Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945

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Professor of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley.

From the description of John C. Merriam papers, 1904-1934. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 81162069

Paleontologist, educator, and author.

From the description of Papers of John C. Merriam, 1899-1938. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78407628

Biographical Note

  • 1869: Born, Hopkinton, Iowa
  • 1887: B.S., Lenox College, Hopkinton, Iowa
  • 1893: Ph.D., University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  • 1894 - 1920 : Faculty member, University of California, Berkeley, Calif. (appointed chairman, Department of Paleontology, 1912; dean of faculties, 1920)
  • 1918: Co-founded Save-the-Redwoods League
  • 1919: Chairman, National Research Council
  • 1920 - 1928 : President, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.
  • 1928 - 1945 : Regent, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • 1945: Died, Berkeley, Calif.

From the guide to the John C. Merriam Papers, 1899-1938, (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


Born in Iowa, Oct, 20, 1869, John Campbell Merriam, paleontologist, educator and administrator, grew up in the midwest, where he attended Lenox College. After obtaining his doctorate from Munich, Merriam came to the University of California as an instructor of paleontology and historical geology in 1894, becoming a full professor in 1912, and Dean of the Faculties in 1920.

While at the University, he worked on the question of the authenticity of the Calaveras skull, explored shell mounds for fossils and Indian artifacts in conjunction with the Department of Anthropology, studied the John Day fauna in Oregon, the fossil beds of Virgin Valley, Nevada, and extinct faunas of the Mohave area. Of great interest to him was the discovery of fossil remains in the La Brea tar pits of southern California. It was due in large part to Merriam's foresight that the material found in the pits was preserved for scientific research. Merriam was also involved in the negotiations with Annie Alexander for the establishment of the University's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. As a member of the University Press Editorial Committee, he actively supported publication of reports on paleontological discoveries. Merriam resigned in June 1920 to become president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a post he retained until 1938. He was also a Regent of the Smithsonian from 1928.

Merriam belonged to many scientific societies and was particularly interested in the formation of a paleontological society which would publish current articles. He always retained an interest in the West, and, as president of the Save-the-Redwoods League, was active in the conservation movement in California.

From the guide to the John Campbell Merriam Papers, 1904-1934, (The Bancroft Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Sumner family. Papers, 1875-1960, bulk 1894-1945. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Charles Benedict Davenport Papers, 1874-1946 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945. John C. Merriam papers, 1904-1934. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Vertebrate Paleontology. General correspondence files, [ca. 1887]-1966. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Robert Andrews Millikan collection, 1847-1953, 1847-1953 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Merle Antony Tuve Papers, 1901-1982, (bulk 1941-1966) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
referencedIn Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952. Frances Benjamin Johnston papers, 1855-1956 (bulk 1890-1945). Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953. Papers of Frederic Eugene Wright, 1924-1961. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Carnegie-Cal Tech collection, Oct. 1937. Northern Arizona University, Cline Library
creatorOf John Campbell Merriam Papers, 1904-1934 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956. Robert Mearns Yerkes papers, 1822-1985 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982. Merle Antony Tuve papers, 1901-1982 (bulk 1941-1966). Library of Congress
creatorOf Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945. Papers of John C. Merriam, 1899-1938. Library of Congress
creatorOf Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945. John C. Merriam papers : additions, 1911-1944. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Seares, Frederick Hanley, 1873-. Papers of Frederick Hanley Seares, 1909-1945 (bulk 1909-1940). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938. Papers, 1882-1938. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945. Two memoranda on the protection of the primitive at Point Lobos reserve, by Dr. John C. Merriam ... University of California, Bancroft Library, ARL
referencedIn George Sarton additional papers, 1901-1956 Houghton Library
referencedIn Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956. Papers, 1822-1985 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn William E. Castle Papers, Bulk, 1950-1961, 1930-1961 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Berkeley Club Papers, 1873-1960 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Williams, Robert R., 1886-1965. Robert R. Williams papers, 1911-1981 (bulk 1934-1961). Library of Congress
creatorOf Save the Redwoods League. Save the Redwoods League records, ca. 1920-1944. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Robert R. Williams Papers, 1911-1981, (bulk 1934-1961) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Smith, Erminnie Adele Platt, 1836-1886. [Peabody Museum director records, Frederic W. Putnam (1839-1915), 1870-1923]. Harvard University, Tozzer Library
referencedIn Records of the California State Parks Council Bancroft Library
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Library. Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection. 1668-1983. American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956. Robert Mearns Yerkes papers, 1822-1985 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf John C. Merriam Papers, 1899-1938 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Literary Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.). Records of the Literary Society of Washington, Washington, D.C., 1873-1987. Library of Congress
referencedIn Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953. Robert Andrews Millikan collection, 1847-1953. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Frances Benjamin Johnston Papers, 1855-1956, (bulk 1890-1945) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873 person
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Vertebrate Paleontology. corporateBody
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
correspondedWith Berkeley Club corporateBody
associatedWith Bertram, James, 1872-1934. person
associatedWith Bigelow, Henry Bryant, b. 1879. person
correspondedWith Blakeslee, Howard Walter, 1880-1952 person
correspondedWith Brookings, William DuBois, 1873-1950 person
correspondedWith Butler, Ovid, b. 1880 person
associatedWith California State Parks Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Institution of Washington. corporateBody
associatedWith Castle, William E., (William Ernest), 1867-1962 person
correspondedWith Chaney, Ralph W. (Ralph Works), 1890-1971 person
correspondedWith Clark, Bruce L. (Bruce Lawrence), b. 1880 person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Davenport, Charles Benedict, 1866-1944 person
correspondedWith Drury, Newton Bishop, b. 1889 person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
correspondedWith Eliot, Charles W. (Charles William), 1899- person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938. person
correspondedWith Hall, Ansel F. (Ansel Franklin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
correspondedWith Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964 person
correspondedWith Howard, Edgar Billings, 1887-1943 person
correspondedWith Hughes, Raymond M. (Raymond Mollyneaux), 1873-1958 person
correspondedWith Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952. person
correspondedWith Johnston, Francis Benjamin, 1864-1852 person
correspondedWith Keppel, Frederick P. (Frederick Paul), 1875-1943 person
correspondedWith King, Vernon L. person
correspondedWith Leland, Waldo Gifford, 1879-1966 person
correspondedWith Lillie, Frank Rattray, 1870-1947 person
associatedWith Literary Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953. person
correspondedWith Moulton, Harold Glenn, 1883-1965 person
associatedWith National Research Council (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
correspondedWith Osborn, Henry Fairfield, 1857-1935 person
correspondedWith Packard, Earl L. (Earl Leroy), b. 1885 person
correspondedWith Paton, Stewart, 1865-1942 person
correspondedWith Pearl, Raymond, 1879-1940 person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
correspondedWith Root, Elihu, 1845-1937 person
correspondedWith Rowe, L. S. (Leo Stanton), 1871-1946 person
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
correspondedWith Sarton, George, 1884-1956 person
associatedWith Save-the-Redwoods League. corporateBody
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Seares, Frederick Hanley, 1873- person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Smithsonian Institution. corporateBody
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
correspondedWith Stock, Chester, 1892-1950 person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
associatedWith Sumner family. family
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
correspondedWith Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982. person
associatedWith University of California (1868-1952) corporateBody
associatedWith University of California (1868-1952). Dept. of Paleontology. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California (1868-1952). Dept. of Paleontology. corporateBody
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
correspondedWith White, William Charles, 1874- person
correspondedWith Williams, Robert R., 1886-1965. person
correspondedWith Wilson, Edwin Bidwell, 1879-1964 person
correspondedWith Wright, F. E. (Frederic Eugene), 1877-1953 person
correspondedWith Yard, Robert Sterling, 1861-1945 person
correspondedWith Yerkes, Robert Mearns, 1876-1956 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Forests and forestry
National parks and reserves


Birth 1869-10-20

Death 1945-10-30




Ark ID: w6hx1mvt

SNAC ID: 8085331