Biological Survey of Texas, Records, 1889-1939

Now Available

This collection of three boxes contains photocopies of materials generated by the Biological Survey of Texas conducted by the United States Bureau of Biological Survey from 1889-1905.  The collection includes original survey reports, field notebooks, specimen catalogs, and print copies of photographs generated by the Survey.  A detailed list of reports is included with the collection and is located in Box 1, File 1.  A detailed list of the photographs is also included with the collection and is located in Box 3, File 1.  The location in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of each document is noted on the copies.  Photographs are identified by a National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photograph number on the back of the photograph and on the photograph list.

The collection originated in the desire of Dr. David J. Schmidly to place copies of the documents generated by the United States Bureau of Biological Survey’s investigations in Texas in an archive more accessible to those with an interest in Texas natural history.  The original records are housed at the Smithsonian Institution Archives in Washington D. C.  In addition to acquiring copies of the original material, the project also accomplished preparation of computerized data bases of the reports and photographs.  Eventually the project resulted in the publication in 2002 of Schmidly’s Texas Natural History:  A Century of Change.  The work includes an annotated reprint of the 1905 report Biological Survey of Texas.  Dr. David J. Schmidly is a Texas Tech University graduate and was the University’s thirteenth President.  He is currently serving as President and CEO of Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Schmidly is a biologist and has published a number of works on Texas mammals.  This collection can be access at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library during opening hours.