Alaska, December 25, 1879 - October 5, 1880

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This 193 page field book documents Nelson's bird collecting activities in Alaska between 25 December 1879 to 5 October 1880. 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 1592-1885 and egg set numbers 121-207 are included. 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, Redoubt Volcano, and possibly other locations. Some bird names are included in an Inuit language. Although Nelson focuses on birds in this notebook, he also mentions other animals such as seals. A small, hand drawn map is included on page 180.

Date Range


Start Date

Dec 25, 1879

End Date

Oct 05, 1880

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


  • Redoubt Volcano
  • United States
  • Saint Michael
  • Alaska


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Diary
  • Maps

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 6