Collection ASM0279 - Charles T. Simpson papers

Identity elements

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Name and location of repository

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Charles T. Simpson papers


  • 1886-1943 (Creation)


1 Box

Name of creator

Biographical history

Charles Torrey Simpson was a naturalist, responsible for many classifications and discoveries in both flora and fauna, and author of many scientific articles. Simpson was born near Tiskilwa, Illinois on June 3, 1946. At seventeen, he enlisted as a private in company F of the 57th Ill. infantry for the Civil War. In 1870 he enlisted in the US navy and served three years on the "Shenandoah" on the European station, where he made collections of natural history material. In 1882 he moved to Bradenton, Fla., where he conducted a building and contracting business and studied botany. In 1889 he went to the Smithsonian institution, department of mollusks, and remained on the institution's staff until 1902. In 1903 he established his home on Biscayne Bay, near Miami, Fla., and devoted his studies to the flora and fauna of south Florida. He had a collection of 20,000 species of shells, of which he personally collected 4,000. Simpson introduced a number of foreign plants into this country and aided in developing other species indigenous to Florida and the tropics. From 1914 on he was a collaborator with the U.S. department of agriculture. In 1923 he was awarded the Meyer medal for plant introduction by the American Genetic Association and in 1927 Miami University conferred on him the honorary degree of Sc.D. Simpson died at Miami, Fla., December 17, 1932.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Charles T. Simpson collection contains photographs, account statements, letters, minutes, contracts, typescripts, articles, certificates, membership cards, manuscripts, notes, photocopies, and a plant specimen, which document the lengthy botanical and zoological career of the early 20th century naturalist.

System of arrangement

The Charles T. Simpson collection was originally donated as a series of pages from scrapbook. However, due to the brittle and acidic nature of these pages, and because half the items were already loose from the original scrapbook, the scrapbook was dissembled and the materials preserved and given intellectual arrangement. However, photocopies of the arrangement of the scrapbook pages were made and are included in the collection.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Items from this collection are kept on-campus and may be requested from the first floor Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library at University of Miami.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Charles T. Simpson Papers Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

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Related archival materials

The following titles by Charles T. Simpson are held in Special Collections:

Simpson, Charles Torrey. Florida Wild Life; Observations On The Flora And Fauna Of The State And The Influence Of Climate. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1932. QH105.F6 S5

  • ----. In Lower Florida Wilds; A Naturalist's Observations On The Life, Physical Geography, And Geology. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920. QH105.F6 S6

  • ----. Native And Exotic Plants Of Dade County, Florida. Washington, D.C.: Press of Judd & Detweiler, inc., 1914. SB405 .S5 1914

  • ----. Ornamental Gardening In Florida. Little River, Fla.: The author, 1916. SB477.U7 F6

  • ----. Ornamental Gardening In Florida. Little River, Fla., The author, c1926. SB477.U7 F6 1926

  • ----. Out Of Doors In Florida; The Adventures Of A Naturalist, Together With Essays On The Wild Life And The Genealogy Of The State. Miami: E. B. Douglas Co. 1923. QH105.F6 S56 c.3

Information about related materials is available at

Related descriptions

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