Guide to the records of the New York Aquarium and Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences Director, George D. Ruggieri, 1906-1988 (bulk 1973-1987)
Wildlife Conservation Society Archives
Guide to the Records of New York Aquarium Director and Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences Director George D. Ruggieri
Table of Contents
- Wildlife Conservation Society Archives
- Ruggieri, George D.
- Collection Number
- New York Aquarium. Office of Director. New York Zoological Society. Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences. Office of Director. George D. Ruggieri records
- circa 1906-1988 (bulk 1973-1987)
- 36.15 linear feet (27 record cartons, 6 Hollinger boxes)
- The collection holds records and personal papers from George D. Ruggieri, S.J., Director of the New York Aquarium [NYA] and of the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences [OLMS]. Ruggieri began his affiliation with OLMS during his graduate studies in marine biology and joined the staff shortly after his 1962 ordination as a Jesuit Priest. His research concentrated on marine natural products, especially the effects of various metabolites on the reproduction and development of other organisms and their potential uses in the fight against disease. Ruggieri’s NYA recordsdocument the Aquarium’s various departments and showcase its exhibits and animals and its relationships with peer institutions, Brooklyn community and business groups, zoo and conservation organizations, and local politicians. The OLMS records document the scientists who worked at the Labs, their research, the Labs’ funders and fundraising efforts, and its relationship with the departments, administration, and trustees of the New York Zoological Society. Finally, the collection also includes a series of Ruggieri’s personal papers, comprising publicity about Ruggieri and his manuscript and publication files.
- New York Aquarium.
- New York Zoological Society. Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences.
- New York Zoological Society.
- Ruggieri, George D.
- Aquarium animals
- Aquatic animals
- Marine biologists
- Marine laboratories
- Marine natural products
- Public aquariums
- Public aquariums -- Design and construction
Certain portions of this collection are subject to access restrictions. Please contact the WCS Archives regarding these restrictions.
Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.
Internal transfer, 1982 (Acc. 1982.005)
Internal transfers, 1985 (Acc. 1985.001, 1985.002, 1985.008, 1985.009).
Internal transfers, 1988 (Acc. 1988.003, 1988.004).
Internal transfer, 1996 (Acc. 1996.007).
Wildlife Conservation Society Archives2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY, 10460
Collection processed and finding aid created by Leilani Dawson, 2011-2013.
Collection 3001. New York Aquarium records, circa 1900-1998 (bulk 1960-1990).
Collection 3007. Louis E. Garibaldi records, 1960-1999.
Collection 3011. James A. Oliver New York Aquarium records, 1966-1977 (bulk 1970-1976).
Collection 3021. Myron Gordon records, 1900-1978 (bulk 1940-1958).
Collection 3053. Ross F. Nigrelli records, 1929-1987 (bulk 1945-1980).
Collection 3054. New York Aquarium senior staff records, 1955-1979 (bulk 1964-1979).
Please contact the Wildlife Conservation Society Archives for information on additional holdings related to this collection.
[Item], [Date]. George D. Ruggieri records, circa 1906-1988 (bulk 1973-1987). Collection 3008. Wildlife Conservation Society Archives, New York.
One Hollinger box worth of personnel records were removed and set aside for HR review.
Two Hollinger boxes of publications and ephemera from other zoos and aquariums, conservation organizations, and New York City and New York State groups were set aside for potential inclusion in a Zoo History special collection.
The 1980 Planning Committee file was transferred to the Planning Committee collection.
A significant volume of NYZS ephemera was transferred to the Publications-Printed Ephemera collection, as were duplicates of Dinner-Dance programs and other OLMS / NYA event ephemera and the NYA News newsletter for 1975.
George D. Ruggieri began his affiliation with the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences [OLMS] during his graduate studies in marine biology; he conducted the research for his 1960 PhD thesis at OLMS and joined the staff shortly after his 1962 ordination as a Jesuit Priest. During his early career Ruggieri was also a professor at St. Joseph’s College of Philadelphia, and later had affiliations with various other Catholic universities in the New York City area, including Fordham and St. John’s. Under previous OLMS Director Ross F. Nigrelli, Ruggieri quickly gained increasing responsibilities at OLMS, becoming Coordinator of Research when the Labs joined the Aquarium in Coney Island in 1967, and assuming the OLMS Directorship when Nigrelli retired in 1973. Also in 1973, NYA Director James Oliver named Ruggieri Associate Director of the Aquarium; Ruggieri became NYA Director in turn when Oliver retired in 1976.
Ruggieri’s research concentrated on marine natural products, especially the effects of various metabolites on the reproduction and development of other organisms and their potential uses in the fight against disease. He was a prolific writer, producing scores of academic research papers and popular articles, as well as a book, The Healing Sea. The effect of pollution and other human impacts on marine and coastal creatures and ecosystems was another focus of Ruggieri’s research, and he was a tireless advocate for the wetlands of the New York-New Jersey Bight, especially the Gateway National Recreation Area. In December 1987 Ruggieri passed away after a brief struggle with cancer, a disease that was one of the focuses of the research he shepherded at OLMS.
|NYZS Career Chronology|
|1963-1964||Visiting Research Associate, Marine Biochemistry & Ecology, OLMS|
|1965||Research Associate, Experimental Morphogenesis, OLMS|
|1966||Research Associate, Experimental Embryology & Teratology, OLMS|
|1967-1969||Coordinator of Research (and Experimental Embryologist), OLMS|
|1970-1972||Assistant Director, Experimental Embryologist, and Coordinator of Research, OLMS|
|1973-1976||Associate Director, NYA|
|1973-1982||Director and Experimental Embryologist, OLMS|
|1982-1987||Director and Experimental Embryologist, Carter Chair of Marine Science, OLMS|
Scope and Content
The collection holds records and personal papers from George D. Ruggieri, S.J., Director of the New York Aquarium [NYA] and of the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences [OLMS]. For both the Aquarium and the Labs, the primary set of documentation consists of Ruggieri’s annual files of correspondence, administrative records, and ephemera. The NYA annual files document the day-to-day operation of the Aquarium and its departments, as well as the Aquarium’s relations with local politicians and civic groups. The OLMS annual files include records pertaining to the research work of the Labs, as well as to the relationship of the Labs and the Aquarium to their parent organization, the New York Zoological Society [NYZS]. The series for the Aquarium and Labs each also include subject files, and the OLMS series also contains a subseries devoted to the Labs’ researchers and to its annual Dinner-Dances. Finally, the collection includes a series of Ruggieri’s personal papers, comprising publicity about Ruggieri and his manuscript and publication files. Other highlights include documentation on a species of nautilus named after Ruggieri and an angelfish named after NYZS trustee Nixon Griffis, as well as the shooting script and other material pertaining to the TV movie Out of the Darkness, a fictionalized account of Detective Ed Zigo’s role in apprehending the Son of Sam serial killer that featured Hector Elizondo as a character (‘Father George’) based on Ruggieri.
The collection is arranged in three series, with a total of nine subseries
- Series 1
- New York Aquarium records, circa 1906-1908, 1950-1988 (bulk 1974-1987)
- (Subseries 1.1)
- 1976-1987 Annual files, circa 1906-1908, 1950-1988 (bulk 1976-1987
- (Subseries 1.2)
- Subject files, 1964-1987 (bulk 1974-1987)
- Series 2
- Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences records, 1957-1988 (bulk 1964-1987)
- (Subseries 2.1)
- 1975-1987 Annual files, 1964-1988 (bulk 1975-1987)
- (Subseries 2.2)
- Dinner-Dances, 1981-1987
- (Subseries 2.3)
- Personnel files, 1960-1987
- (Subseries 2.4)
- Subject files, 1957-1987
- Series 3
- George D. Ruggieri papers, 1960-1988
- (Subseries 3.1)
- Publicity files, 1966-1987
- (Subseries 3.2)
- Manuscripts, speeches, and pre-publication files, 1960-1987
- (Subseries 3.3)
- Publications, 1960-1988
Other Finding Aids note
The Wildlife Conservation Society Archives holds additional descriptive information pertaining to this collection; please contact the archivist for more detail.