Smithsonian-Firestone Expedition to Liberia, 1940 TRT92 : 35 (VHS)

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William and Lucile Mann travel as part of the Smithsonian-Firestone Expedition to Liberia in 1940, to collect animals for the National Zoological Park. The film includes color and black and white footage, but no audio. The film includes a map that shows the route of the expedition. The map is shown several times, and seems to indicate what part of the trip the subsequent footage covers. Footage appears to be chronological. Images begin with the ship used to reach Liberia, shots of the port and coastline; plantations visited, including crops, agricultural workers at work, and residences and structures; and details of the expedition in progress, including transporting goods and people [participants shown in covered hammocks], care and feeding of collected animals, and locally made cages sued for their transport. Significant footage details local native people's customs and daily activities. There are images of musical and dance performances, snake handling, acrobatics, as well as daily tasks like creating thread, cooking, laundry, favored native hairstyles of women, school children, roofing structures, etc. There is also footage of anthills and other local insects.

Date Range


Start Date


End Date


Access Information

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  • Zoos
  • Entomology
  • Zoology
  • Wild animal collecting


  • Liberia
  • Monrovia


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • VHS (TM)

Accession #

SIA RU007293

Collection name

William M. Mann and Lucile Quarry Mann field books, 1914-1940

Physical Description

Reference Copy: 1 VHS Tape (92 min., 35 sec.)

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives


Resv18 Box 2