Scope and Contents
These papers reflect the early life of Robert LeMoyne Barrett (b. 1871) geographer, traveler, and writer. Included are outgoing correspondence which for the most part was intended for publication, manuscripts on various topics, two published articles on Norway, field notes, sketches, charts, maps, noteslips, photographs and other items relating to his various trips from 1892-1909. The bulk of the material reflects the expeditions of Norway conducted in the summers of 1897-98, the Dixon-Barrett Russia-Siberia Expedition of 1901-02, the Baja Peninsula of 1903-04, the Barrett-Huntington Inner Asia Expedition of 1904-06, and Abyssinia in 1909. There is some material on a trip to Morocco in 1892, the Canadian Rockies in 1893, Colorado-Arizona-New Mexico in 1900. There is only a sketch book for a 1923 journey to the Himalayas.
Also included are class lecture notes from his geography courses at Harvard, some material on Japanese writings, passports, the correspondence of Roland Dixon from Russia to W. M. Davis, and the manuscript of Ghulan Rasul Galwan of Leh, India, Barrett's Ladakhi caravan leader in 1905-06. There is little material that calls attention to his early childhood or later personal life. With one small exception, there is no material on his many journeys after 1909. There is no material on the professional and scientific organizations of which he belonged. There are no incoming letters or any manuscripts of books that were published.
The photograph collection is large with early turn of the century prints and negatives of Norway, Europe, the American Southwest, Baja, California, and Inner Asia. Most of the photographs are of mountainous terrains and geographical features of the various locals of his journeys; however, there are a few pictures of Navajo Indians of the early 1900's and Asians of the same period. The bulk of the photograph collection concerns the Inner Asian Expedition which passed through India, Chinese Turkestan, and China and the many small villages en route with landscape views of the Himalayas predominating. Most of these were taken with a theodolite camera capable of measuring altitude.
A copy of a 1976 biographical sketch of Barrett's life entitled "Robert LeMoyne Barrett, 187101969; Last of the Founding Members of the Association of American Geographers," by Geoffrey J. Martin is also included which lists a bibliography of Barrett's publications.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.