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The New York Entomological Society, Inc.

Incorporating the Brooklyn Entomological Society

Society History


The New York Entomological Society was first imagined by a small group of men in 1892.  Original members were insect collectors and naturalists who informally met in the home of Mr. Gustav Beyer, a fur manufacturer, and they often would take walks in his garden, peruse his insect collections, discuss collecting experiences, or show and trade their specimens.


Finally on June 29, 1892, five entomologists met in the home of Mr. Charles Palm of 172 East 64th Street, to formally organize the Society.  Mrs. Annie Trumbull Slosson, on October 26, 1892, was the first woman to become a member of the Society.  The custom of the yearly auction began in 1893 at which time beetles, moths and butterflies were sold.


Meetings originally were held on the first and third Wednesdays of every month, except July and August.  September meetings were dropped in 1898.  Bimonthly meetings continued through the 1960s and early '70s alternating between Lepidoptera and Coleoptera lectures, but meetings now are held on the third Tuesday from October through May.


The first issue of the Journal of The New York Entomological Society was published in March of 1893, and it is still in publication.  Authors deal with many aspects of entomology, but the theme is of a systematic or taxonomic nature including biology and ecology.  Editors have occasionally arranged special editions in which specific themes were followed and certain editions honored specific entomologists.


Since 1894, when the Society was the recipient of a donation from the family of George D. Branford, it has received many gifts.  These include bequests from the late Lewis B. Woodruff, Patricia Vaurie and Charles P. Alexander.  Proceeds from the endowments from the latter two individuals have assisted in lowering our costs for authors.


On January 7, 1958 the Society resolved to sponsor a Junior Entomological Division.  Miss Alice Gray became its director and because of her dedication to encourage the study of insects in young people caused the Junior Division to flourish.  The Junior Division disbanded when the younger generations went to other disciplines, but there has been a resurgence in past years.


Two photographic exhibits have been sponsored by the Society and held at the American Museum of Natural History.  The first was in May-June, 1949 during which time both paintings and photographs were displayed in the Foyer of the Roosevelt Hall.  In 1950, the second was held in the 77th Street Foyer.  Photographs, research equipment, painting, charts, drawings, insect origami, and a display of books written by Society members were present.  A 5-panel display from the National Institute of Health on Rickettsialpox, a newly recognized mite-borne disease, was also installed.


Anniversary meetings honored the twenty-fifth, fiftieth and seventy-fifth years.  The first had been preceded by a dinner that was held at the Hotel Colonial on June 7, 1918 to commemorate the 25th year of the Incorporation of the Society.  The 50th was celebrated on December 1, 1942.  The 75th Anniversary was held on October 29, 1968 at the Museum with cocktails served in Roosevelt Rotunda and dinner in Whitney followed by adjournment to Lecture Hall.  The consolidation between The New York Entomological Society and the Brooklyn Entomological Society was also celebrated on this date.


The Brooklyn Entomological Society had been founded in 1872, and at the time of its merger with The New York Entomological Society in 1968, was four years away from its centennial.  It was the second oldest organization of its kind in America, the first being the American Entomological Society in Philadelphia.


The New York Entomological Society Centennial Banquet was held at the Explorers Club (46 East 70th Street) on Wednesday, May 20, 1992.  Over 140 people attended with a good portion being the media from world-wide television and radio because the theme for the evening was the use of insects as food.  Appetizers and desserts featured insects in their preparations.  Our keynote speaker was Dr. Gene DeFoliart of the University of Wisconsin who is a leading authority on the subject.  He also published a newsletter called the Food Insects Newsletter.


Elsie B. Klots. 1968.  A History of The New York Entomological Society. In: The 75th Anniversary of the Society.

Charles W. Leng. 1918.  History of The New York Entomological Society, 1893-1918.  Journal of The New York Entomological Society. 26:129-133.

Anne T. Slosson. 1918.  Reminiscences of the early days of The New York Entomological Society.  Journal of The New York Entomological Society. 26:134-137.

Harry B. Weiss. 1948.  The New York Entomological Club and "Papilio".  Journal of The New York Entomological Society. 56:119-136.


Formal presentations on the history of the Society may be found in the aforementioned publications.


The New York Entomological Society was founded in 1892, and has since held a distinguished position among scientific and cultural organizations.  On May 21, 1968, The Brooklyn Entomological Society consolidated with the New York Entomological Society.  Members and subscribers are drawn from all parts of the world and include professional biologists, enthusiastic amateurs, and laymen for whom insects are only one amid many interests.  The Society's Journal is among the oldest leading entomological periodical in the United States.


Meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday of every month, September through May (not December), at 7 PM at the American Museum of Natural History during which time a subject of biological and entomological interest is discussed by our invited speaker.  No special training in biology or entomology is necessary for the enjoyment of most of these talks, most of which are illustrated.


Our organization is associated with BioOne, the website is :   You can search our table of contents by author, title, key words, and receive abstracts or full text articles.


We carry back issues of Society publications, including the Journal, Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society, Entomologica Americana, and the revised Torre-Bueno Glossary of Entomology,  the two spider catalogs, scorpion catalog, mirid catalog, and lygaeid catalogs.  The Harper Lyme Disease Poster is also available.  Members of the Society may purchase our publications at a $5.00 off the listed rate.  Please contact us if there are any questions at or by phone  212.769.5613 voice or fax 212.769.5277.



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