Edward William Nelson and Edward Alphonso Goldman Collection, circa 1873-1946 and undated

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This collection of field notes and field research documents is only a subsection of the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) collection entitled Edward William Nelson and Edward Alphonso Goldman Collection, circa 1873-1946 and undated. This record describes on the field notes and field research materials. For other materials in this collection, including correspondence, manuscripts, published materials, and additional photographs, see the SIA finding aid listed under the "Related Items" section of this record. This collection of field notes consists of 92 items, most of which are field books. Photo albums, folders of photos, and glass plate negatives are also included. Photographs described in this collection depict botanical, ornithological, mammal, and other specimen observed or collected by Nelson and Goldman. Nelson's field books are mostly in the form of journals documenting field work and official travel. Especially well documented is his ethnological and natural history field work in Alaska, 1877-1881; his participation on the Corwin Expedition, 1881; and his field explorations of Mexico with Edward Alphonso Goldman, 1892-1902. The journals from his Mexico work, 1903-1906, are missing. The Alaska and Mexico journals offer a narrative of day-to-day activities and include information on specimens collected; observations on native peoples and their folklore, legends, religion, vocabulary, and other aspects of their culture; sketches of people, villages, fauna, and natural phenomena; and notes on the fauna, flora, and physiography of regions explored. There are typescript copies of the Mexico journals, 1892-1895. Also included are journals and notebooks kept by Nelson on many official trips taken for the Bureau of Biological Survey; a journal from the Death Valley Expedition, 1890-1891; and miscellaneous notebooks and address books. Goldman's field books contain specimen lists and journals which partially document Edward Alphonso Goldman's field explorations of Mexico with Edward William Nelson. His Mexico journals for 1894-1895, 1900-1901, 1905-1906, and parts of 1896-1897, 1899, and 1902-1903 are missing. The journals offer a chronological narrative of his activities, as well as information on collections made and phenomena observed. Specific volumes are devoted to notes on birds and mammals. Also included are journals from trips Goldman made to Arizona, California, and Montana. There are typescript copies of the Mexico journals, 1892-1894. Also included is one item by Charles Sheldon containing lists of plant and animal specimen collected in Arizona in 1912 and 1915.

Date Range


Access Information

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  • Mammalia
  • Aves
  • Rodentia
  • Leporidae
  • Geomyidae
  • Pinaceae
  • Fagaceae
  • Cactaceae
  • Passeriformes
  • Anseriformes
  • Ciconiiformes
  • Animalia
  • Plantae
  • Mammals
  • Rodents
  • Rabbits and hares
  • Plants
  • Pines
  • Oaks
  • Cactus
  • Birds
  • Songbirds
  • Waterfowls
  • Gulls
  • Albatross
  • Pelicans


  • Montana
  • United States
  • Mexico
  • California
  • Arizona


Collection record

Accession #

SIA RU007364


92 field books

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives