Canal Zone Biological Area Records, 1912-1965

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


Consists of records documenting the creation and development of the Institute for Research in Tropical America, 1912-1940; renamed the Canal Zone Biological Area, 1940-1946. The Smithsonian Institution had been an early sponsor of the program and eventually took control of the facility in 1946 renaming it the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in 1966. The research area is located on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. These records were created and maintained in the Office of the Secretary during the tenures of Charles D. Walcott, Secretary, 1907-1927; C. G. Abbot, Secretary, 1928-1944; Alexander Wetmore, Secretary, 1945-1952; Leonard Carmichael, Secretary, 1953-1964; and S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary, 1964- 1984. Materials include administrative records, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, reports, and maps.


  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) 1872-1973
  • Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973
  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-1978
  • Ripley, S. Dillon (Sidney Dillon) 1913-2001
  • Smithsonian Institution Administration
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Canal Zone Biological Area
  • Institute for Research in Tropical America


Series Level Description


  • To view records that comprise this series, see the detailed list of accessions and/or record units below.
  • For a history of the creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.



Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1912
  • 1912-1965


  • Tropical biology
  • Museums
  • Research institutes
  • Museums--Administration


  • Panama
  • Barro Colorado Island (Panama)


  • Black-and-white photographs
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps

Local number

SIA RS00788

Physical description

  • Oversize materials processed holdings
  • 14.25 cu. ft. processed holdings

Full Record

View Full Record