Letter from Alexander Wetmore to S. Dillon Ripley

ID: SIA2010-0556

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Secretarial Correspondence

Date: May 8, 1945

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 305, Box 899, Folder: 170221

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Letter from Smithsonian Assistant Secretary Alexander Wetmore to S. Dillon Ripley acknowledges the donation and receipt of 239 bird skins and one skeleton Ripley collected in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and sent to the U.S. National Museum for their collection.


  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • United States National Museum Dept. of Biology Division of Birds
  • United States National Museum
  • Office of Strategic Services
  • Office of Correspondence and Documents


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Future Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, formerly assistant curator in the Division of Birds, volunteered for service during World War II with the Office of Strategic Services, predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency. Stationed in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, he continued his ornithological passion with bird watching in his free time. As an avid bird collector, Ripley maintained contact with the Smithsonian and donated bird specimens he collected. He knew the geography, natural history, and languages of the region, having traveled widely in the South Pacific before the war.
  • See Neg. Numbers SIA2010-0555, SIA2010-0557, SIA2010-0558, SIA2010-0559, SIA2010-0560, SIA2010-0561, SIA2010-0562 relating to the shipment by S. Dillon Ripley of bird skins from Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to the Smithsonian during World War II.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 305, Box 899, Folder: 170221

Contact information

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


May 8, 1945

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  • Animals
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  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
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  • Collecting and collections
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Birds--Collection and preservation
  • Ornithologists
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  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


Sri Lanka


  • Secretarial Correspondence
  • Document
  • Paper

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Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 7.69w x 10.05h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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