Work Camp at María, Coiba Island

ID: SIA2009-4282 and Wetmore Negative # 6084

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 24,1956

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

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Summary

Looking across the water is the work camp at María, Coiba Island, Panama, on January 24, 1956. The work camp consists of several buildings as seen in the center of the image. The palm tree-lined shore, water, and sky are visible in this landscape. Coiba Island is off the southwest coast of Panama. The image was taken by Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore while on a scientific expedition to Coiba Island, Panama to study birds.

Category

Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Notes

  • Image contained in a photo album prepared by Alexander Wetmore of his trip to Panama and Coiba Island. Wetmore Neg. # 6084.
  • From 1919 to 1991, Coiba Island, Panama, was a penal colony. Fear of the prison and its inmates deterred visitors from the island; thus some 80% of the natural areas on the island remain undisturbed. The island is also host to many endemic species. Both of these factors made the island ideal for Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's scientific expedition to study birds. The officers and convicts pictured in Wetmore's images from the expedition were part of the penal colony. Some even worked as laborers for the expedition. Today, the island is no longer a penal colony. Instead, it is one of 38 islands composing Coiba Island National Park, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

January 24,1956

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions

Topic

  • Correctional institutions
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Landscapes
  • Architecture
  • Camp sites, facilities, etc
  • Reformatories
  • Beaches
  • Islands
  • Penal colonies
  • Buildings--Panama

Place

  • Panama
  • Coiba Island (Panama)
  • Pacific Ocean

Form/Genre

  • Photographic print
  • Landscape

ID Number

SIA2009-4282 and Wetmore Negative # 6084

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 4.75w x 4.5h; Type of Image: Landscape; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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