Expeditions and Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age Harvard Libraries Expeditions Home Image Info

Related Links

The selection of web sites listed on this page is intended for use by researchers, teachers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about issues related to expeditions and discoveries. Some are historical web sites similar to Expeditions and Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age that provide access to research guides and online documents and records.

The links on this page are selected for their unique or thorough contributions to the topic, and sites produced by governmental, cultural, or academic institutions have been favored.

Other Harvard Sites

Botanical and Cultural Images of Eastern Asia, 1907–1927, Arnold Arboretum

Harvard University Herbarium, Index of Botanical Specimens

Of the over 5 million specimens in the Harvard University Herbaria, over 180,000 have records in the Harvard University Herbarium database. Approximately 100,000 of these correspond to type specimens of vascular plants and bryophytes. The database contains records for specimens and specimen images for the Wilkes expedition and Wilson’s expeditions to Eastern Asia.

Jacques Burkhardt and the Thayer Expedition to Brazil (1865–1866)

"Providing online access to the Ernst Mayr Library’s Jacques Burkhardt Collection of watercolors and pencil drawings as well as other Thayer Expedition Papers—correspondence, field notes, diaries, sketches, photographs, specimen records and other materials relating to the fifteen-month collecting expedition to Brazil led by Louis Agassiz."

MCZ Collections Database

Captured data from some of the 21 million specimens at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Search by keyword of the expedition: Wilkes, Thayer, Hassler, Albatross. Images are available for some specimens.

General Information—National and International Organizations and Agencies

National Institute of Informatics (NII) (Japan)—Digital Silk Road

International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008, Polar Resources in the NOAA Library Network—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"The NOAA Historical Polar Research Collection home page has been prepared to support the Agency’s and NOAA Central Library (NCL) activities during International Polar Year 2007–2008. It displays the NCL network's unique online resources on exploration and research in Polar Regions. The collection includes selected library holdings from the 1st (1881–1883) through the 3rd (1957–1958) International Polar Years. This Web site offers full-text access to unique polar documents in the NOAA Library collections. Over two hundred of the listed documents are linked to previously scanned historically significant publications online."

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research

"SCAR is charged with the initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system."


General Information—Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Biodiversity Heritage Library

"Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. The group is developing a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections."

Botanicus—Missouri Botanical Garden

Historical botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Exploring the Early Americas—Library of Congress

Online exhibition, organized into three sections, of selected items from the Jay I. Kislak Collection, designed to "provide insight into indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native American and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds." Kislak amassed thousands of items related to early Florida, the Caribbean, and Mesoamerica. The site includes a complete digitized version of Alexander Exquemelin’s 1678 work, The Buccaneers of America, and also features interactive presentations covering the Waldseemüller Maps of 1507 and 1516.

The Giza Archives—Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

"Surrounding the Giza Pyramids are thousands of ancient tombs, temples, settlements, and artifacts. Archaeological discoveries continue to this day. This web site is a comprehensive resource for research on Giza. It contains photographs and other documentation from the original Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition (1904 to 1947), from recent MFA fieldwork, and from other expeditions, museums, and universities around the world."

Harriman Alaska Expedition—University Libraries, University of Washington

Digital reproduction of two-volume souvenir photograph album, entitled "A Souvenir of the Harriman Alaska Expedition, May–August, 1899. Volume 1, New York to Cook Inlet" and "...Volume II, Cook Inlet to Bering Strait and the Return Voyage," which included 253 photographs by both Edward S. Curtis, one of the official expedition photographers, and other expedition members including C. Hart Merriam and Harriman himself.

Latin American Travelogues—John Hay Library, Brown University

Travel accounts to Latin America from the 16th through the 19th centuries, including Louis Agassiz’s A Journey in Brazil, and Johann Baptist von Spix’s Travels in Brazil in the Years 1817–1820.

Nature & Science Digital Gallery—New York Public Library

See Classic Illustrated Zoologies and Related Works, 1550–1900, which includes illustrated books from the 16th century to the early 20th depicting the fish, birds, and animals of the world; see also Nature Illustrated: Flowers, Plants, and Trees, 1550–1900, a collection of thousands of art and scientific prints illustrating medicinial plants, garden flowers, exotic tropical blooms, trees and ferns.


Nature Online—National History Museum (United Kingdom)

Includes information on the development of the natural sciences, taxonomy and systematics, expeditions and collecting (including Cook, the Beagle, and the Challenger), biographies, and online exhibitions (including botanical drawings from the Endeavour expedition), plant life, animal life, and the oceans. Emphasis on British natural scientists and expeditions.

Reports of Explorations Printed in the Documents of the United States Government—University of Minnesota Libraries

Solar Eclipse: Eclipse Expeditions—Exploratorium

Starting in the mid-nineteenth century, the colonial powers of Europe and the United States sent expeditions all over the globe to observe solar eclipses. Presented here are accounts of a few of those expeditions.

C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium—New York Botanical Garden

Database of specimens has digital copies of Palmer specimens. Consult the "Digital Plant Research Center."

Tropicos.org—Missouri Botanical Garden

"All of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in Missouri Botanical Garden’s electronic databases during the past 25 years are publicly available here. This system has over one million scientific names and 3.5 million specimen records." Includes lists of Palmer specimens.

Type Specimen Register—Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution

Includes hundreds of Palmer specimens, including images.

United States Exploring Expedition, 1838–1842—Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Includes digitized versions of Charles Wilkes’s Narrative, the fifteen scientific volumes, and the illustrated atlases of plates from the scientific publications. Links to supplemental materials and resources are also provided.

University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

Online exhibition of materials held by the Macmillan Brown Library. The web site outlines the major achievements of three expeditions to New Zealand: Captain Cook’s third voyage to the Pacific aboard the Resolution (1776–80), Dumont d’Urville’s second expedition aboard the Astrolabe (1837–40), and Joseph Nais’s expedition aboard the Herald (1838–42).

Voyage of the Scotia, 1902–1904—Glasgow Digital Library

"An online exhibition of photographs and related materials from the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902–1904, highlighting the contribution to polar exploration and research made by Scotland and by William S Bruce, initiator and leader of the expedition."

Other Sites

Edward Palmer, Botanist

Arctic and Antarctic Timelines—South-Pole.com

List of Antarctic expeditions—Wikipedia