South America, 1920-1921 : Includes correspondence (in English and Spanish), photographic data, newsclippings, memorabilia, and reference materials (1 of 2)

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


First to two folders of materials document Alexander Wetmore's work in South America for the U.S. Department Agriculture, Bureau of Biological Survey, 1920-1921. These include diplomatic and business correspondence (in English and Spanish), news clippings, permits, memorabilia (menu, vessel information), and reference materials (in English and Spanish). He was investigating the distribution of life zones of North American migratory birds in southern South America. Significant amount of correspondence from USDA relates to collecting and collecting sites; expenses; proposed itinerary; population size of English Sparrow; Wetmore's status as a temporary dispersing agent; and request from P.G. Russel details requests grass seeds to be collected for each region visited. Correspondence from USDA also directs to collect small mammals including bats (especially Noctilio). Of special interest is a letter from Edward William Nelson (22 November 1920) concerning an offer to Wetmore to join the Third Asiatic Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. Notes cover specimen collecting; reference to sites worked by Leo Miler in Argentina; and collecting sites. Collecting sites include: Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay. |Includes reference material entitled Hints on how to travel successfully: For the benefit of inexperienced travelers of the department of agriculture. by David Fairchild.

Date Range


Start Date


End Date


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


  • Bats
  • Animals
  • English sparrow
  • Migratory birds
  • Birds
  • Mammalogy
  • Ornithology
  • English Sparrow


  • South America
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Brazil
  • Chaco
  • Tucumán
  • Paraguay
  • Asuncion
  • Chile


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Memorabilia

Accession #

SIA RU007006

Collection name

Alexander Wetmore Papers, circa 1848-1979 and undated

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution Archives


Box 140 Folder 1