Letter from Herbert G. Deignan to Alexander Wetmore, December 7,1944

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A letter from Herbert G. Deignan, Assistant Curator of Birds, to Alexander Wetmore, Assistant Secretary, Director of U.S. National Museum, and later sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian, discusses Deignan's activities including collecting specimens while working as an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) agent during WWII.


  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Birds
  • Office of Strategic Services


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. During World War II, Ceylon served as an important base for the Allied forces in the fight against the Japanese Empire.
  • Herbert G. Deignan (1906-1968), ornithologist, Assistant Curator of Birds in the United States National Museum, and authority on the birds of Thailand, amassed a large collection of birds for the United States National Museum (USNM). In 1938, he was appointed Scientific Aid in the Division of Birds, USNM, later curator.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7006, Box 15, Folder: 5: Deignan, Herbert Girton

Contact information

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


December 7, 1944

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No restrictions


  • Secretariats
  • Secretaries
  • Birds
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Field work
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Assistant Secretaries
  • Archaeology
  • WW II
  • Animals
  • Insects
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Islands
  • Fieldwork
  • Museum directors
  • Museum curators
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Ornithologists
  • Ornithology--Field work
  • Ornithology


  • Sri Lanka
  • Washington (D.C.)


  • Document
  • Paper

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Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 8w x 10.5h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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