Alaska, May 1 - December 3, 1878

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This field book documents Nelson's bird collecting activities in Alaska between 1 May to 3 December 1878. During this time, Nelson was on general assignment in Alaska to study the zoology of the area as well as meteorology, geography, and ethnology. Nelson's entries are narratives of his daily activities and birds he observed or collected, which include but are not limited to swans, ducks, finches, horned larks, plovers, gulls, swallows, geese, cranes, grouse, and warblers. Nelson uses both taxonomic names and common names. Descriptions of landscape are included. Descriptions of weather conditions, occasionally including the temperature are also included. A small sketched map is included in the entry for 16 August. Locations include Saint Michael, Stebbins, Kegiktowik, and other locations. Nelson also visits "crooked canal" (possibly referring to Crooked Creek), "fox creek", and "stewart island".

Date Range


Start Date

May 01, 1878

End Date

Dec 03, 1878

Access Information

Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithologists
  • Ornithology


  • United States
  • Saint Michael
  • Alaska
  • Stebbins


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Diary

Accession #

SIA RU007364

Collection name

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

Physical Description

1 field book

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives


Box 11 Folder 3