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92-49; 93-27; 95-42; 00-36; 01-40; and unaccessioned

Central American Expedition Records, 1891-1901 : A Finding Aid

Peabody Museum Archives
Harvard University


©2009 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update 2016 August 19

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Peabody Museum Archives, Harvard University
Call No.: 92-49; 93-27; 95-42; 00-36; 01-40
Location: Peabody Museum Archives
Title: Central American Expedition Records, 1891-1901
Quantity: 2.9 linear feet
Abstract: This record set consists of documentation of some of the earliest Peabody Museum expeditions to Central America and includes administrative papers, correspondence, financial data, manuscripts, reports, ephemera, photographs, memoranda and field notes.

Acquisition Information:

92-49; 93-27; 95-42; 00-36; 01-40; and unaccessioned
This collection contains administrative records of the Peabody Museum that were transferred from Museum offices in several stages; therefore, the materials have several accession numbers and some of the records are designated as unaccessioned.

Access Restrictions:


Use Restrictions:


Scope and Content Note:

In 1891, the Peabody Museum undertook its first extensive archaeological explorations outside of the United States. Under a special edict from the government of Honduras, the Museum began the exploration of the site of Copan. In recognition of this significant step, a special Committee for Central American Research was formed, consisting at first of Charles P. Bowditch and Francis C. Lowell. Over the next several decades the Committee organized and funded numerous expeditions to Meso and Central America. These expeditions included those led by: John G. Owens to Copan, 1891-1893; G.B. Gordon to Copan, the Ulua Valley, and Quirigua, 1894-1901; Teobert Maler to various sites, ca. 1904-1907; E.H. Thompson to Chichen Itza, ca. 1900-1910; R.E. Merwin to Holmul, the Hondo River, Quintana Roo, and the Peten, 1910-1915; and S.K. Lothrop to Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, 1916-1918. The Committee, especially Charels P. Bowditch, also actively supported the publication of the results of these expeditions in the Peabody Museum Memoirs series, which was established for this purpose.
Thousands of archaeological specimens and casts of monumental architecture were collected on the expeditions; these are stored in the artifact collections of the Museum and displayed in its Central American exhibit hall.
Additionally, the Archives houses a large related photograph collection; many of these images may be viewed at the Peabody Collections Online website.

Related Peabody Museum Collections:


Correspondents Index