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Katherine "Kate" Stephens (c. 1853-1954)

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1923 Annual Report
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San Diego Society of Natural History 1923 Annual Report

Report of the Curator of Mollusks and Marine Invertebrates
By Mrs. Kate Stephens

The year 1923 has been a year of steady progress, both in material and interest. Several donations have been received, of which one is a small collection of shells from Brazil, gathered in 1865 by the late Orestes St. John, one of the early Government Paleontologists. Mrs. Carrie L. Simons, a member of the San Diego Society of Natural History, has increased her donations of beautifully mounted microscopic shells from Lower California, including one new species, Amphathalamus stephensae.

We also received a very valuable collection of 120 specimens of the interesting genus Oreohelix from Mr. Junius Henderson of the University of Colorado. These shells are particularly desirable, as they complement the already large collection of Oreohelix given to us by Mr. Hemphill, the original student of these peculiar snails. Mr. Henderson's specimens were in exchange for Eocene fossils from Rose Canyon, San Diego.

The invertebrate collections are in a satisfactory condition, though, much remains to be done before all are in systematic order. However, they are now in sufficient order to be available for students. The trouble with mould, encountered in the old Museum, has been entirely eradicated in the present building.

The most pressing need at the present time is cabinets for the card catalogues of this department. The catalogues, numbering many thousand cards, are at present contained in temporary boxes, where they are in danger of being lost or destroyed.

I would recommend that, during the coming year, more attention be given to other branches of invertebrates, particularly to fish parasites and lower crustaceans generally. Owing to the enthusiastic co-operation of Mr. Gillette, the Museum's Preparator, who is preserving such specimens of these orders as are received in his department, this branch can now be profitably studied and would provide results of great economic value. It is also desirable that the littoral fauna of Lower California should receive more intense collecting than heretofore. Much valuable work can be done in this field.