Currently viewing the tag: "New Guinea"

This post was originally published on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog, July 6, 2017.

The American Museum of Natural History selected two unique sets of material to digitize for the CLIR BHL Field Notes Project: field books from the Whitney South Sea Expedition and the Archbold Expeditions. These were two long-running undertakings to systematically explore and collect the flora and fauna of Oceania. Both contributed invaluable specimens to the scientific research and exhibition collections at AMNH. We recently completed digitization of the Whitney South Sea Expedition field notes and are thrilled to have commenced work on the Archbold material. Arguably, the most rewarding aspect of participating in this project is raising awareness of some rather remarkable individuals and expeditions. One example is the 2nd Archbold Expedition to New Guinea. We recently digitized leader Richard Archbold’s journal from that journey, which helps shine a light on this particularly fascinating story.

Archbold Expeditions is a corporation originally founded and led by Richard Archbold. It funded a research collection and staff at the AMNH Department of Mammalogy and sponsored a series of scientific collecting journeys to New Guinea and northern Australia. Heir to a substantial fortune, Archbold was a collector, explorer, ecologist, photographer, mountaineer, and pilot. As a youth he developed a love of nature and technology which carried over into all his future endeavors. He was a Research Associate at AMNH since his participation as photographer and mammalogist in the Mission zoologique franco-anglo-américaine à Madagascar, an experience which would directly inspire him to continue exploration work. He led the first three of the Archbold New Guinea Expeditions himself, and in 1940 founded the Archbold Biological Station in Florida. This research station and Archbold Expeditions were associated with AMNH until the 1980s. The Archbold Biological Station is still vitally active today.

Archbold excelled at organization and planning, recognizing needs and filling them. He regularly made use of and adapted the most current technology and also sought after the best scientists and personnel for his expeditions.

Some of the 2nd Archbold Expedition participants, including scientific party Austin Rand, G. H. H. Tate and Leonard Brass. All three participated in multiple Archbold Expeditions.
“WH2; Papua, Oroville Camp; Juhlstedt, Rand, Tate, Archbold, Burke, Healy, Brass.” Archbold Expeditions Collection, Department of Mammalogy, AMNH.

Continue reading »

E.Thomas (Ernest Thomas) Gilliard (1912-1965), an American ornithologist and AMNH museum curator, led or participated in many ornithological expeditions especially in South America and New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country located on the island of New Guinea. It is the second largest island after Greenland.

His first expedition to New Guinea occurred in 1948 when he was an assistant curator in the AMNH Ornithology department. He then went on to make six more trips within the next sixteen years. The results of his observations were published in two volumes; Birds of Paradise and Bower Birds and Handbook of New Guinea Birds, co-authored by Austin Rand, both of which can be found in the AMNH Library’s catalog.

Also in the AMNH library’s catalog, are the published results of one of his expeditions to New Guinea:
1958-1959 Gilliard New Britain Expedition

Tagged with:
 

During our time spent in the Mammalogy archive we came across a large bound collections of newspaper clippings and published bulletins. The newspapers dated from the beginning of the twentieth century to just after World War II and were in pretty good condition barring a few preservation issues. Many of the newspaper clippings were held together by paper clips that have left some marks and indentations. Other clippings were secured to the pages by a mysterious adhesive that amazingly left no residue on the articles. Many articles were held to their page by metal paperclips. The paperclips were not rusted but still threatened the long term health of the clippings. Still, despite the relatively decent condition of the articles, they were yellowing and brittle.

The biggest collection featured the work of Richard Archbold, an American zoologist and philanthropist who undertook multiple expeditions on behalf of the Museum. The collection featured articles detailing his exploits in New Guinea as well as his use of the latest equipment, such as ham radios. Having come across multiple collections, we speculated about their use. A few guesses included publicity to highlight the work of the Museum to procure additional funding, vanity, or simply to chart previous efforts. Either way, the collections should be handled with care so that future researchers can ask and answer the same questions.

Here’s a picture of one of Richard Archbold’s scrapbooks.

Tagged with: