Harmer, Sidney F.

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Sidney Frederic Harmer was born in Norwich on 9 March 1862. He studied natural science at University College, London, and King's College, Cambridge, where in 1885 he was appointed lecturer in zoology and, in 1892, superintendent of the University Museum of Zoology. In 1908, he was appointed keeper of zoology in the Natural History department of the British Museum, succeeding as director of the department from 1919 until his retirement in 1927. Harmer returned to the study of cetacea at the British Museum, publishing a series of reports on cetacea stranded on the British coasts.

In 1920, Harmer wrote an article on the position of the southern whaling industry for a report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Research and Development in the Dependencies of the Falkland Islands, established in 1918 to consider what scientific investigations were needed to preserve the Antarctic whaling industry. Four years later, Harmer was appointed vice-chairman of the Discovery Committee, a scientific group set up to develop the Hydrographic and oceanographic research programme recommended in the report of the Interdepartmental Committee.

He was knighted in 1920 and was awarded the gold medal of the Linnean Society in 1934. He died in Cambridge on 22 October 1950.

From the guide to the Sidney Harmer collection, 1922, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Sidney Harmer collection, 1922 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bowers Henry Robertson 1883-1912 person
associatedWith British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 corporateBody
associatedWith Cherry-Garrard Apsley George Benet 1886-1959 person
associatedWith Harmer Sidney Fredric 1862-1950 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Wilson Edward Adrian 1872-1912 person
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Birth 1862

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