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American Museum of Natural History AMNH Research Library

Central Asiatic Expeditions


Central Asiatic Expeditions 1921-1930

The Central Asiatic Expeditions collection consists of photographs taken over the course of five expedition seasons sponsored by the museum exploring Mongolia, especially areas in the Gobi Desert. The expeditions were led by Roy Chapman Andrews a well-known explorer, naturalist and paleontologist.

The photographs taken in 1922, 1925 and 1928 (seasons 1, 3 and 4) were taken by James B. Shackelford. An expert in handling the Akeley camera, Shackelford produced footage and photographs of the Expedition during these years. It’s unclear who the photographers are for the rest of the collection’s images; they are officially attributed to Andrews but as he is a subject in many of them this is unlikely.

The photos show the Mongol people the expedition encountered as well as photographs of landscapes, expedition camps, camel and motor caravans, religious structures and fossil sites.