National Geographic Society Central China Expedition, 1922-1924

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The Central China Expedition was conducted by the National Geographic Society, and went through China along the border with Tibet and Mongolia. The nine month trip that began in March of 1923 was known as the "great trek", and took them through the Alashan desert. The central objective for the expedition was the collection of ethnological, zoological, and botanical material along with photographic documentation of the people and places of Gansu (Kansu) and Qinghai provinces. Frederick R. Wulsin was the director of the expedition, which also included his wife Janet, one of the first women to explore this region. Also taking part were Captain Parker G. Tenney, the zoological collector, and botanist C. Ching of the National Central University, Nanking. Over 1,200 zoological and more than 1,100 botanical specimens were collected during the expedition.


  • Frederick R Wulsin. (February 1926). The Road to Wang Ye Fu. National Geographic Magazine. p. 197 - (?).
  • Walker, Egbert H. (1941). “Plants Collected by R.C. Ching in Southern Mongolia and Kansu Province, China.” Smithsonian Institution, U. S. National Herbarium, Volume 28, Part 4.
  • “Wulsin, Frederick Roelker and Janet Elliott Wulsin Papers, 1921-1924 inclusive: A Finding Aid.” Harvard University. Peadbody Museum Archive.

Date Range

1922 - 1924


  • Zoology
  • Plants
  • Botany


  • Kansu
  • Helan Shan
  • China
  • Qinghai


Expedition name