulk 1946-1966). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn John Collier papers, 1910-1987 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Bingham, Millicent Todd, 1880-1968. Millicent Todd Bingham papers, 1865-1968 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Freeman, Dorothy, 1898-1978. Papers, 1891-1982 (bulk 1952-1977). Bates College Library, George and Helen Ladd Library
creatorOf Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Records. Series VII., Other Department Files, 1916-1996 (bulk 1943-1969). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Anshen, Ruth Nanda. Ruth Nanda Anshen papers, 1938-1986. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Abrams, Rochonne Weintraub. Good earthkeeping : American women pioneers in ecology, 1843-1993 : typescript, 1994. Iowa State University, Parks Library
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers. Society of Woman Geographers records, 1925-1998. Library of Congress
referencedIn Una Hanbury papers, 1910-1994 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Ruth Nanda Anshen Papers, 1938-1986. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Carpenter, Margaret Haley. Papers of Margaret Haley Carpenter [manuscript], 1898-1985, bulk 1953-1985. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf White, Joseph B. C. Joseph B.C. White papers 1945-1998 [papers]. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Heinz History Center Detre Library and Archives
creatorOf Darling, Lois. Silent spring : production material, 1962. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence, 1881-1981 (inclusive), 1940-1979 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Rachel Louise Carson and Margaret Robb Correspondence (MS 184), 1962 University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries. Special Collections Dept.
creatorOf Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. Rachel Carson papers 1921-1989. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lees, Carlton B. Papers, 1962. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Sterling, Philip, 1907-1989. Philip Sterling papers, 1947-1969. University of Oregon Libraries, UO Libraries
referencedIn Society of Woman Geographers Records, 1910-1998 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Paul Jones Chapman papers, 1940-1983. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. Rachel Carson collection, 1940-1972. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
referencedIn Pesticides and "Silent spring" : miscellaneous articles, 1962-1963. Water Resources Collections and Archives, WRCA
referencedIn Cynthia Westcott papers, 1922-1983. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Rachel Carson papers, 1921-1989 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Papers, ca. 1907-1973. American Philosophical Society Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Abrams, Rochonne Weintraub. person
associatedWith Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Anshen, Ruth Nanda. person
associatedWith Anshen, Ruth Nanda. person
associatedWith Barnes, Irston R. (Irston Robert) person
associatedWith Beebe, William, 1877-1962. person
associatedWith Bingham, Millicent Todd, 1880-1968. person
associatedWith Briejer, C. J. person
associatedWith Briejer, C. J. person
associatedWith Briggs, Shirley A. (Shirley Ann), 1918- person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Carpenter, Margaret Haley. person
associatedWith Chapman, Paul Jones, 1900- person
associatedWith Collier, John, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith Cottam, Clarence, 1899- person
associatedWith Cynthia, Westcott 1898-1983 person
associatedWith Darling, Lois. person
associatedWith Darling, Louis. person
associatedWith Darling, Louis. person
associatedWith Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980. person
associatedWith Egler, Frank Edwin, 1911- person
associatedWith Freeman, Dorothy, 1898-1978. person
associatedWith Gallup, Donald Clifford, 1913-2000. person
associatedWith Goedecke, Karl, person
associatedWith Goodall, E. C. (Edna C.) person
associatedWith Hanbury, Una, 1904-1990. person
associatedWith Hargraves, Malcolm. person
associatedWith Hargraves, Malcolm. person
associatedWith Harper & Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Heyerdahl, Thor. person
associatedWith Heyerdahl, Thor. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Ketchum, Bostwick H., 1912- person
associatedWith Lalley, J. M. (Joseph Michael), 1896-1980. person
associatedWith Lees, Carlton B. person
associatedWith Lorentz, Pare. person
associatedWith Lorentz, Pare. person
associatedWith Mays, Victor, 1927- person
associatedWith Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. person
associatedWith National Audubon Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Oxford University Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Pearl, Raymond, 1879-1940. person
associatedWith Pettersson, Hans. person
associatedWith Pettersson, Hans. person
associatedWith P. J. (Paul Jones) Chapman, 1900- . person
associatedWith Rachel Louise Carson and Margaret Robb person
associatedWith Rodell, Marie. person
associatedWith Rodell, Marie. person
associatedWith Simon and Schuster, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Society of Woman Geographers. corporateBody
associatedWith Spock, Marjorie. person
associatedWith Spock, Marjorie. person
associatedWith Sterling, Philip, 1907-1989. person
associatedWith Teale, Edwin Way, 1899-1980. person
associatedWith Udall, Stewart. person
associatedWith Udall, Stewart. person
associatedWith Una Hanbury person
associatedWith U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Loon, Hendrik Willem, 1882-1944. person
associatedWith Wallace, George John, 1906- person
associatedWith Washington, Ida H. person
associatedWith Westcott, Cynthia, 1898-1983 person
associatedWith White, E. B. (Elwyn Brooks), 1899-1985. person
associatedWith White, Joseph B. C. person
associatedWith Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
United States
Subject
Pesticides and wildlife
Women scientists--Archives
Marine ecology
Pesticides industry--UnitedStates
Seashore biology
Pollution--Environmental aspects
Women ecologists--Correspondence
Bird banding
Conservation of natural resources
Marine biologists--Archives
DDT (Insecticide)--Environmental aspects
Pesticides--Environmental aspects
Marine pesticides
Dutch elm disease
Air--Pollution--United States
Pesticides industry
Pesticide resistance
Pesticide residues in food
Soils--Pesticidecontent
Conservation of natural resources--United States
Air--Pollution
Birds--Conservation--United States
Birds--Conservation
Occupation
Marine biologists--UnitedStates
Women scientists--United States
Ecologists--UnitedStates
Aquatic biologists--United States
Geophysicists
Oceanographers
Function

Person

Birth 1907-05-27

Death 1964-04-14

Americans

English

Information

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