Group of Men on Coiba Island, Panama

ID: SIA2010-0506 and Wetmore # 6058

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 15, 1956

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

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Summary

A group of men are waiting near a landing on Coiba Island, Panama. The men, some dressed in uniform, are associated with the penal colony located on the island. The image was taken by Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore while on a scientific expedition in Panama to Coiba Island, while completing field work for his four volume work, The Birds of Panama.

Author

Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Category

Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Notes

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 Wetmore's scientific expedition. The officers and convicts pictured in Alexander 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, Folder 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 15, 1956

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions

Topic

  • Islands
  • Field trips
  • Penal colonies
  • Correctional institutions
  • Uniforms
  • Reformatories
  • Prisoners
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Panamanians

Place

  • Panama
  • Coiba Island (Panama)

Form/Genre

  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

ID Number

SIA2010-0506 and Wetmore # 6058

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 4.75 x 4.5; Type of Image: Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print

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