This is the "Collection 3009" page of the "Breder, Charles M. and Coates, Christopher W. New York Aquarium Directors records" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
wcsbanner wcs

Breder, Charles M. and Coates, Christopher W. New York Aquarium Directors records  

Last Updated: Oct 1, 2015 URL: http://ielc.libguides.com/content.php?pid=626745 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Collection 3009 Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

Guide to the records of the New York Aquarium Directors Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates, 1939-1956

Guide to the records of New York Aquarium Directors Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates, 1939-1956 3009

Guide to the records of New York Aquarium Directors Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates, 1939-1956
3009

Summary Information

Repository
Wildlife Conservation Society Archives
Creator
Breder, Charles M., Jr., (Charles Marcus), 1897-1983
Creator
Coates, Christopher W., (Christopher William)
Collection Number
3009
Title
New York Aquarium. Office of Director. Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates records
Date [inclusive]
1939-1956
Extent
0.4 linear feet (2 half-Hollinger boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
The collection holds records from Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates, who were, respectively, the last Director of the New York Aquarium in its original building in Battery Park on Manhattan (where it was located from 1896 to 1941) and the first Director of the New York Aquarium in its current facility on Coney Island in Brooklyn (where it has been located from 1957 until the present). Breder’s records pertain primarily to the work of Myron Gordon at the Aquarium’s Fish Genetics Laboratory. Coates’s materials are more varied, and include files pertaining to Aquarium administrative matters and to its assistance with exhibits at the Bronx Zoo during the period, 1941-1957, when the Aquarium was without a location of its own.

Return to Table of Contents »


Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • New York Aquarium. Fish Genetics Laboratory.
  • New York Aquarium.
  • New York Zoological Park.
  • New York Zoological Society.

Personal Name(s)

  • Breder, Charles M., Jr., (Charles Marcus), 1897-1983
  • Coates, Christopher W., (Christopher William)
  • Gordon, Myron, 1899-1959

Subject(s)

  • Aquarists
  • Aquatic animals
  • Electrophorus (Fish)
  • Ichthyologists
  • Public aquariums
  • Xiphophorus
  • Zoo exhibits

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Certain portions of this collection are subject to access restrictions. Please contact the WCS Archives regarding these restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.

Repository Contact

Wildlife Conservation Society Archives

2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY, 10460
718.220.6874
library@wcs.org

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid created by Leilani Dawson, September 2014.

Return to Table of Contents »

Related Collections

Collection 3001. New York Aquarium records, circa 1900-1998 (bulk 1960-1990).

Collection 3021. Myron Gordon records, 1900-1978 (bulk 1940-1958).

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.

Also note the Archives of Mote Marine Laboratory, which holds Charles M. Breder archival collections: https://dspace.mote.org/dspace/handle/2075/2907.

Return to Table of Contents »

Other Finding Aids note

The Wildlife Conservation Society Archives holds additional descriptive information pertaining to this collection; please contact the archivist for more detail.

Preferred Citation

[Item], [Date]. Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates New York Aquarium records, 1939-1956. Collection 3009. Wildlife Conservation Society Archives, New York.

Return to Table of Contents »


Historical Note

Charles M. Breder Jr. and Christopher W. Coates were, respectively, the second and third Directors of the New York Aquarium [NYA] following its acquisition by the New York Zoological Society in 1902. The two men led the Aquarium through the 16-year period between the closure of its original building in Manhattan’s Battery Park (1941) through the opening of its current facility on Coney Island in Brooklyn (1957). Breder and Coates were each known for their research pursuits, Breder in the fields of fish locomotion and aquarium water chemistry, and Coates for his work with electric eels (popularized with live demonstrations at the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair). Coates additionally authored popular books and articles on the topic of raising tropical fish in home aquaria.

In the period the NYA was without a building of its own, many of its fish, reptile, bird, and aquatic mammal exhibits found a temporary home in the Lion House of the Bronx Zoo. The Aquarium’s research laboratories, meanwhile, continued their work in space rented from the American Museum of Natural History [AMNH]. Perhaps the most prominent of these labs was the Fish Genetics Laboratory, where Myron Gordon researched the genetic aspects of and mechanisms for speciation, sex determination, and tumor development, with a particular interest in melanomas in platyfish and swordtails.

Both Breder and Coates continued their ichthyological pursuits after retiring from their tenures as NYA Director. Breder was particularly active; in addition to holding a senior research associate position at the Aquarium, he served as a long-term board member (and, in 1967, Interim Director) of Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory.

For a more thorough history of the New York Aquarium (1902-2014), including a complete list of NYA Directors, see the finding aid for Collection 3001: New York Aquarium records, circa 1900-1998 (bulk 1960-1990). For additional biographical information on Breder see the website of the Mote Marine Laboratory’s Archives, which holds collections of Breder’s research journals and papers: https://dspace.mote.org/dspace/handle/2075/2907, as well as Copeia No. 3, pp. 853-856, 1986, which includes a biography of Breder written by former NYA Assistant Curator James W. Atz.

NYA Career Chronology: Charles M. Breder, Jr.
1920-1922 Aquarist
1923-1924 Assistant Aquarist
1925-1930 Research Associate
1932-1936 Assistant Director
1937-1938 Acting Director
1939-1943 Director
1943-1983 Research Associate (from 1967 onwards with the Aquarium's Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences rather than with the Aquarium itself)
NYA Career Chronology: Christopher W. Coates
1930 Visiting Student
1931-1936 (Employee, title not specified in annual reports but other sources indicate he may have been Curator of Tropical Fish)
1937-1942 Aquarist
1943-1955 Curator and Aquarist (During this period the Aquarium did not have a Director)
1956-1964 Director
1964-1973 Director Emeritus

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, reports, and financial records from New York Aquarium Directors Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates. Breder’s records pertain primarily to the work of Myron Gordon at the Aquarium’s Fish Genetics Laboratory. Coates’s materials also include correspondence with and about Gordon, but are more varied. Other materials include articles written by Coates, as well as files on electric eels, the operation of the Bronx Zoo’s Penguin House, the earthworms and other creatures Aquarium staff raised to feed the Bronx Zoo’s platypuses, and the ownership of the business name “New York Aquarium”.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series:

Series 1
 NYA Directors Charles M. Breder, Jr. and Christopher W. Coates records, 1940-circa 1956
Series 2
 NYA Aquarist and Curator Christopher W. Coates records, 1939-1954

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1: NYA Directors Charles M. Breder and Christopher W. Coates records, 1940-circa 1956 

Breder: "Conference on activities at the Aquarium with special reference to national defense", circa 1941 


Box Folder
Text 1 1

Breder: Fish Genetics Laboratory -- "Genetic and correlated studies of fishes" typescript, circa 1941 


Box Folder
Text 1 2

Breder: Fish Genetics Laboratory -- "Report of the geneticist" typescript, 1940 


Box Folder
Text 1 3

Breder: Fish Genetics Laboratory -- Correspondence regarding Myron Gordon's work, 1941 


Box Folder
Text 1 4

Breder: 'Fishes of the Western North Atlantic' call for submissions, circa 1940-1947 


Box Folder
Text 1 5

Coates: Research Director draft memoranda, circa 1956 


Box Folder
Text 1 6

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 2: NYA Aquarist and Curator Chistopher W. Coates records, 1939-1954 

Aquarium Expenditures Notebook, 1951-1954 


Box Folder
Text 1 7

Clippings, 1941-1952 


Box Folder
Mixed materials 1 8

Correspondence -- Anti-vivisection legislation, 1946 


Box Folder
Text 1 9

Correspondence -- Atlantic Monthly, 1946-1948 


Box Folder
Text 2 1

Correspondence -- Burrows, William D., 1945-1946 


Box Folder
Text 2 2

Correspondence -- Carlisle, Donald, 1945-1949 


Box Folder
Text 2 3

Correspondence -- Cox, Richard T., 1940 


Box Folder
Text 2 4

Correspondence -- Earthworm farms, 1946-1950 


Box Folder
Mixed materials 2 5

Correspondence -- Electric eel, 1945-1951 


Box Folder
Text 2 6

Correspondence -- Encyclopedia Britannica, 1948 


Box Folder
Text 2 7

Correspondence -- Gordon, Myron, 1950-1952 


Box Folder
Text 2 8

Correspondence -- Miscellaneous, 1939-1954 


Box Folder
Text 2 9

Correspondence -- New York Aquarium title, 1940-1948 


Box Folder
Text 2 10

Correspondence -- Penguin House operation, 1948-1951 


Box Folder
Text 2 11

Return to Table of Contents »


Wildlife Conservation Society Library & Archives | 2300 Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY 10460 | library[at]wcs[dot]org


Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip