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William J. Baerg Collection

Personal and research papers, 1890-1984

Manuscript Collection 953


Papers pertaining to William J. Baerg (1885-1980), from a variety of sources donated from 1970 through 1990, were consolidated into one collection.  It includes material from Accession 953 (from Lloyd Warren, January 1970 and March 1989), Accession 1147 (from Lloyd Warren, January 1987 - September 1990), Accession 783 (from his widow, Eloise Baerg King, June 1987), and photographs from Baerg's office brought to Special Collections by Joe Neal (August 1990).

A graduate of Cornell University, Baerg joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas in 1918 as acting head of the department of entomology.  He returned to Cornell for his PhD (1922) and began to specialize in spiders.   In 1930, Baerg married Eloise Farris of Fort Smith, a graduate of the University of Arkansas.  They had two children.  Through his friend Charles J. Finger, Baerg met many literary figures of his day.  He also became interested in birds and taught ornithology.  He retired in 1951, but continued research on spiders and insects for many years, receiving a Fulbright Grant to study in Jamaica (1951-1952) and a Guggenheim Fellowship to study in Mexico (1954-1955).

Included in the collection are 37 volumes of reprints collected by Baerg, almost all on spiders and other arachnids, which were previously bound as the "William J. Baerg Collection of Entomological Literature."  A few additional reprints (including many by Baerg himself) have been added to this group.  The rest of the material has been divided into three more series:  research and teaching papers (including reprints, typescripts, notes, and correspondence), personal papers, and pictures (mostly photographs of arachnids and birds).

RESTRICTIONS APPLY.  Some material in Series 2 is restricted according to the student records policy of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (U. S. Code).  Researchers desiring access to the material should consult with the Director of Special Collections.  Negatives are restricted.

Processed by  Nan Lawler, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in November 1991.

ca. 8 linear feet

Series 1. Collection of literature on arachnids.  37 Volumes, Box 1.
Series 2. Teaching and research papers.  Box 2 - Box 6, Folder 6.
Series 3. Personal papers.  Box 6, Folders 7-10.
Series 4. Pictures.  Boxes 7-9.

Series 1.  Collection of literature on arachnids (37 Volumes, Box 1)
The bulk of Baerg's collections of reprints of articles are bound and have been entitled the "William J. Baerg Collection of Entomological Literature."  The articles are arranged, within each group, alphabetically by author's name.

Volumes 1-20. "Papers on Spiders," including miscellaneous papers on spiders by Pierre Bonnet (1927-1961), Nathan Banks (1901-1932), Ralph V. Chamberlin (1908-1947, many with Wilton Ivie; see Vol. 6 for original description of new species Aphonopelma baergi Chamberlin, 1940), Arthur M. Chickering (1936-1959), Harriet Exline (1934-1965), Ulrich Gerhardt (1928-1933), W. J. Gertsch (1934-1955), B. J. Kaston (1935-1955), George W. & Elizabeth G. Peckham (1890), and Alexander Petrunkevitch (1925-1946).  For each author, papers are arranged by date.

Volumes 21-24. "Papers on Scorpions," including paper by Stanley C. Williams and Neil F. Hadley, 1967, describing new species, Vejovis baergi.

Volume 25. "Papers on Solpugidae" by Martin H. Muma (1951-1967).

Volumes 1-11. "Addendum to Papers on Spiders," including papers by Chamberlin & Ivie (1942-1955), Chickering (1940-1963), Gertsch (1939-1961), Kaston (1936-1964), Herbert W. Levi (1951-1968), and Petrunkevitch (1922-1963).  Some papers are duplicates of those in Volumes 1-20.  For each author, papers are arranged alphabetically by title.

Volume 1. "Addendum 2."  Annuaire des Arachnologistes Mondiaux (Acarologistes Exceptes), 1974, Centre International de Documentation Arachnologique, Paris.

Box 1

 1. Reprints, publications, and typescripts (by authors other than Baerg) on arachnids and insects, 1905-1975.
 2. Reprints and publications (including articles in popular magazines) by Baerg on arachnids, 1925-1938.
 3. Reprints and publications (including articles in popular magazines) by Baerg on arachnids, 1942-1955.

Series 2.  Teaching and research papers (Box 2 - Box 6, Folder 6)
Papers include reprints, typescripts of articles, notes (by Baerg and others), notebooks, and correspondence.  The notes in Boxes 4-6 are mainly on 5 1/4 x 8" sheets and were arranged alphabetically, sometimes by common name and sometimes by scientific name.  They were grouped in three bundles, one labeled "Birds," a second consisting of entomology notes, and the third group mostly of spider and venomous arthropod notes (this group also includes some other topics, such as squirrel surveys).  These were left mostly in the original order, with any necessary original dividers (surplus dividers were removed to save space).

Box 2

 1. Reprints by Baerg on birds, 1927-1930.
 2. Typescript, "Home Study Course in Entomology 213--Insects, by Dr. William J. Baerg, Professor Emeritus of Entomology."
 3. Typescripts of articles by Baerg (or co-authored by Baerg) on black widow spider research (abstract), insects and pest control (1928-[1953]), Arkansas birds, and travels in Mexico (1926) and Jamaica.
 4. Notes and information on Panama from various sources.
 5. Typescript, "The Prip to Panama," "Impressions" in pencil, about work on centipedes and tarantulas in Panama.
 6. Notes for talks on pest control in Arkansas (September 1947) and "The Phalangidae (no date).
 7. Correspondence, n.d., 1936-1984, with Baerg or Eloise Baerg, pertaining mostly to spiders.
 8. Newspaper clippings.
 9. Small notebook containing notes on collecting, photographs, supplies, and "List of Publications of W J Baerg.";  Binder containing typed lecture notes for "Geography for Pre-Flight Students," given during World War II.
Box 3
  "Observations on Birds," Volume I and Volume II.  (Binders containing typed and handwritten notes of Baerg's observations or reports from others on birds, 1924-1940.)
  [Pocket Class Record book for general entomology classes, 1919-1923, is restricted and has been removed from container.]

Box 4

 1. Notes, entomology, A through J.
 2. Notes, entomology, K through S.
 3. Notes, entomology, T through Z.
 4. Notes, "Birds" (bird surveys in various locations in Arkansas).
 5. Notes, "Birds" (observations of individual species or groups).
 6. Notes:  pages with rings, "Bird Notes 1927/From July 16" (observations and notes, 1925-1941).
 7. Notes:  "Plant cover--summer, 1938" and "Vegetational Dominance and Sequence" (1938).

Box 5

 1. Notes, spiders, A through Linyphia (including Black Widow spider bite experiments).
 2. Notes, spiders, Loxosceles through S.
 3. Notes, spiders, tarantulas.
 4. Notes, spiders, tarantulas (cont.)

Box 6

 1. Notes, spiders, tarantulas (cont.) - W.
 2. Notebook pages containing journal of trip to Panama, 13 August - 29 September 1924.
 3. Notebook pages containing notes and journal of trip to Durango, Mexico, 2 October - 12 November 1926; programs from Rotary Club meetings in Durango, 9 and 30 October 1926 (Baerg spoke at 9 October meeting).
 4. Notebook pages containing continuation of journal (including stories heard) of trip to Durango and elsewhere in Mexico, 12 November - 20 December 1926.
 5. Notebook pages containing journal of trip to San Diego to study spiders (2 September - 4 October 1935) and trip to Panama (3 December 1936 - 4 January 1937).
 6. Pages of notes originally fastened into cover entitled "Studies of Brown Widow, Black Widow, Scorpions, Tarantulas in Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, 1951-1952."

Series 3.  Personal papers (Box 6, Folders 7-10)
Box 6 (cont.)

 7. Page of biographical information, obituary (by William B. Peck), and autobiography (1963) of W. J. Baerg.
 8. Correspondence, 1941, 1946, 1969-1979.
 9. Typescript, program, clippings, [1923], 1956-1967.
 10. Script, program, magazine, and pocket books (1921-1924) mostly pertaining to Baerg's friendship with the Charles J. Finger family.

Series 4.   Pictures (Boxes 7-9)

Pictures include drawings, photoprints (sometimes hand colored for use in several different ways), and negatives.  Numbers refer to images; there may be drawings or prints in Box 7 or in Manuscript Collections Oversize Box 9, negatives in Box 8 or 9 (glass plate negatives) or Negatives Box 2 (safety film), or items in more than one location.  In each location, items are in numerical order, but there may be gaps in one location because the image is represented only in a different location.

Box 7

 1. Images 1-10.  Personal:  Baerg, friends, family.
 2. Images 11-18.  Birds.  (Images 16-18 are in Manuscript Collections Oversize Box 9.)
 3. Images 19-51.  Tarantulas:  portraits, males, females, poison studies, parasites.
 4. Images 52-108.  Tarantulas:  holes (burrows), sperm webs and preparation of males for mating, mating, cocoon (egg sac) construction, young.
 5. Images 109-140.  Black widows:  egg sac, poison glands, web, different species.  (Images 115, 116, 119-121, 125, 130, and 133 are in Manuscript Collections Oversize Box 9.)
 6. Images 141-164.  Other spiders, scorpions.
 7. Images 165-190.  Insects ("maple leaf scale pictures," including photographs and printed halftones) and trip to Panama, December 1936 - January 1937.

Box 8

  Glass plate negatives, images 31-128.

Box 9

  Glass plate negatives, images 129-164.

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