The Frank Stephens field note collection consists of five bound volumes spanning the years 1886 to 1912. Frank Stephens created
the first listed field notebook and catalog during his 1907 expedition to Alaska. They are in their original binding. The
other three volumes are bound in the traditional Museum of Vertebrate Zoology binding.
Frank Stephens was born in a log house on a farm in New York in 1849. His interests in natural history traces back to his
childhood and he completed his first lessons in taxidermy at the age of 22. Stephens married and moved to Kansas where he
became acquainted with and studied under Charles E. Aiken. Stephens and his wife settled in California but had a harrowing
journey to their new residence. Settlers were killed before and after their passage, they also had to contend with a depreciated
paper dollar in California. They had a hard time passing through the Colorado Desert but they eventually settled in in the
San Diego area. Stephens collected intermittently for the Biological Survey and focused his energies in publishing the first
California mammals. He completed California Mammals in 1906. He and his second wife, Kate Brown, then accompanied Annie Alexander and Joseph
Dixon on an expedition to Alaska in 1907. Stephens also accompanied Joseph Grinnell’s 1910 Museum of Vertebrate Zoology’s
expedition on the Colorado River. He was not a prolific writer but he did pen 55 publications and collected well into his
early 80s. He was known as a cheerful camp companion and his camping skills were legendary to his students. Frank Stephens
died at the age of 89 on October 5, 1937.
Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate
Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.
The collection is open for research.