Institution Archives presents the panoramic photographs of
Charles D. Walcott. These breathtaking images were taken
in the Canadian Rockies, near British Columbia, Canada, in
the early part of the 20th century and carry both scientific
and aesthetic value.
Doolittle Walcott, fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian
from 1907 to 1927, was a paleontologist and the Director
of the U.S. Geological Survey at the time of his appointment.
With a personal focus on North American Cambrian fossils,
he traveled widely in the United States and Canada in support
of his research. During 1909, while in the Canadian Rockies,
Dr. Walcott discovered what has come to be known as the
Burgess Shale. Neither Walcott nor the scientific community
as a whole realized the importance of this discovery at
the time, but the Burgess Shale came to be recognized as
one of the most important geologic findings of the 20th