Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Africa (2 collections)
SCUA

Dethier, V. G. (Vincent Gaston), 1915-1993

Vincent G. Dethier Papers, 1943-1993.
8 boxes (12 linear feet).
Call no.: FS 168

Vincent Dethier, 1978
Vincent Dethier, 1978

The Gilbert L. Woodside Professor of Zoology at UMass Amherst from 1975-1993, Vincent Dethier was an authority on the biophysics of insect chemosensation and neuroethology. Born in Boston in 1915 into a family of accomplished musicians, Dethier received his doctorate at Harvard in 1939 for a study of the feeding behavior of swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. After service with the Army Air Corps in North Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War and a stint at the Army Chemical Center in Maryland, he resumed his academic career, joining the zoology faculty at Ohio State, Johns Hopkins (1947-1958), the University of Pennsylvania (1958-1967), and Princeton (1967-1975) in succession. His appointment at UMass marks the founding of the university’s program in Neuroscience and Behavior. In addition to over 170 scholarly papers and five scholarly monographs on insect physiology, Dethier wrote several popular works on natural history as well as short stories and children’s books. The recipient of numerous honors during his academic career, Dethier was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1960), the National Academy of Sciences (1965), and the American Philosophical Society (1980), and was recipeitn of the Entomological Society of America’s Founders’ Memorial Award (1967) and the John Burroughs Medal (1993) for nature writing.

Documenting his post-World War II career, Vincent Dethier’s correspondence includes good content for his participation in scientiic organizations, publishing, travel, and speaking engagements, with somewhat sparser information on his research. The collection also includes a sampling of photographs, including a series of lantern slides from work in Africa, a scrapbook, a complete set of his publishing scientific papers, and a sampling of short stories and creative writing.

Subjects
  • Entomology
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Biology Department
Types of material
  • Photographs

Grout, Aldin

Aldin Grout papers, 1833-2002 (Bulk: 1833-1894).
1 box (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 797

Rev. Aldin Grout
Rev. Aldin Grout

Aldin Grout was among the first American missionaries to the Zulu nation. After experiencing a religious conversion in his early twenties, Grout dedicated his life to the ministry, studying at Amherst College (1831) and Andover Theological Seminary (1834) before accepting an appointment from the American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions. In Nov. 1835, Grout and his new wife Hannah sailed for South Africa, arriving in Port Natal in June, and building their first outpost among the Zulu, who were in a temporary lull in their long war with Boer settlers. Although Hannah died barely a year later, Grout and his second wife Charlotte remained at the mission station at Umlozi for over thirty years. After settling into retirement in Springfield, Mass., in 1870, Grout took part in the ABCFM effort to translate the Bible into Zulu (1883) and wrote about his missionary experiences for a general audience. Aldin Grout died in Springfield on 1894.

In nearly fifty letters to his in-laws, Grout provided a remarkable commentary on his missionary activities in colonial South Africa, his personal religious convictions, and the lives of the Zulus to whom he ministered. The collection also includes a handful of fragmentary autobiographical and historical sketches written after Grout’s retirement, a handful of letters from his wives and fellow missionary workers, Hannah and Charlotte, and some photographs of Groutville, S.A., and other materials from Grout’s great-great-granddaughter Norine Lee (formerly Phillips).

Subjects
  • American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions
  • Dingane, King of the Zulu, approximately 1793-1840
  • Missionaries--South Africa
  • South Africa--Description and travel--19th century
  • South Africa--History--19th century
  • Zulu (African people)--History
Contributors
  • Grout, Charlotte Bailey
  • Grout, Hannah Davis
Types of material
  • Photographs

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