Our Archive Collections

Archive Collections

Paleontological Research Institution has received the specimens, libraries, and personal files of many prominent North American paleontologists during its more than 80-year history; including Gilbert Harris, Katherine V. W. Palmer, Curt Teichert, and Victor E. Schmidt, professionals of national and international prominence—our Leaders in Paleontology.

This invaluable resource has been chronicled within The Gertrud Wolfner PRI Archives. The Archives collections include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, awards, field notebooks, maps, and other artifacts from more than 30 paleontologistsLearn more about our archive collections.

About Gertrud Wolfner

Gertrud Wolfner

Gertrud Wolfner’s remarkable life began on July 27, 1915, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She trained as a nurse and social worker, but was forced to flee when the Nazis invaded. Escaping to England, she spent the remainder of the war working as a nurse with the Red Cross. After WWII, Gertrud returned to Prague, where she found herself the only survivor in her family. She left once again when the Communists came into power. Settling in Venezuela, she met and married Albert Wolfner and had a daughter with him, Mariana. The family then moved to New York City, where Gertrud worked as a social worker. Retiring in 1985, she began volunteering with multiple organizations, including the American Museum of Natural History, where she worked in the institution’s archives.

In the 1990s, Gertrud moved to Ithaca to be near her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. Arriving in Ithaca, she continued her volunteer work at PRI. She is remembered for her energy, bolting up three floors into the archives, and working tirelessly to impose order onto the Gilbert Harris Collection of papers and photographs. Gertrud’s experience at AMNH served both her and PRI well as she relentlessly and meticulously labeled, sorted, and archived the files. Her work was always professional, leaving detailed and well-written notes on everything she touched. By the time she finished her volunteer work, the Harris Collection was completely archived.

Gertrud passed away on September 17, 2014, at the age of 99. A generous gift in her honor helped establish the Gertrud Wolfner PRI Archives and this website.