John Wesley Powell

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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.


Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), middle aged, with graying hair, bust, left side view. Geologist and western explorer, Powell led an expedition to the Grand Canyon in the 1870's. When Congress created the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879, Powell was named its first director (1879-1902), a post he held until his death. Placed under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, the bureau, whose name was changed to the Bureau of American Ethnology, was to be the repository of the "archives, records, and material relating to the Indians of North America, collected by the geographical and geological survey of the Rocky Mountains."


  • Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Negative is a black and white copy of original sepia print.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7177, Box 9, Folder: 23

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. 1890

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Discovery and exploration
  • Geology
  • Anthropology
  • Explorations and Expeditions




  • Photographic print
  • Person, candid

ID Number

41213-B or MAH-41213B

Physical description

Color: Sepia; Size: 4w x 6h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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