Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973

Variant names

Hide Profile

Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from Robert Cushman Murphy and his wife, Grace Emiline Barstow Murphy.

From the description of Letters, 1964-1971, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155873220

Naturalist, scientist and environmentalist.

From the description of Papers, [ca.1895-1965], ca.1895-ca.1965 (bulk) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 156794758

Robert Cushman Murphy was a zoologist, ornithologist, and oceanographer. He was Curator of Mammals and Birds at the Brooklyn Museum (1911-1917) and held various curatorial positions at the American Museum of Natural History (1917-1973). He was a pioneer in the study of the ecology and biogeographic zonation of oceanic birds.

From the description of Papers, ca. 1907-1973. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 154298084

From the description of Journals, 1907-1971. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122409252

Robert Cushman Murphy (1887-1973), one of the twentieth century’s great ornithologists, was curator of mammals and birds at the Brooklyn Museum (1911-1917) and was curator of birds and later chairman of birds at the American Museum of Natural History (1917-1973). The world’s foremost authority on sea birds, in 1936, he penned Oceanic Birds of South America, a two volume set. An ardent traveler and explorer, he kept copious notes of his travels, which he typed up, illustrated and had bound. The APS library owns forty-two bound journals. Murphy was made an APS member in 1946. A pioneer in the study of the ecology, a louse, fish, plant, lizard, an Antarctic inlet, spider, and two mountains have acquired his name.

From the guide to the Robert Cushman Murphy journals, 1907-1971, 1907-1971, (American Philosophical Society)

Robert Cushman Murphy, an ornithologist, conservationist, author and museum curator, spent 35 years with the American Museum of Natural History, retiring as chairman of the Dept. of Ornithology and Lamont Curator of Birds in 1955.

Murphy's interests in oceanic birds and conservation were established during his first expedition for the AMNH, the 1912-1913 South Georgia Island Expedition. After working for several years at the Brooklyn Museum, Murphy was appointed associate curator of birds at the AMNH in 1921. He eventually went on 13 expeditions, to Peru, the Mediterranean Sea, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, Bermuda, Venezuela, and islands in the Caribbean, often accompanied by his wife, Grace, a naturalist, conservationist and author. During the 1920-1941 Whitney South Sea Expedition, Murphy's expertise kept him out of the field so that specimens could be processed, studied and classified as soon as they arrived. In 1932, Murphy faced the daunting task of cataloging the 280,000 birds acquired by the AMNH when it purchased Lord Rothschild's Tring collection. With the help of Grace Murphy and Ernst Mayr, the work was completed in 4 months, producing a manuscript of 740 pages. Murphy published five books, including Birds of Peru (1925) and Oceanic birds of South America (2 v., 1936, 1948). In addition, he was co-author or contributor to five others, and wrote between 500 and 600 articles, both scientific and popular. Murphy died in 1973.

From the description of Collection, 1913-1973 (bulk 1930-1973). (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 56669796

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence, 1881-1981 (inclusive), 1940-1979 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Whaling collection exhibition photographs, 1919-1926. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf James Paul Chapin correspondence, 1953 American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn South Georgia Island Expedition (1912-1913). Field photographs, 1912-1913. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Papers, [ca.1895-1965], ca.1895-ca.1965 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Letters, 1964-1971, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Murphy's Expedition to Peru and Ecuador (1924-1925). Field photographs, 1924-1925. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. Rachel Carson papers 1921-1989. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf William King Gregory papers, 1889-1948 (bulk 1906-1948) American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn Whitney South Seas Expedition (1920-1940). Oceania field photographs, 1921-1940. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Papers, ca. 1907-1973. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Museums at Stony Brook (Stony Brook, N.Y.). Photograph collection, ca.1840-1990. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Colombian Coastal Expedition (1937). Field photographs, 1937. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Murphy's New Zealand Expedition (1949). Field photographs, 1949. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Journals, 1907-1971. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Wilson, Percy, 1879-1944. Percy Wilson records 1908-1940. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
creatorOf Tinbergen, Lukas, 1915-1955. Vogels onderweg / L. Tinbergen ; [English resume made under the supervision of Robert Cushman Murphy by Constance Sherman]. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Photographs, 1898-1970. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Wilson, Percy, 1879-1944. Percy Wilson records, 1908-1940. New York State Historical Documents (Albany, N.Y.)
creatorOf Cherrie, George Kruck, 1865-1946. Exploration tales for soldiers and sailors [microform] : YMCA lecture series. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Special Films Collection: Expedition films, 1912-1960. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Roy Chapman Andrews papers, 1987 Accession, 1920-1947 (bulk 1934-1944) American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Cherrie, George Kruck, 1865-1946. Exploration tales for soldiers and sailors : YMCA lecture series. American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. The avian order Tubinares, with special reference to the adaptive radiation of function. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Life of Alfred Newton, by A.F.R. Wollaston ... : reviewed / by Robert Cushman Murphy. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director. William Henry Fox records, 1913-33 (bulk), 1908-35 (inclusive). Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Letter. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Smith, Alvin R. L.,. Historical papers, 1924-1973. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn O'Reilly, John. Deep sea birder / by John O'Reilly. The Mariners' Museum Library
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Letter, 1947, April 1, New York, to [Philip D.] Sherman. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Escobar, Paulo Emilio. Bahías de Málaga y Buenaventura / por Paulo Emilio Escobar ; summarized by R.C. Murphy. American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Collection, 1913-1973 (bulk 1930-1973). American Museum of Natural History
creatorOf Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973. Papers, 1912-1972, 1912-1920 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Rachel Carson papers, 1921-1989 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Robert Cushman Murphy journals, 1907-1971, 1907-1971 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Journal of the South Georgia Expedition, 1912-1913, 1912-1913 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alves, John. person
associatedWith American Geographical Society of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Colombian Coastal Expedition (1937) corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Office of Public Affairs. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960. person
associatedWith Armstrong, John C. person
associatedWith Armstrong, John Charles person
associatedWith Avila, Enrique person
associatedWith Avila, Enrique. person
associatedWith Beck, R. H. person
associatedWith Beck, R. H. family
associatedWith Belt, Charles Banks. person
associatedWith Belt, Charles Banks. family
associatedWith Bowman, Isaiah, 1878-1950. person
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooklyn Museum. Office of the Director. corporateBody
associatedWith Brooks, Paul. person
associatedWith Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 1888-1957. person
associatedWith Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. person
associatedWith Chapin, James Paul, 1889-1964. person
associatedWith Chapman, Frank M. person
associatedWith Daisy (Ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Deevey, Edward S. person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Drinkwater, George. person
associatedWith Elwin, William. person
associatedWith Escobar, Paulo Emilio. person
associatedWith Falla, R. A., (Robert Alexander) person
associatedWith Falla, Robert A. person
associatedWith Faunce, Wayne M. person
associatedWith Faunce, Wayne M. person
associatedWith Fleming, C. A. (Charles Alexander), 1916- . person
associatedWith Fleming, Henry Craig, 1882- person
associatedWith Greely, A. W. (Adolphus Washington), 1844-1935. person
associatedWith Gregory, William K. (William King), 1876-1970. person
associatedWith Grosvenor, Gilbert Hovey, 1875-1966. person
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ornithological Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Jaques, Francis Lee, 1887-1969. person
associatedWith Mayr, Ernst, 1904-2005. person
associatedWith McCaskill, Murray person
associatedWith Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978. person
associatedWith Metcalf, Jesse, 1887- person
associatedWith Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990. person
associatedWith Murphy, Grace E. Barstow. person
associatedWith Murphy, Grace Emiline Barstow. person
associatedWith Murphy's Expedition to Peru and Ecuador (1924-1925) corporateBody
associatedWith Murphy's New Zealand Expedition (1949) corporateBody
associatedWith Museums at Stony Brook (Stony Brook, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith New England Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Newton, Alfred, 1829-1907. person
associatedWith O'Reilly, John. person
associatedWith Pacific Science Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Pan-American Scientific Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Peterson, Roger Tory, 1908-1996. person
associatedWith Phelps, William Henry, 1875-1965. person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Reed, Edwin. person
associatedWith Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001. person
associatedWith Sherman, Philip D. (Philip Darrell), 1881-1957, person
associatedWith Smith, Alvin R. L., person
associatedWith South Georgia Island Expedition (1912-1913) corporateBody
associatedWith Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962. person
associatedWith Tinbergen, Lukas, 1915-1955. person
associatedWith United States Fish Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Vernay, Arthur Stannard, d. 1960. person
associatedWith Vogt, William, 1902-1968. person
associatedWith Whitney South Seas Expedition (1920-1940) corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson, Percy, 1879-1944. person
associatedWith Wollaston, A. F. R. (Alexander Frederick Richmond), 1875-1930. person
associatedWith Wood, Frank. person
associatedWith Zabriskie, George A. (George Albert), 1868-1954. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mexico
Bermuda Islands
Philippines
Australia
Europe
South America
Australia
Europe
South America
Antarctica
New Zealand
Baja California
New York (State)--Long Island
United States
Long Island (N.Y.)
New York (State)--New York
Venezuela
Bahamas
United States
Colombia
United States
Europe
Mexico
Africa
Georgia
Peru
United States
New York--Long Island
New York (State)--Long Island
Georgia
South America
Colombia
Philippines
Antarctica
North America
Ireland
British Columbia
Australia
North Carolina
South Carolina
British Columbia
Florida
England
Bahamas
United States
Antarctica
Baja California (Mexico : Peninsula)
England
Bermuda
Subject
Indians of North America--Florida
Conservation of natural resources
Eastern Woodlands Indians
Indians of North America--New York (State)
Fishes--Venezuela
Marine biology
Ornithology--South America
Zoology--South Carolina
Birds--Venezuela
DDT (Insecticide)
Birds
Birds--Geographic distribution
Guano
Bermuda petrel
Fishes
Oceanography
Ornithology--Research
Botany--Field work
Fishes--Peru
Indians of South America--Peru
Zoology
Cocopa Indians
Southeast Indians
Sperm whale
Conservationists
Sailors
Quechua Indians
Ecology
Indians of South America--Ecuador
Birds--Geographical distribution
Ornithology--Field work
Zoology--Field work
Birds--New York (State)--Long Island
Indians of South America--Colombia
Whale bone
Water birds
Ornithologists
Fisheries--Peru
Zoology--New Zealand
Birds--Research
Museum curators
Choco Indians
Seminole Indians
Fisheries--Florida
Whaling--History
Environmental protection
Zoology--New York (State)--Long Island
Scientific expeditions
Whaling
Indians of Central America--Panama
Birds--Peru
Natural history--Research
Montauk Indians
Fisheries--North Carolina
Voyages and travels
Fisheries
Biogeography
Occupation
Ornithologists
Naturalists--United States
Activity

Person

Birth 1887

Death 1973

English,

Spanish; Castilian

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fj2f66

Ark ID: w6fj2f66

SNAC ID: 251079