Alaska, April 1 - December 23, 1879

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This field book documents Nelson's bird collecting activities in Alaska between 1 April to 23 December 1879. During this time, Nelson was on general assignment in Alaska to study the zoology of the area as well as meteorology, geography, and ethnology. Specimen numbers 1036-1557 and egg set numbers 33-106 are included. Specimen numbers up to 1135 include binomial and sex; numbers 1297-1557 include measurements grouped by bird. Nelson's entries are narratives of his daily activities and birds he observed or collected. His narrative notes also include descriptions of the birds and occasionally include rough sketches. Descriptions of weather conditions, occasionally including the temperature are also included. Locations include Saint Michael, Stebbins, Kegiktowik, Kotlik River, Reboubt Volcano, Stewart Island, and possibly other locations. A list of "Inuit names for birds" is included as is an Inuit song. Although Nelson focuses on birds in this notebook, he also mentions other animals such as seals and foxes. Another set of numbers 121-127, possibly for another type of animal, are also included.

Date Range


Start Date

Apr 01, 1879

End Date

Dec 23, 1879

Access Information

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  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithologists
  • Ornithology


  • Redoubt Volcano
  • United States
  • Saint Michael
  • Stewart Island
  • Alaska
  • Stebbins
  • Kotlik River


  • 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 5