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James Edward Craddock papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-85

Scope and Content Note

The James Edward Craddock papers, inclusive dates 1960-2007, have materials pertaining to the life and work of Oceanographer Emeritus and Ichthyologist Jim Craddock. The collection contains six series, which includes print material, audio recordings, photographs, and electronic records. The majority of the collection is within series one, which contains data and logs that were collected from various cruises and dives that Craddock was a part of. Research materials include dive, sorting, and trawl logs, cruise reports, species data, MOCNESS data, charts and graphs, notes, and other forms of data. Some of the geographic locations mentioned in this series are Cape Hatteras, the Arabian Sea, and the Straits of Florida. Many dives and cruises are represented in this series, such as the Atlantis II 110, Oceanus 49, 55, 118, 121, and 125, and Knorr 98. The second largest portion of the print material in the collection are species research and information files. Various fish species, harbor porpoises (Phocena phocena), and pilot whales are the focus of the files in series two. Portions of this series contain identification keys, notes, printed articles, manuscripts and research conducted by Jim Craddock and his colleagues. Other print materials housed in the collection include correspondence, proposals, cruise planning materials, and additional manuscripts and articles created by Craddock and others. Audio recordings in this collection include 170 cassette tapes that represent MOCNESS 20 data from the cruises Knorr 98, Oceanus 118, 121, and 125. Also within the collection are photographic prints and negatives, with some images from the warm-core rings cruises, including Oceanus 121, and various species. The last series holds 80 computer files that were extracted from eleven 3.5 inch floppy discs and one 5 inch floppy disc. The contents include species data, MOCNESS10 data from Endeavor 238, correspondence, and writings from Jim Craddock and his colleagues.


  • 1960-2007

Language of Materials

The records are in



Open: materials are available for research.


Copyright: Permission to publish material from the collection must be authorized by the Institution Archivist.

Biographical Information

Jim Craddock was born in Louisville, KY in 1937. He was offered a full scholarship by the Ford Foundation to a college of his choice, graduating from the University of Louisville with an A.B. in Biology in 1958 and a PhD. in Zoology in 1965. During his years as a graduate student, he was a research assistant in radioassay for a project between the University of Louisville and Oranco as well as for the Doe Run Project between the University of Louisville and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Jim Craddock came to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in December 1964 as a post-doctoral fellow and began working under the sponsorship of Senior Scientist Richard Backus. As an ichthyologist, Craddock's experience before coming to Woods Hole had been limited to freshwater fishes, but he shortly made the first of his many cruises to collect the small fishes of the upper 2000-3000 feet of the deep Atlantic, using mid-water trawls for the purpose. In a few years he was an acknowledged expert in the ocean-wide distribution and systematics of this fauna, which comprises hundreds of species. One of his specialties was the study of the calcareous little ear-stones, or otoliths, of these fishes. Otoliths are indigestible and therefore long-retained in the stomachs of predators, and because they are distinctive for each species, they can be useful in studies of the food habits of fish-eating animals. An article representative of this research, the Food Habits of Atlantic White-sided Dolphins (Lagenorhyncus acutus) off the Coast of New England, appeared in the July 2009 Fisheries Bulletin. Altogether Jim was the author or co-author of more than 25 articles, most on the ecology and distribution of mesopelagic fishes, among which is Scopelosaurus craddocki.

Jim Craddock became an Associate at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) following the donation by Richard Backus and Craddock of the enormous, partially identified WHOI fish collection, a transfer made with the help of the National Science Foundation. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Craddock often went to the MCZ to work with curator Karsten Hartel on further identifying material in the collection, thereby increasing its value to researchers. Craddock's contributions to the MCZ were recognized when in 2004 a deep-water species was named Eustomias jimcraddocki. Jim Craddock passed away on June 7, 2009. He was 71.

[Taken from Craddock's WHOI obituary.]


7 boxes (7.25 lin. ft.)


The James Edward Craddock papers contain materials pertaining to the life and work of Oceanographer Emeritus and Ichthyologist Jim Craddock. The inclusive dates for the collection are 1960-2007. The papers consist of Craddock's files on various species, which includes data, illustrations, and species identification materials. Others files within the collection include logs and data from various cruises, general subject files, manuscripts, articles, and correspondence. The collection also contains MOCNESS 20 tapes, prints and negatives, and electronic records.


The collection has been divided into six series:

Custodial History

The papers were kept in Craddock's office in Redfield 138 prior to their transfer to the Archives.

Acquisitions Information

The papers were recieved in the Data Library and Archives in two accessions: acc2009-33 on August 3, 2009 and acc2010-05 on March 2, 2010. Transfer of the papers to the Archives was facilitated by Pam Polloni.

Processing Information

First-level processing completed by Dave Sherman from August 4-6, 2009. Additional material and final processing completed by Venessa Cancio in June 2012. Materials were refoldered during processing. Some article reprints were removed from the collection. Prints and negatives were removed and placed in a separate series.

A Guide to the James Edward Craddock papers, 1960-2007
Venessa Cancio
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Data Library and Archives Repository