William H. Dall Papers, circa 1839-1858, 1862-1927

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The field books, diaries, catalogs, correspondence and a report are part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives William H. Dall Papers Collection. Cataloged materials date cover 1865-1901, and document his work for the Western Union telegram Expedition, the United States Coast Survey, United States Geological Survey, National Museum's Division of Mollusks. The majority of the collection covers the coast lines of Alaska and Washington State.|Materials contain descriptions of terrain; geological formations; geological cross-sections; sketches; details of daily travel and activities; interactions between colleagues and local inhabitants; and, when a applicable, details about specimens and fossils collected and observed. Field books describing the Western Union telegram Expedition include materials created by other expedition participants as well as Dall. Many of Dall's field books from the expedition include personal details, lyrics most likely composed by him, as well as sketches of Alaskan Indians, and discussions of customs of Russian-Americans. Additionally there is information included in the field books from the Coastal Survey describing placement and utilization of survey equipment and well as data, calculations and sketches of locations surveyed.

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  • Mollusca
  • Animalia
  • Mollusks
  • Tertiary
  • Quarternary


  • Canada
  • United States
  • Aleutian Islands
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • British Columbia
  • California


Collection record

Accession #

SIA RU007073


34 field books

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives