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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 134

United States. Canal Zone Biological Area, Barro Colorado Island

Records, 1918-1964

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: United States. Canal Zone Biological Area, Barro Colorado Island
Title: Records
Dates: 1918-1964
Quantity: 6.5 cu. ft. (13 document boxes) (oversize materials)
Collection: Record Unit 134
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These records document the creation and development of the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA), including preliminary discussions in 1918, the selection of a site on Barro Colorado Island in 1923, and subsequent development of the CZBA. Also included are papers of James Zetek, an entomologist on the staff of the United States Department of Agriculture and a director of the CZBA.

Historical Note

In 1923 the Institute for Research in Tropical America, a group of private foundations and universities under the auspices of the National Research Council, first established a research laboratory on Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone, in order to investigate the flora and fauna of tropical America. This arrangement continued until 1940, when the facility was renamed the Canal Zone Biological Area (CZBA) and, by act of Congress, placed under control of a board composed of the heads of certain executive departments and prominent scientists. In 1946 the operation was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution, a sponsor from 1923, and has been known as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) since 1966. In recent years the Institute has expanded its interests to include marine biology.

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Descriptive Entry

These records document the creation and development of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, from preliminary discussions in 1918 to the selection of a site on, and reservation of, Barro Colorado Island in 1923, and its subsequent development as a center for research into the ecology of the American tropics. The records include correspondence of Thomas Barbour, David Fairchild, Alexander Grant Ruthven, James Zetek, and others. Records of the planning stage, 1918-1923 are particularly interesting, though not so full as might be wished. Correspondence, research reports, administrative records, publications, photographs, and maps are included, in English and in Spanish. Researchers should also consult Record Unit 135 and records of the Secretary's Office, Smithsonian Institution, which contain related material, c. 1926-1964.

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 134, United States. Canal Zone Biological Area, Barro Colorado Island, Records

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Container List

Series 1

Executive Committee Correspondence, 1920-1930

Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1920-1930, of the executive committee of the Institute for Research in Tropical America; documents relations with National Research Council, search for a laboratory site, choice of Barro Colorado Island, Gatun Lake, Panama Canal Zone, and subsequent development and operation to 1930, primarily through the records of Alexander Grant Ruthven, sometime secretary of the Institute, who corresponded with Thomas Barbour, Albert Spear Hitchcock, and other members of the executive committee, as well as James Zetek, resident custodian.

Box 1

Folder 1 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1920-1921

Box 1 of 13

Folder 2 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1922

Box 1 of 13

Folder 3 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1923

Box 1 of 13

Folder 4 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1924

Box 1 of 13

Folder 5 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1925

Box 1 of 13

Folder 6 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1926

Box 1 of 13

Folder 7 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, 1927-1930

Box 1 of 13

Folder 8 Institute for Research in Tropical America Executive Committee Correspondence, undated

Box 1 of 13

Series 2

Administrative Records, 1918-1964

Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1918-1939, between James Zetek, resident custodian, staff members, professional colleagues, and government officials; documents operation and activities of the facility; correspondents include Ralph Buschbaum, Arthur Merton Chickering, William James Clench, David Grandison Fairchild, Ludlow Griscom, Burton Edward Livingston, Altus Lacy Quaintance, Franz Schrader, William Seifriz, Thomas Elliot Snyder, Paul Carpenter Standley, Alexander Wetmore, William M. Wheeler.

Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, loose, 1940-1964, and undated, between James Zetek and Martin Humphrey Moynihan, resident directors of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and scientists, government officials, and employees; concerned largely with maintenance of facilities and fiscal matters; some material on conversion to Canal Zone Biological Area; correspondents include John Enos Graf, William Henry Weston, and Alexander Wetmore.

Visitors' registers, freight invoices, electrical power need survey, grant applications, 1920-1956; records dealing with supply and finance of STRI.

Box 1

Folder 9 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1918-1921

Box 1 of 13

Folder 10 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1922

Box 1 of 13

Folder 11 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1923-1925

Box 1 of 13

Folder 12 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1926-1927

Box 1 of 13

Box 2

Folder 1 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1928-1929

Box 2 of 13

Folder 2 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1930

Box 2 of 13

Folder 3 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1931

Box 2 of 13

Folder 4 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1932

Box 2 of 13

Folder 5 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1933-1935

Box 2 of 13

Folder 6 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1936-1938

Box 2 of 13

Folder 7 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1939

Box 2 of 13

Box 3

Folder 1 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1940

Box 3 of 13

Folder 2 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1941

Box 3 of 13

Folder 3 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1942

Box 3 of 13

Folder 4 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1943-1945

Box 3 of 13

Folder 5 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1946

Box 3 of 13

Folder 6 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1947-1949

Box 3 of 13

Folder 7 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1950

Box 3 of 13

Folder 8 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1951

Box 3 of 13

Folder 9 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1952

Box 3 of 13

Folder 10 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1953

Box 3 of 13

Folder 11 Administrative Records - Correspondence, 1954-1964

Box 3 of 13

Folder 12 Administrative Records - Correspondence, undated

Box 3 of 13

Box 4

Folder 1 Administrative Records, 1920-1956

Box 4 of 13

Folder 2 Administrative Records, undated

Box 4 of 13

Folder 3 Administrative Records - A. S. Hitchcock, 1923

Box 4 of 13

Folder 4 Information for Scientists - Island Copy, by James Zetek. Annotated with the note, "To be read by all scientists on day of arrival."

Box 4 of 13

Folder 5 Information for Scientists by James Zetek, June 1951

Box 4 of 13

Folder 6 Barro Colorado Island Laboratory, Panama Canal Zone, Visitors' Register, 1928-1940

Box 4 of 13

Folder 7 Barro Colorado Island Laboratory, Panama Canal Zone, Visitors' Register, 1924-1928

Box 4 of 13

Folder 8 Barro Colorado Island Laboratory, Panama Canal Zone, Visitor Register Cards, 1924-1933

Box 4 of 13

Box 5

Folder 1 Cashbook, 1924-1929, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 5 of 13

Folder 2 Cashbook, 1929-1934, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 5 of 13

Folder 3 Cashbook, 1934-1938, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 5 of 13

Box 6

Folder 1 Cashbook, 1938-1941, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 6 of 13

Folder 2 Cashbook, 1941-1947, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 6 of 13

Folder 3 Cashbook, 1947-1953, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 6 of 13

Folder 4 Cashbook, 1953-1958, showing resident custodian's cash receipts and disbursements while operating facility.

Box 6 of 13

Box 7

Folder 1 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1943

Box 7 of 13

Folder 2 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1946

Box 7 of 13

Folder 3 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1947

Box 7 of 13

Folder 4 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1948

Box 7 of 13

Folder 5 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1950

Box 7 of 13

Folder 6 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1951

Box 7 of 13

Folder 7 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1952

Box 7 of 13

Folder 8 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1953

Box 7 of 13

Folder 9 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1954-FY 1956

Box 7 of 13

Folder 10 CZBA Annual Report, FY 1957-FY 1960

Box 7 of 13

Series 3

Scientific Research and Reports, 1925-1953, and undated

Box 7

Folder 11 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island Totals by Year, 1925-1948

Box 7 of 13

Folder 12 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island Records, 1925-1958

Box 7 of 13

Folder 13 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Annual Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island Summaries, 1934-1944

Box 7 of 13

Box 8

Folder 1 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island, mostly summaries, 1945-1952

Box 8 of 13

Folder 2 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island, 1953-1958

Box 8 of 13

Folder 3 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island, 1958

Box 8 of 13

Folder 4 Scientific Research and Reports: CZBA Rainfall on Barro Colorado Island, 1960

Box 8 of 13

Folder 5 Scientific Research and Reports: Reports of Work Carried Out (scientific research conducted on Barro Colorado Island), 1925-1940

Box 8 of 13

Folder 6 Scientific Research and Reports: Reports of Work Carried Out (scientific research conducted on Barro Colorado Island), 1946-1953

Box 8 of 13

Folder 7 Scientific Research and Reports: Termite Research, 1929-1952 and undated

Box 8 of 13

Folder 8 Scientific Research and Reports: Undated Research

Box 8 of 13

Box 9

Research conducted on Barro Colorado Island which, due to its fragmentary state, can be ascribed to no author.

Folder 1 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments

Box 9 of 13

Folder 2 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments

Box 9 of 13

Folder 3 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments

Box 9 of 13

Folder 4 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Coleoptera

Box 9 of 13

Folder 5 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Hymenoptera

Box 9 of 13

Folder 6 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Diptera

Box 9 of 13

Folder 7 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Thysanoptera

Box 9 of 13

Folder 8 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Systematic Insects, Duplicates

Box 9 of 13

Folder 9 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Amphibia

Box 9 of 13

Folder 10 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments - Reptiles

Box 9 of 13

Folder 11 Scientific Research and Reports: Research Fragments- Data on Snakes of Barro Colorado Island

Box 9 of 13

Series 4

James Zetek Papers, 1919-1953

Records, largely scientific research, created by James Zetek, in his capacity as an entomologist for the U. S. Department of Agriculture in the Canal Zone; includes reports on termite control tests prepared for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Box 10

Folder 1 Letters Transmitting Specimens to USDA for Identification, 1932-1940

Box 10 of 13

Folder 2 Letters Transmitting Specimens to USDA for Identification, 1941-1942

Box 10 of 13

Folder 3 Letters Transmitting Specimens to USDA for Identification, 1943-1952

Box 10 of 13

Folder 4 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1919-1937

Box 10 of 13

Folder 5 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1938-1939

Box 10 of 13

Folder 6 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1940

Box 10 of 13

Folder 7 Determination of Insect Specimens, USDA, 1941

Box 10 of 13

Box 11

Folder 1 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1942

Box 11 of 13

Folder 2 Letters of Determination of Insect Specimens from USDA, 1943

Box 11 of 13

Folder 3 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1944-1949

Box 11 of 13

Folder 4 Insect Determinations, USDA, 1950-1952

Box 11 of 13

Folder 5 Termite Resistance Tests, BCI, CZBA, October 1931

Box 11 of 13

Folder 6 Termite Resistance Tests, Panama Canal Zone, April 1932

Box 11 of 13

Folder 7 A Soil Poisoning Test on BCI, Canal Zone, to Measure the Insulating Value of Chemicals for Subterranean Termite Control, May 1943

Box 11 of 13

Folder 8 Special Report on the Species of Anastrepha, February 1947

Box 11 of 13

Folder 9 Termite Resistance Tests, BCI, Panama Canal Zone, September 1949

Box 11 of 13

Folder 10 Termite Resistance Tests, BCI, Panama Canal Zone, 1950

Box 11 of 13

Folder 11 Termite Resistance Tests, BCI, Panama Canal Zone, February 1951

Box 11 of 13

Folder 12 Termite Resistance Tests, BCI, Panama Canal Zone, September 1951

Box 11 of 13

Series 5

Publications

Box 12

Folder 1 Publications relating to STRI, consisting of: James Zetek, "Influencia del Canal de Panama en el Desarrollo de America desde el Punto de Vista Cientifico," 1928; James Zetek, "The Barro Colorado Island Biological Laboratory," Panama, August 1931; Blair Courson, "Jungle Laboratory: A Visit to Barro Colorado Island," Turtox News, August 1956.

Box 12 of 13

Series 6

Photographs and Maps, c. 1930-1960

Box 12

Folder 2 Photographs - Miscellaneous

Box 12 of 13

Folder 3 Photographs - Buildings, Grounds, Facilities, Equipment, Personnel

Box 12 of 13

Folder 4 Photographs - Buildings, Grounds, Facilities, Equipment, Personnel

Box 12 of 13

Folder 5 Photographs - Buildings, Grounds, Facilities, Equipment, Personnel

Box 12 of 13

Folder 6 Photographs - Buildings, Grounds, Facilities, Equipment, Personnel

Box 12 of 13

Folder 7 Photographs - Buildings, Grounds, Facilities, Equipment, Personnel

Box 12 of 13

Folder 8 Photographs - Animals and Reptiles

Box 12 of 13

Folder 9 Photographs - STRI Marine Laboratory

Box 12 of 13

Folder 10 Photographs - CZBA Naval Reserve Tract

Box 12 of 13

Box 13

Folder 1 Photographs and negatives, c. 1930-1960, of the Panama Canal Zone and of Barro Colorado Island

Box 13 of 13

Folder 2 Photographs and negatives, c. 1930-1960, of the Panama Canal Zone and of Barro Colorado Island

Box 13 of 13

Folder 3 Photographs and slides, c. 1930-1960, of the Panama Canal Zone and of Barro Colorado Island

Box 13 of 13

Folder 4 Maps - Barro Colorado Island and Canal Zone

Box 13 of 13

Folder 5 Maps - Barro Colorado Island and Canal Zone

Box 13 of 13
Oversize

Maps - Barro Colorado Island and Canal Zone

Oversize