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Charles Wallace Richmond

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Title: Charles Wallace Richmond  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Giant petrel, Threskiornithidae, Accentor, Great Nicobar serpent eagle, White-backed duck
Collection: 1868 Births, 1932 Deaths, American Ornithologists, Smithsonian Institution Archives Related, Smithsonian Institution People
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Charles Wallace Richmond

Charles Wallace Richmond
Born (1868-12-31)December 31, 1868
Died May 19, 1932(1932-05-19) (aged 63)
Nationality American
Fields Ornithology
Institutions United States National Museum

Charles Wallace Richmond (December 31, 1868 – May 19, 1932) was an American ornithologist. He is best remembered for a compilation of the Latin names of birds that is called the Richmond Index.


  • Life and work 1
  • Research 2
  • Legacy 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and work

He was born in

  • The Richmond Index
  • Guide to the microfiche

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Stone, Witmer (1933). "In memoriam: Charles Wallace Richmond 1868–1932" (PDF). Auk 50 (1): 1–22.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Charles Wallace Richmond Library Catalog and Lists, 1906–1908 and undated". SIA RU007382.  
  3. ^ Richmond, Charles W. (1992). The Richmond Index to the Genera and Species of Birds (R.J. O’Hara, ed.). Boston: G.K. Hall & Company. Introductory note by R J O'Hara
  4. ^ Bailey, Florence Merriam (1921). Handbook of Birds of the Western United States. Houghton Mifflin. p. 500. 


The scientific name of the Northern cardinal, Richmondena cardinalis, was named in his honor.[4]


Richmond started a card catalog when he was twenty one. He continued to maintain the catalog throughout his life.[1][3] Research wise he focused on naming authorities for bird names, and was considered the foremost expert on the subject. His card catalog continues to be utilized by ornithologists, today.[2]


In 1888, Richmond took part in a United States Geological Survey expedition to Montana.[2] He became an ornithological clerk at the United States Department of Agriculture.[2] After a collecting trip to Nicaragua he joined the staff of the United States National Museum in Washington DC as a nightwatchman.[1][2] He was promoted to Aid, followed by Assistant in the birds department. He became Associate Curator of Birds in 1894. Richmond then became Associate Curator in 1918. He moved up to Curator in 1929, but stepped back to stay as Associate Curator, so that Herbert Friedmann could become Curator.[2]

While still at Wisconsin he had collected the eggs of a Kingbird and when he moved to Washington, in 1881.[2] He visited the Smithsonian Institution museum and seeing the large collection of nests and eggs he decided that he would never produce such a collection himself and decided to hand over his own collections to the museum. This led him to meet Robert Ridgway. He subsequently met Ridgway often and this early influence was very strong. His work in the House of Representatives let him use the library there which had a good collection of books on birds.[1]


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