Diary, Somaliland & the Galla Country, 1894-1895

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Frederick Gillett accompanied Dr. Donaldson Smith on his expedition which resulted in his work Through unknown African countries. The expedition included representatives for the British Museum. The initial goal of the expedition was to reach Lake Rudolf in northern Kenya. The diary entries commence with 1 June 1894 and end 19 February 1895, Gillett returning home early because of his father's death. Journal entries are headed with date. Pages are headed with location. Entries describe travel from England to Africa. Descriptions cover sights enroute, travel details (modes of travel, fellow passengers), daily activities, towns visited (including in Mediterranean). There are descriptions of interactions with colonial troops, process of procuring staff and supplies. Often entries begin with destination. Entries describing collecting cover personal impressions; description of hunting trips; fauna and flora observed; types collected; and quantity. Descriptions of local cultures include tribes, foods, medicines. There is a partial transcript. Photographs are pasted throughout include examples of local dress, campsites,specimens. Some photographs have captions. Some photos appear to be missing. There are extensive notations throughout. Locations include Kenya; Milmil, Darar, Ethiopia; Dulla; Ardeh.

Date Range


Start Date

Jun 01, 1894

End Date

Feb 19, 1895

Access Information

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  • Rudolf, Lake
  • Darar
  • Kenya
  • Ethiopia
  • Milmil


  • Fieldbook record
  • Field notes
  • Black-and-white photographs

Collection name

Russell E. Train Africana Collection, 1663-1996, Smithsonian Institution Library, c. 1894-1939

Physical Description

1 field book

Physical Location

Smithsonian Institution. Libraries


Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History