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Department ofBotany

Tuba Receiving Gourd “Balcita”

Notes for the Researcher

Man in agave field

Palmer’s extensive field notes and other documentation related to his collections and work are preserved in the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Many of these materials exist because of the contribution of several generations of botanists and anthropologists. Of particular note is the work of two Department of Agriculture botanists: William Safford, who drafted a detailed but never-published biography of Palmer, and William Andrew Archer, who continued Safford’s project by creating a catalog of Palmer’s field notes and collection numbers, an index of common names in English, Spanish, and several Indigenous languages, and a bibliography containing over 800 citations. Archer also identified around 150 links among the anthropological, botanical and pharmacy collections that Palmer acquired. Specifically ethnobotanical data exists for nearly 300 plant species used for food, medicine, tools, soap, and raw materials. The results of Safford’s and Archer’s work are today at the Smithsonian because Archer spent the last years of his life as a research associate of the National Museum of Natural History.

National Museum of Natural History
Department of Botany

  1. Digital Images
  2. Databases
  3. Registry Books
  4. Field Notes
  5. Herbarium Specimens (Type specimens, General Herbarium)

Department of Anthropology Objects  
About the Collections  
Palmer Material Collections

  1. Ledger Books (includes original drawings and notes)

National Anthropological Archives


Edward Palmer Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Includes:

  1. Palmer/Safford/Archer Card Files. Boxes 1-6, William Andrew Archer Material, Records of the Division of Ethnology, Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
  2. Edward Palmer: Botanical Explorer the unpublished, unfinished biography of Palmer by William Safford of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Boxes 6 & 7, Records of the Division of Ethnology, Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
  3. Oversized Field Notes (with Collection Numbers). Boxes 11-14, Records of the Division of Ethnology, Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Notes on Tuba. Box 5, folder 57, Beverages, Manuscript and pamphlet file, Records of the Division of Ethnology, Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution Beverage File (Includes Tuba)

Bureau of American Ethnology Maps



Registrar’s Office

  1. Accession Papers: SI Archives RU 305, microfilm versions available in the National Museum of Natural History’s Office of the Registrar
  2. Annual Reports. Citations for specific reports can be found the Bibliography page.

National Museum of American History
Palmer’s Pharmacy collection

Smithsonian Archives
Original copies of Palmer’s field notes interspersed with museum accession records. Non-italicized accessions represent accessions with field notes. Italicized accessions have not been examined.
701, 1392, 1793, 1816, 1838, 1882-1883, 1949, 2058, 2086, 2251, 4130-4132, 4506, 5070, 5334, 7136, 13743, 14462, 15724, 15930, 16919, 17111, 17521, 18723, 20605, 24600, 26324, 26426, 28698, 31710, 31859, 32933, 33111, 33191, 33215, 34808, 34853, 35255, 35569, 36459, 36584, 37964, 40495, 40562, 40581, 40658, 41109, 43066, 43666, 43937, 44385, 44385, 44927, 45308, 45511, 45721, 46279, 46837, 46917, 47090, 47559, 47771, 49033, 49046, 49142, 49148, 50468, 51903, 51903, 52182, 296689, 296689.

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