This collection contains field catalogs and notebooks, manuscript notes, lists, and drawings primarily concerning mammal specimens. Also included are lists, autographs, and related materials regarding mammalogists and naturalists who collected mammal specimens for the United States National Museum. The field catalogs and notebooks are the primary documentation for many of the specimens in the Division of Mammals. Although they vary in content, as a general rule they contain specimen-related data including lists of specimens collected, dates, localities, tag numbers, measurements, and remarks on the specimens. Less frequently, they contain journal entries of the collector describing field activities, affairs of the day, anthropological observations, personal financial accounts, and other personal matters.
Some of the manuscript notes contain information on other fauna and flora observed and collected. Charles S. Anderson manuscript notes also contain data on birds of Minnesota, and W. J. Spina manuscript notes deal with the birds, amphibians, reptiles, and plants of Pennsylvania.