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New York Zoological Society. Departments of Birds and Mammals. Office of Assistant Curator. Grace Davall records

Identifier: 2069

Scope and Content

The collection contains records from Grace Davall’s time as a secretary as well as her time as Assistant Curator of Birds and Mammals. The correspondence series consists primarily of personal and public correspondence from the year 1965. Additional years of correspondence, as well as public correspondence from 1965 filed under A-V, were not transferred to the Archives as part of this collection. Correspondence with the public includes letters inquiring about various animals at the zoo, especially from students, and Davall’s responses. Correspondence relating to specific topics can be found in the subject files series. In particular, memoranda and correspondence from General Curator Lee S. Crandall can be found in the animal purchases, shipments, and trade folders. The subject files series contains information on the acquisition of animals by the zoo, including lists of desired animals, information on purchases and sales, records of shipments containing animals, correspondence with the US Department of Agriculture, and copies of laws governing animal importation. It also includes correspondence and minutes relating to the Zoo’s behavior research program, as well as reference materials on conservation (including material produced by the New York Zoological Society) and pollution kept by Davall. Of particular interest is a file documenting Davall’s attempts to locate information about the offspring of Dacca, the Zoo’s long-lived female tiger.


  • 1938 - 1973


Access Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible access restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.

Biographical Note

Grace Davall joined the staff of the Bronx Zoo in 1923 as a secretary. During her career she was secretary to both Dr. Raymond Ditmars (Curator of Reptiles 1902-1942 and of Mammals 1926-1940) and Lee S. Crandall (Curator of Birds 1920-1944 and Bronx Zoo General Curator 1942-1952). A picture of Davall with a snake coiled around her head from this period appears in William Bridges’s Gathering of Animals. After Crandall's retirement in 1952, Davall became Assistant Curator for Birds and Mammals, a position she held until her retirement in 1970. Circa 1959, the Zoo’s takin was named Gracie in her honor. After her retirement, she continued her involvement with the zoo as a Curator Emeritus.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Box)

Language of Materials



Collection contains correspondence and subject files kept by Grace Davall, who served first as a secretary at the Bronx Zoo from 1923-1952 and as then the Zoo’s Assistant Curator for Birds and Mammals from 1952-1970. It includes correspondence between Davall and the public and records pertaining to the acquisition and transport of zoo animals, including legal aspects. Also included are records pertaining to the offspring of Dacca, the zoo’s long-lived female tiger.


This collection is arranged in two series:

Series 1
Series 2
Subject files

Acquisition Information

Internal transfer, 1980 (Acc. 1980.211)

Guide to the Records of Birds and Mammals Departments Assistant Curator Grace Davall, 1938-1973
Finding aid prepared by Collection processed and finding aid created by Helen Schubert Fields, Simmons College MS Intern.
November 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
2300 Southern Blvd
Bronx New York 10460 United States