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New York Zoological Society. Department of Tropical Research. Research Associate. Gloria Hollister Anable papers

Identifier: 1006

Scope and Content

This collection contains the records, photographs and papers of Gloria Hollister Anable, Research Associate in the Department of Tropical Research (DTR) of the New York Zoological Society (NYZS). Most of the collection consists of photographs, glass slides and negatives, the bulk of which concern the DTR’s 1936 expedition to British Guiana (now Guyana), led by Hollister. The photographs document topics such as the discoveries of the golden frog and the hoatzin, animal specimens retrieved, and waterfalls encountered along the way, particularly Kaieteur Falls and two that Hollister wished to call the Princess Elizabeth Fall and the King Edward VIII Fall. (However, the Colonial Secretary’s Office of British Guiana believed these falls had been discovered and named prior to Hollister’s encounters with them.) Other photographs highlight the 1926 expedition to Guyana and Trinidad, during which Hollister collected a guácharo; additional negatives thought to originate from Dr. William Beebe.

Hollister’s non-photographic materials are divided between records relating to her professional work and her personal papers. The focus is also mainly on the 1936 Guyana trip, which is documented by journals, correspondence, contracts, finances, specimen lists, newspaper clippings, ephemera, lecture notes, and movie scripts. Also included are the journals from the 1926 Guyana expedition; correspondence and ephemera pertaining to a baby tarpon expedition; and research notes, scholarship proposal draft, ephemera, and correspondence regarding the failed Icelandic Expedition. Finally, the collection also contains newspaper clippings and correspondence concerning Hollister’s hobbies and her personal and professional acquaintances, including William Beebe, the Society of Women Geographers, and the Mianus River Gorge Conservation Committee of the Nature Conservancy.


  • 1914 - 2005
  • Majority of material found within 1926 - 1947


Access Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible access restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

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Biographical Note

Gloria Hollister developed an interest in zoology and conservation at an early age due to working alongside her father at the family farm during her childhood summers. In 1926, she was selected to head an expedition in British Guiana (now Guyana) and Trinidad. In 1928, she applied for and was given the position of research associate with Dr. William Beebe of the Department of Tropical Research [DTR] at the New York Zoological Society [NYZS]. Hollister took part in several expeditions with the DTR: the West Indies Oceanographic Expedition from 1932 until 1933; the Pearl Islands Oceanographic Expedition in 1934; a 1936 expedition to Guyana; and the Bermuda Oceanographic Expedition from 1928 to 1940. During the Bermuda expedition Beebe granted Hollister the chance to make several dives in the Bathysphere, including a 1934 descent to 1,208 feet that set the record for the farthest underwater descent made by a woman; an accomplishment that would stand for thirty years.

In April 1936, Hollister led an expedition to Guyana to study the flora and fauna that grew near the Kaieteur Plateau and Falls, and to collect live animal specimens for the New York Zoological Park (now known as the Bronx Zoo). Hollister’s team discovered several species, including the golden frog and the hoatzin, also called the Canje pheasant. She hired Arthur Williams to take her and the expedition’s cameraman, Arthur Menken, up in his airplane to make an aerial survey and motion picture capture of the surrounding jungle. During this flight, Hollister and Menken recorded 43 waterfalls that had previously been known only to local natives.

In 1939, Hollister was nominated by NYZS for a scholarship sponsored by the Icelandic Zoological Society to study that country’s fish and the fishing industry during the summer of 1940. Unfortunately this expedition was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II, naval warfare having made travel to neutral Iceland impossible. In 1952 Hollister spearheaded the Mianus Gorge Project, and chaired the Mianus River Gorge Conservation Committee of the Nature Conservancy. She died on February 19, 1988 in Fairfield, Connecticut.


1.2 Linear Feet (3 Hollinger boxes)

1.71 Cubic Feet (2 negative boxes, 3 photo binder boxes, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Gloria Hollister Anable, nee Gloria Hollister, was a naturalist and ichthyologist who, from 1928-1941, was employed as a Research Associate under Dr. William Beebe in the New York Zoological Society’s Department of Tropical Research. As a Research Assistant, she specialized in preparing ichthyological specimens, and she developed a new technique for preparing fish specimens in which the skin and internal organs of the fish were made transparent, rendering their skeletons far more useful for study than under previous methods. Hollister’s collection includes black and white photographs and negatives; glass lantern slides; correspondence; journals; lecture, research, and motion picture notes; and specimen lists relating to her expeditions, particularly her 1926 expedition to British Guiana (now Guyana) and Arima Gorge in Trinidad and her 1936 expedition to Kaieteur Falls and Plateau in Guyana. In addition, this collection includes material on an unrealized expedition to Iceland, articles relating to Beebe and Hollister’s work with the Bathysphere, correspondence, biographical material about Hollister, and newspaper clippings concerning her professional affiliations, conservation work, and personal interests.


This collection is arranged in five series:

Series 1
Expedition records, 1926-1946 (bulk 1936-1937)
Subseries 1A
British Guiana, 1926-1939 (bulk 1926)
Subseries 1B
Baby tarpon, 1936-1946 (bulk 1936)
Subseries 1C
British Guiana, 1936-1943 (bulk 1936-1937)
Series 2
Correspondence and clippings, 1928-1986 (bulk 1933-1947)
Subseries 2A
General subjects, 1929-1986 (bulk 1930-1940)
Subseries 2B
Iceland 1928-1947 (bulk 1939-1947)
Series 3
Personal papers, circa 1925-1988 (bulk 1930-1945)
Series 4
Photographic materials, circa 1916-1930s (bulk 1926-1936)
Subseries 4A
British Guiana expeditions, circa 1916-1930s (bulk 1926-1936)
Subseries 4B
Assorted expeditions, 1920s-1930s (bulk 1925-1936)
Subseries 4C
Negatives, circa 1926-1930s (bulk 1931-1936)
Series 5
Ephemera and clippings, 1914-2005 (bulk 1930-1936)

Other Finding Aids

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

Acquisition Information

Gift, 1981 (Acc. 1981.228)

Gift, 1987 (Acc. 1987.003)

Related Collections

Collection 1005 A-J. Department of Tropical Research records, 1900-1971.

Collection 1016. Department of Tropical Research additional records, 1900-1971.

Also see:

The Papers of Gloria Hollister Anable, 1916-2003. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

The Society of Women Geographers Oral History Project, at

Items Separated

A file of duplicate materials was transferred to the subject files at the Wildlife Conservation Society Library.

Guide to the Gloria Hollister Anable papers, 1914-2005 (bulk 1926-1947)
Finding aid prepared by Kristen Moore, WCS Archives intern, August 2014.
August 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Wildlife Conservation Society Archives Repository

WCS Library/Archives
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Bronx New York 10460 United States