1907 American Association of Museums Meeting Identifications

Comments on Data Sources for Compiling the Master List

Data compiled in the Master List about individuals and institutions are derived from various sources, not all of which are equally reliable. Persons listed either definitely attended or purportedly participated in some manner in the 1907 AAM Meeting. The Master Table lists the sources of data reviewed for each individual.

Roll Call and Membership List

The official roll call of attendance, conducted on Tuesday morning, June 4, 1907, immediately after the welcoming addresses, provides the highest level of authentication. Fifty-nine people in attendance when roll was called are listed on pages 31–32 of Proceedings of the American Association of Museums, Records of the Meeting held at the Museum of the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 4–6, 1907. However, for reasons discussed below, it is possible that some people who participated in the meeting were not present for the roll call. The Proceedings volume (pages 17–22) also contains a list of the Life, Active, and Sustaining members of AAM (not all of whom attended the Pittsburgh meeting) and by using that list we were able to confirm spelling of names and verify institutional affiliations for those members who did attend the Pittsburgh meeting. Four persons (Deens, Eigenmann, Lambing, and Matthew) who answered the roll call are not recorded on the AAM membership list.

Newspaper accounts

Newspaper accounts are another source of information about persons attending the Pittsburgh meeting and events that transpired, although these reports are suspect in some instances. The Master Table records all individuals who are named in the various Pittsburgh newspapers reporting on the meeting. Twelve individuals named in the newspapers are not recorded for the roll call: Atkinson, Barber, Britton, Burchard, Church, Cory, Gest, Lamb, McCreery, Porter, Putnam, and Rathbun. McCreery, who spoke for Mayor Guthrie, and Church and Porter, who were Carnegie Institute Trustees, played minor roles in the meeting, so their absence at the roll call is understandable. Atkinson, being Carnegie Museum’s Honorary Custodian of Reptiles and Amphibians, may have attended some sessions of the AAM Meeting even though he was not present at the roll call. These seven newspapers on the dates shown contain reports on the AAM meeting: Pittsburgh Gazette Times (June 2–6), Pittsburgh Leader (June 2-6), Pittsburgh Post (June 2, 4–6), Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph (June 3-6), Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph (June 4-6), Pittsburgh Press (June 3–4), and Pittsburgh Daily Dispatch (June 3–6). The information on the social events associated with the AAM Meeting is derived from these newspaper accounts for the most part.

Edwin Atlee Barber

Circumstances surrounding Edwin Atlee Barber’s purported attendance provide an example of the caution needed when using newspaper accounts. Newspapers identify Barber, who is listed as director of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, as a participant. One newspaper, the Pittsburgh Gazette Times of June 4, includes his image in a panel of photographs of five museum directors attending the Pittsburgh convention. Yet we are unable to confirm that Barber actually attended. He is absent from the roll call list, is not mentioned in the Proceedings as being involved in speeches, discussions, or any other activity that would confirm his presence, and he is not depicted in the photograph taken on the steps of the Lecture Hall of Science.

Eleventh Annual Report of Carnegie Museum

Information about the positions held by Carnegie Museum staff members who participated in some way in the 1907 AAM Meeting was obtained from the Eleventh Annual Report of Carnegie Museum. From all sources consulted, we have compiled a list of nineteen participating staff including two honorary curators (Atkinson and Lambing). Of the fifteen who answered roll call, 12 are identified; Arthur Coggeshall, Hartman, Holland, Kahl, Lambing, Ortmann, Peterson, Prentice, Raymond, Santens, Stewart, and Webster. Douglass, Jennings, and Townsend answered to roll call but were apparently not present in the Lecture Hall photograph. Three employees (Agostini, Louis Coggeshall, and Mills) are not included in the roll call but are seen in the photograph (Mills identifiedly). Atkinson was missing from the roll call and has not yet been identified in the photograph, but he was mentioned in a newspaper account. On the Master Table Carnegie Museum staff are highlighted in yellow.

1907 AAM Meeting Photograph

The group photograph provides a visual record of persons present at the AAM Meeting. The photograph was taken June 4, 1907, the same day as the roll call, on the steps of the Lecture Hall of Science at Carnegie Institute. Discovery of this framed photograph in W. J. Holland’s archives prompted our initial interest in the Pittsburgh AAM Meeting. Many Carnegie Museum employees could be readily identified in the photograph because their images are present in Carnegie Museum archives. Also seen in the photograph is Charles Chauncey Mellor, a Trustee of Carnegie Institute and Chair of its Museum Committee. On June 5, W. J. Holland arranged for a second photograph, of persons attending the AAM Meeting standing behind the world-famous Diplodocus carnegii dinosaur (see Meeting History section).

AAM & Dippy

Fifty-nine persons are named in the AAM roll call and sixty are visible in the Lecture Hall of Science photograph, but the identities of many visitors from beyond the Pittsburgh area remain unknown. Identifying others in the photograph remains a real possibility, especially by those individuals who currently are employed by institutions represented by the participants in 1907. From images in Pittsburgh newspapers and other sources, including photographs from other AAM annual meetings, we have identified some of the participants at the Pittsburgh meeting. The 1909 Proceedings proved especially valuable because it contains an overlay of that year's photograph on which individuals are numbered and named.

To date, we have definitively identified only these out-of-town participants: Akeley, Bumpus, Crook, Dorsey, Eigenmann, Farrington, French, Gallup, Gilman, Griffin, Jenkins, Kurtz, Lucas, McGee, Rea, Rothrock, Schuchert, Shafer, Stotsenberg, Talmage, Ward, Wilson, and Zierden.

If you believe you can identify any individuals, please see the identification page and contact Curator Emeritus David Watters with your information..

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