They also illustrate, to a lesser degree, his personal affairs.
Wetmore was a prolific correspondent and a large part of his papers consists of letters written and received between 19.
Included are field notes, diaries, specimen catalogs, correspondence, collecting permits, expense accounts, photographs, motion pictures, and related materials documenting field trips to Puerto Rico, the Hawaiian and other Pacific islands, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, Central and South America (especially Panama) and all regions of the United States.
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In 1913, Wetmore was promoted to Assistant Biologist with the Biological Survey, and he moved to Washington to begin work in the program on the food habits of North American birds.
His career with the Biological Survey was highlighted by constant field investigations which took him to most of the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, and South America.
Alexander Wetmore (1886-1978) was the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
A well-known ornithologist and avian paleontologist, Wetmore served as Secretary from 1945 to 1952.
By the time he entered the University of Kansas in 1905, Wetmore had made extensive natural history collections around his Wisconsin home and in Independence, Kansas.
Shortly after his arrival in Lawrence, Kansas, Wetmore received his first museum job as Assistant at the University Museum under Charles D. His undergraduate career was interrupted on several occasions as he took jobs in Arizona, California, and Colorado to finance his education.
He remained at the NZP until March 1925 when he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian in charge of the United States National Museum (USNM).
Wetmore held this position for nearly twenty years, when, in 1945, he was elected the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian.
Wetmore retired in 1952 and was made an honorary Research Associate of the Smithsonian, where he continued his study of recent and fossil birds until his death.