The proposed project focuses on the works of scientists in the American West during the late 19th century when California was experiencing tremendous growth. The “wild West” was disappearing and scientific exploration was flourishing. The project will focus on ten collections representing scientific work at the Academy and throughout the Pacific Rim: Hans Herman Behr (1818-1904, Academy conservator, entomologist, botanist), Lyman Belding (1829-1917, Academy ornithologist), James Blake (1815- 1893, Academy vice-president and geologist), Walter E. Bryant (1861-1905, Academy ornithologist), George Davidson (1825-1911, Academy president, geodesist, engineer), Carl H. Eigenmann (1863-1927, Academy member and ichthyologist), Gustavus A. Eisen (1847-1940, Academy curator, naturalist, horticulturalist), William Otto Emerson, William Hammond Hall (1846-1934, Academy member and California's first State Engineer), and John VanDenburgh (1872-1924, Academy curator and herpetologist). Highlights of the ten collections include early U.S. Coast and Geodetic surveys, early examples of stereoscopic photography, documentation of Alaskan exploration, personal diaries of frontier life, hand- drawn maps and sketches, manuscripts, and ephemera from the collectors' field work. Five of these collectors are represented in Academy research specimen collections: Eigenmann, Belding, Bryant, Eisen (including type specimens) and VanDenburgh.
Cataloging Hidden Collections
California Academy of Sciences