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Alfred Goldsborough Mayor Papers

An Inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mayor, Alfred Goldsborough, 1868-1922.
Title: Alfred Goldsborough Mayor Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1878-1926
Quantity: 6.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence (1881-1926); typescript manuscripts, notebooks, photographs, sketchbooks, and printed material, including articles by and about Mayor, and newspaper clippings. Correspondence includes that of Anna Hyatt Huntington, Audella Beebe Hyatt, A. Hyatt Mayor, and Harriet Randolph Hyatt Mayor.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Alfred G. Mayor was born in Frederick County, Maryland in 1868, the son of Alfred M. Mayor, noted physicist. At his father's wishes, he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1889. After graduation, he became an assistant in physics, first at Clark University and then at the University of Kansas. But his real love was natural history and so after three years he entered Harvard to pursue his doctorate. He became associated with Alpheus Hyatt II and Alexander Agassiz, serving as Agassiz's assistant. He was also given charge of the collection of radiates in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, a post he held for eight years. He accompanied Agassiz on several expeditions to tropical seas, gaining first-hand experience. Through his friendship with Alpheus Hyatt the noted paleontologist, he met the professor's daughter, Harriet Hyatt, whom he married in 1900.

That same year Dr. Mayor became chief curator of the Brooklyn Institute and four years later rose to the post of director of marine zoology studies for the Carnegie Institution. He became most interested in marine biology and soon established an experimental station off Key West, Florida on an inlet called Dry Tortugas. Here he spent much time in his later years studying the area with a group of assistants. He also led expeditions to the coral reefs of Samoa, Fiji and other South Pacific islands.

His scientific papers include works on the evolution of snails, the coloration of insects, the nature of the nervous impulse and the formation and rate of growth of coral reefs.

He developed tuberculosis, and finally succumbed in 1922. He was survived by his wife and four children, Alpheus Hyatt Mayor, Katharine Mayor Cook Townsend, Brantz Mayor, and Barbara Mayor Money.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alfred G. Mayor Papers include biographical material, correspondence, an address book, bills, and receipts, legal papers, books and articles as well as expedition journals, 1893 and 1896-1897, extensive notebooks, sketches, and sketchbooks, and published materials consisting of articles and newspaper clippings about Dr. Mayor and others and articles about others.

Correspondence, includes incoming and outgoing correspondence, as well as letters to and from others. Subject File, contains an address book, awards, bills and receipts, lists, legal papers, maps, notes and cards, and a scrapbook. Photographs, includes pictures of Dry Tortugas, Florida, family and friends, other people and places, Samoa coral (1919-1920) and the South Seas. Manuscripts, consists of books and articles by Dr. Mayor, expedition journals, notebooks, sketches and sketchbooks. Published Material, contains articles about and by Dr. Mayor, articles about others and newspaper clippings about Dr. Mayor and others.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The incoming letters are arranged alphabetically by author and the outgoing letters are arranged chronologically. Letters to an from others are arranged alphabetically by author. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject with negatives, both in film and glass, at the end. Subject File, Manuscripts, and Published Material are arranged alphabetically by type.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections for the Hyatt-Mayor families. For information on members of the Hyatt, Mayor, Beebe, and Huntington families see the SCRC Subject Index for the finding aids of individual family members.

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Subject Headings


Huntington, Anna Hyatt, 1876-1973.
Hyatt family.
Hyatt, Audella Beebe, 1840-1932.
Mayor family.
Mayor, A. Hyatt |q (Alpheus Hyatt), 1901-
Mayor, Alfred Goldsborough, 1868-1922 -- Archives.
Mayor, Harriet Randolph Hyatt, 1868-1960.


Naturalists -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alfred Goldsborough Mayor Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Nov. 1966
Revision history: 20 Mar 2008 - converted to EAD (LDC)

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Biographical Material
Incoming Correspondence
Box 1 A
Box 1 B
Box 1 C
Box 1 D
Box 1 E - F
Box 1 Ga - Goodyear, William
Box 1 Goto, Seitaro - Gunther, R. J.
Box 1 H
Box 1 Huntington, Anna V. Hyatt
Box 1 Hyatt, Alpheus II
Hyatt, Anna Vaughn
See Huntington, Anna V. Hyatt
Hyatt, Audella Beebe
Box 1 1895-1922
Box 1 Undated
Hyatt, Clara Carter
See Coad, Clara Carter Hyatt
Hyatt, Harriet
See Mayor, Harriet Hyatt
Box 1 K
Box 1 L
Box 1 M
Mayor, Alpheus Hyatt
Box 2 1905-1920
Box 2 Undated
Box 2 Mayor, Barbara (later became Money, Barbara M.)
Box 2 Mayor, Brantz (son)
Box 2 Mayor, Brantz (uncle)
Box 2 Mayor, Frank B.
Mayor, Harriet Hyatt
Box 2 Jan.-Sept. 1897
Box 2 Oct.-Dec. 1897
Box 2 Jan.-Feb., Jun.-Jul. 1898
Box 3 1899
Box 3 1900
Box 3 1901
Box 3 Jan.-Mar. 1902
Box 3 May-Sept. 1902
Box 3 May-Jul. 1903
Box 3 Sept.-Nov. 1903
Box 3 1904
Box 3 1905
Box 4 1906
Box 4 1907
Box 4 1908
Box 4 1909
Box 4 1910
Box 4 1911
Box 4 Feb.-Jun. 1912
Box 4 Jul.-Dec. 1912
Box 4 Jan.-Jul. 1913
Box 4 Aug.-Oct. 1913
Box 4 Mar.-Jun. 1914
Box 4 Jul.-Sept. 1914
Box 4 1915
Box 4 1916, 1917, 1919
Box 4 1920-1922
Box 5 Undated
Box 5 Undated
Box 5 Unidentified
Box 5 Mayor, Katherine (later became Townsend, Katherine Mayor Cook)
Box 5 Mayor, Maria (Mrs. Alfred M.)
Box 5 N
Box 5 O
Box 5 P
Box 5 R
Box 5 S
Box 5 T
Box 5 V
Box 5 W
Box 5 Unidentified
Outgoing Correspondence
Box 5 1891-1922 and undated
Box 5 Correspondence To & From Others
Subject File
Box 6 Address Book
Box 6 Awards
Box 6 Bills & Receipts
Box 6 Children's Hair
Box 6 Codification Regulations & Orders - American Samoa
Box 6 Diploma
Box 6 "Hyatt's Weekly Illustrated Magazine"
Box 6 Lists
Box 6 Legal Material
Box 6 Maps
Box 6 Notes & Cards
Box 6 Scrapbook
Box 7 Dry Tortugas, Fla. (3 folders)
Box 7 Family & Friends (2 folders)
Box 7 People & Places
Box 7 Samoan Coral 1919-1920
Box 7 South Seas (2 folders)
Box 7 Negatives
Box 7 Glass Negatives
Books & Articles
Box 8 "Pacific Island Reveries" typescript
Box 8 "Pacific Island Reveries" duplicated and bound
Box 8 "Structure & Ecology of Samoan Reefs"
Expedition Journals
Box 8 "Agassiz Expedition to the Bahamas" 1893
"Around the World - 1896"
Box 8 Feb. 27 - Apr. 15
Box 8 Apr. 14 -Jul. 8
Box 8 The Fiji Islands & Hawaii 1897
Box 9 Fragments of Studies
Box 9 Notebook of Drafts and Printed Books and Articles by Dr. Mayor
Box 9 Notebooks
Box 10 Notebooks (4)
Box 11 Notebooks - "Studies at Tortugas, Fla. 1917"
Box 11 Notebooks with sketches
Box 11 Notebooks with sketches - "Lepidopteria"
Box 11 Sketches
Box 11 Sketchbooks (2)
Box 12 Sketchbooks (1)
Box 12 Sketchbooks - "After Breakfast Hours"
Published Material
Box 12 Articles about Mayor
Box 12 Articles by Mayor
Box 12 Articles about Others
Box 12 Newspaper clippings about Mayor
Box 12 Newspaper clippings about Others

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