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Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 135

Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary

Canal Zone Biological Area Records, 1912-1965

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Smithsonian Institution. Office of the Secretary
Title: Canal Zone Biological Area Records
Dates: 1912-1965
Quantity: 14.15 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (26 document boxes) (1 oversize folder)
Collection: Record Unit 135
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These records document the creation and development of the Canal Zone Biological Area, chiefly from 1923 to 1965, and cover all phases of its operations as a private and federal facility during that period. The researcher will find three general types of records in this unit: (1) the official records of IRTA and CZBA before 1946, some of which were created by the Smithsonian in its role as sponsor of the organization and some of which were interfiled at a later date; (2) office files of Thomas Barbour and IRTA, which often duplicate or complement other records; and (3) official records generated entirely by the Smithsonian in its operation of CZBA since 1946.

Historical Note

From 1918 to 1923 various groups interested in tropical American research discussed the desirability of creating a research institute in Central or South America. Finally, in 1923, the Institute for Research in Tropical America was formed by a number of private foundations and universities, under the aegis of the National Research Council. The Smithsonian Institution was one of these early sponsors, and its ties with the Institute grew stronger still when the federal government took over the IRTA in 1940, calling it the Canal Zone Biological Area and placing the Smithsonian's Secretary on its governing board. In 1946 entire control of CZBA was vested in the Smithsonian, which renamed it the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in 1966.

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Descriptive Entry

Because the Smithsonian's relations to STRI have been both longstanding and various, STRI files are scattered through the records of the Secretary's office. The earliest STRI files in this unit have been interfiled with newer records or pulled forward, where they dealt with ongoing problems at the facility, so that no original order remains. The unit also includes office files of Thomas Barbour, long IRTA's strongest supporter, which were given to the Smithsonian on Barbour's death in 1946, likewise interfiled, and dating from IRTA's earliest days. Thus, the researcher will find three general types of records in this unit: (1) the official records of IRTA and CZBA before 1946, some of which were created by the Smithsonian in its role as a sponsor of the organization and some because they were interfiled at a later date; (2) office files of Thomas Barbour, which often duplicate or complement other records; and (3) official records generated by the Smithsonian in its operation of CZBA/STRI since 1946.

These records document the creation and development of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, chiefly from 1923 to 1965, and cover all phases of its operations as a private and a federal facility during that period. Correspondents include Thomas Barbour, John Enos Graf, Frank A. Taylor, Alexander Wetmore, James Zetek, and others. Records include correspondence, administrative records, and publications. Researchers should also consult record unit 134 for related material, 1918-1960.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 135, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Secretary, Canal Zone Biological Area Records

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Container List

Series 1

Office Files, 1912-1965. By subject.

This series consists of office files arranged alphabetically by subject, 1912-1965, and includes records from all phases of STRI's organizational history interfiled together.

Box 1

Buildings and Grounds: General (2 folders) [some items moved to oversized storage]

Box 1 of 27

Buildings and Grounds: Termite Control

Box 1 of 27

Buildings and Grounds: Docks and Channels

Box 1 of 27

Box 2

Report on a Long-Range Program for Isthmian Canal Transits, 1960

Box 2 of 27

CZBA: Miscellaneous (2 folders)

Box 2 of 27

Financial Affairs: Budget, 1950-1962

Box 2 of 27

Financial Affairs: Contributions, Colleges and Universities

Box 2 of 27

Box 3

Financial Affairs: Contributions, Eastman Kodak, 1947-1963

Box 3 of 27

Financial Affairs: Contributions, Individuals

Box 3 of 27

Financial Affairs: Contributions, Museums and Scientific Societies

Box 3 of 27

Financial Affairs: General, 1941-1962 (2 folders)

Box 3 of 27

Box 4

Financial Affairs: Grants, AEC, Army, ONR, NIH [some items moved to oversized storage]

Box 4 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, Research Corporation

Box 4 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF G (Travel and Madagascar)

Box 4 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF G5520, Lepidoptera (Blut)

Box 4 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF G1169, General Support

Box 4 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF G5523, Neotropical Birds

Box 4 of 27

Box 5

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF G10944, Mammals (Kaufman)

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF GB-745, Power Line

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF GB1519, Andean Birds

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Grants, NSF GB1601, Orchidaceae

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Increases, Transfers, etc., 1943-1963

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Private Foundations Miscellaneous, 1929-1958

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Surveys, 1961

Box 5 of 27

Financial Affairs: Trust Account, 1945-1964

Box 5 of 27

Box 6

Financial Affairs: Trust Account, Collections and Room and Board Figures, 1959-1961

Box 6 of 27

Financial Affairs: Withholding Tax, Canal Zone

Box 6 of 27

History: Board of Directors [CZBA] 1940-1964

Box 6 of 27

History: Establishment of CZBA

Box 6 of 27

History: Legislation

Box 6 of 27

History: Meeting of 1953 (folder 1 of 2)

Box 6 of 27

Box 7

History: Meeting of 1953 (folder 2 of 2)

Box 7 of 27

History: Reorganization, Advisory Committee

Box 7 of 27

Personnel: Comments on CZBA personalities - confidential

Box 7 of 27

Personnel: Cook and Cleaning Woman

Box 7 of 27

Personnel: Dressler, Robert L.

Box 7 of 27

Box 8

Personnel: General

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Gomez, Adela

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Grant Fund Employees

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Koford, Carl

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Laborers, Launch Operators, Animal Keeper

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Leave, Holidays, Overtime

Box 8 of 27

Personnel: Moynihan, Martin H.

Box 8 of 27

Box 9

Personnel: Office Help

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Recruiting

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Retirement

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Scientific Technicians

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Smith, Neal G.

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Tuition and Hospitalization

Box 9 of 27

Personnel: Vitola, Francisco

Box 9 of 27

Box 10

Personnel: James Zetek (2 folders)

Box 10 of 27

Photographs: Cut of Map, Barro Colorado Island

Box 10 of 27

Photographs: Correspondence on Films, Photographs and slides

Box 10 of 27

Publications: 1923-1962

Box 10 of 27

Publications: 1926-1963

Box 10 of 27

Box 11

Reports, General

Box 11 of 27

Annual Reports, 1922-1932

Box 11 of 27

Annual Reports, 1933-1939

Box 11 of 27

Annual Reports, 1939-1942

Box 11 of 27

Annual Reports, 1945-1947

Box 11 of 27

Annual Reports, 1948-1962

Box 11 of 27

Box 12

Supplies and Equipment: Army-Agriculture

Box 12 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Barro Colorado Island Maintenance

Box 12 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Communications

Box 12 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Diesel Generators, 1941-1952

Box 12 of 27

Box 13

Supplies and Equipment: Diesel Generators, 1953-1954

Box 13 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Diesel Generators, 1955-1964

Box 13 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Electrical System and Cable

Box 13 of 27

Box 14

Supplies and Equipment: Inventory

Box 14 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Laboratory, Library, Office

Box 14 of 27

Supplies and Equipment: Water Supply

Box 14 of 27

Series 2

General Correspondence, 1918-1965. By correspondent.

Correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondents, 1918-1965, incoming and outgoing, with many tissue copies; consists of correspondence interfiled from all phases of STRI development. Since correspondence is alphabetically arranged, no separate list of names has been entered here.

Box 15

A-Cl

Box 15 of 27

Box 16

Cl-F

Box 16 of 27

Box 17

G-J

Box 17 of 27

Box 18

K-M

Box 18 of 27

Box 19

N-R

Box 19 of 27

Box 20

Sa-V

Box 20 of 27

Box 21

W-Z

Box 21 of 27

Bibliography of Papers Pertaining to the Natural History of BCI, Publications, Miscellaneous

Box 21 of 27

Series 3

General Correspondence, 1923-1965. By subject.

Consists of correspondence, incoming and outgoing arranged alphabetically by subject; contains records from all periods of STRI history.

Box 22

Boats (2 folders)

Box 22 of 27

CZBA, 1948-1951

Box 22 of 27

CZBA, 1955

Box 22 of 27

Eastman Kodak Co.

Box 22 of 27

Fauna and Flora, Including Poaching (folder 1 of 2)

Box 22 of 27

Box 23

Fauna and Flora, Including Poaching (folder 2 of 2)

Box 23 of 27

Fellowships

Box 23 of 27

Future and Purpose of STRI

Box 23 of 27

Land Acquisition and Boundaries

Box 23 of 27

Legislation

Box 23 of 27

Library and Librarian (2 folders)

Box 23 of 27

Marine Biological Station

Box 23 of 27

Box 24

Non-SI Research Programs (2 folders)

Box 24 of 27

Office

Box 24 of 27

Panama Canal Legislation

Box 24 of 27

Point IV Program

Box 24 of 27

Rainfall

Box 24 of 27

Travel

Box 24 of 27

Visitors

Box 24 of 27

Series 4

Records of the Institute for Research in Tropical America, 1919-1940.

Box 25

Minutes of the National Research Council Institute for Research in Tropical America, 1920-1940; correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1919-1930, relating to creation and development of a research facility in Tropical America. Among the correspondents are Thomas Barbour, Albert Spear Hitchcock, and James Zetek. (5 folders)

Box 25 of 27

Box 26

Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1931-1939, loose, concerned with development and operation of a research facility on Barro Colorado Island, Canal Zone; also includes lectures about Barro Colorado station, circa 1935. Principal correspondents are Thomas Barbour and James Zetek. (5 folders)

Box 26 of 27

Series 5

Index Cards to Correspondence.

Box 27

Index Cards to Correspondence

Box 27 of 27

Series 6

Large Format Materials.
Oversize

Buildings and Grounds: General

Oversize

Financial Affairs: Grants, AEC, Army, ONR, NIH

Oversize