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Archie F. Carr, Jr. Papers

Identifier: Ms Coll. 030

Scope and Content

Dr. Carr's Papers consist of various drafts and other material relating to his principal published works and numerous unpublished notebooks, individual and official correspondence, records of grants and of organizations with which he worked, and files on miscellaneous subjects with which he was involved or collected material. These include several manuscripts by other authors. Photographs are found throughout the Papers along with the documents which they originally accompanied. There is no separate photograph file. The entire span of his career is covered. Correspondence is found from his graduate student years until shortly before his death.

Research records from years of turtle tagging at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, and elsewhere are not contained in the Papers. They are available through the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research.

The collection is arranged in four series: (1) Carr's Manuscripts, published and unpublished, (2) Correspondence, (3) Organizational and Sponsored Research Records, and (4) Miscellaneous Papers. They remain in the general grouping and arrangement used by Dr. Carr. Some rearrangement has been done of individual items.

A significant addition to the collection was made in 1999. These supplementary materials, are described separately in the Guide to the Archie F. Carr, Jr. Supplemental Papers, MS 30A.


  • Creation: 1907-1994
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1935-1987



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

The collection is open for research with the following exception: The originals of the Carr / Barbour correspondence found in the Addendum are the property of the Harvard University Archives, and any one using these copies must complete a copy of the form found in the first folder and agree to abide by its restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

The originals of the Carr / Barbour correspondence found in the Addendum are the property of the Harvard University Archives, and the copies may not be reproduced without their permission.

Biographical/Historical Note

Archie Fairly Carr, Jr., University of Florida Graduate Research Professor of Zoology, was associated with the University for more than fifty years. As a zoologist, he was most noted for his pioneering work in studying sea turtles and especially for discovering their migration patterns. Earlier in his career he specialized in the regional natural history of reptiles and of turtles in general. As a conservationist and writer, he sparked worldwide interest in saving turtles from threatened extinction. His entire career was spent at the University of Florida, first as a student, B.A. (1932), M.S. (1934), and as the University's first Ph.D. (1937) in biology. He continued as a faculty member until his death.

One of the University's Life Sciences buildings, Carr Hall, and the Archie F. Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research are named in his honor. Other distinctions earned by Dr. Carr include the Daniel Giraud Elliott Medal from the National Academy of Science (1952) for his Handbook of Turtles, the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing in 1955, a University Distinguished Alumnus award in 1972 and the University's Presidential Medallion in 1986. In 1987 Carr received the Gold Medallion of the New York Zoological Society and in 1984, the first Hal Borland Award from the National Audubon Society. The Florida Museum of Natural History periodically awards the Archie F. Carr Medal to individuals who have distinguished themselves in biological conservation.

Dr. Carr's most noted work, the Windward Road (1956) is credited with creating world wide attention on the plight of the sea turtle. His other works include High Jungles and Low (1953, republished 1992), Ulendo, Travels of a Naturalist in and out of Africa (1964, republished 1992), So Excellent a Fishe, a Natural History of Sea Turtles (1967), and three Time-Life books, Everglades (1973), Land and Wildlife of Africa (1964), and Reptiles (1963). Dr. Carr was also the author of a Guide to the Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fresh-water Fishes of Florida (1955) and a Handbook of Turtles (1952). A Naturalist in Florida was published posthumously in 1994 by the Yale University Press.

Sources: Independent Florida Alligator, March 9, 1987, May 26, 1987, April 4, 1989; Audubon, March, 1982, and July, 1984; New York Times, May 23, 1987, Biological Conservation (August, 1987), and letter to Kenneth Cooper, May 18, 1959. A folder of bio-bibliographical information on Dr. Carr may be found in the University Archives Vertical File.


28 Linear feet (49 boxes)

Language of Materials



The papers of Archie Fairly Carr, Jr., University of Florida Professor of Zoology, author and conservationist. The papers include his writings, correspondence, research, and files on miscellaneous subjects.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

With the exception of the manuscripts noted below, all of the papers were donated by Carr's widow, Marjorie Harris Carr, and were transferred to the Library after his death. Weeded papers include duplicate material, course records and evaluative material, financial records of grants, secondary materials which were not highly relevant to the collection, including his reprint file, and some non-substantive correspondence from the public.

An additional gift of Papers was made in 1995. The additions include the manuscript of A Naturalist in Florida, many manuscript fragments relating to Carr's African books and numerous shorter manuscripts relating to Florida and to sea turtles, manuscripts of Life Line columns, and several subject files in the Miscellaneous series.

An addendum to the Papers (Box 49) was made in 1996. It includes copies of letters from Archie and Marjorie Carr to Thomas L. Barbour (3 folders, 1939-1945) and a file of correspondence and manuscript received from Carr by Larry Ogren [7/5/96].

A significant addition to the collection was made in 1999. These materials are described in a supplementary collection, Ms Coll. 30A. A smaller addition to the collection was made in 2002.

Related Material

Along with Professor Carr's papers, the Carr gift included papers of turtle scientist and conservationist Tom Harrisson, D.S.O., O.B.E. (1911-1976). For more information see the guide to the Harrisson Papers.

A Guide to the Archie F. Carr, Jr. Papers
Finding aid created by Frank Orser
September 2010
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America