Edward Drinker Cope papers
Scope and Contents
This collection includes letters, notebooks, notes, and sketches related to Edward Drinker Cope's work in paleontology and related natural sciences. The collection includes sketches of birds, reptiles, and amphibians, some colored. There are letters on various scientific subjects from Alexander Agassiz, Louis Agassiz, Alexander Graham Bell, Pliny Earle Chase, Havelock Ellis, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, Arnold Henry Guyot, Joseph Henry, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thomas Henry Huxley, Maria Mitchell, Sir Richard Owen, Robert Edwin Peary, Herbert Spencer, and others. Several notebooks include classification schemes and observations from research trips and experiments, as well as miscellaneous notes on birds, trees, and plants.
- 1848 - 1940
- Cope, E. D. (Edward Drinker) (Person)
The collection is open to research use.
Standard Federal Copyright Law apply (U.S. Title 17).
Biographical / Historical
Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897) was the son of Alfred and Hannah (Edge) Cope. He attended Westtown School and the University of Pennsylvania. Cope was a professor at Haverford College from 1864 to 1867. He devoted his later years primarily to exploration and travelling throughout the Western United States to identify fossils of reptiles, fish, and mammals. Cope was a subscriber to the Lamarckian theory of evolution, holding that individuals pass acquired traits to their offspring; although incorrect, the view was widespread among paleontologists at the time. Cope presents views on the human race that would today be recognized as racist.
Cope's feud with Othniel Charles Marsh, a professor at Yale University, and their race to identify dinosaur skeletons led to the discovery of many new dinosaur species but also damaged their reputations; this has been referred to as the "Bone Wars." Over the course of his career, Cope discovered and described over 1,000 species of fossil vertebrates and published over 1,000 articles and books.
In addition to his fieldwork, Cope held curatorial posts at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. From 1889 to 1897, he taught geology at the University of Pennsylvania.
.25 Linear Feet (1 box)
Letters, notebooks, notes, and sketches related to Cope's work in paleontology and related natural sciences. Also sketches of birds, reptiles, and amphibians, some colored. Letters on various scientific subjects from Alexander Agassiz, Louis Agassiz, Alexander Graham Bell, Pliny Earle Chase, Havelock Ellis, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, Arnold Henry Guyot, Joseph Henry, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thomas Henry Huxley, Maria Mitchell, Sir Richard Owen, Robert Edwin Peary, Herbert Spencer, and others.
The collection is arranged by type of material.
Original processing information unknown.
- Edward Drinker Cope papers, 1848-1940
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- May, 2022: Revised by Janeen Lamontagne
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