This collection is comprised of books, pamphlets, documents, correspondence, press clippings, maps, reports, periodicals,
photographs, and other material pertaining to the history and culture of the Panama Canal, the Canal Zone, and the Republic
of Panama. Materials document a wide spectrum of subjects, including the exploration and construction of a Central American
isthmian canal, the administrative and bureaucratic structure of the Canal Zone, tourism in Panama, residential life in the
Canal Zone, and the political relationship between the United States and the Republic of Panama. A substantial amount of the
collection is also devoted to the historical and literary study, and journalistic documentation, of both the Panama Canal
and the Republic of Panama. In addition, the collection contains the personal papers of Adrien and Jean Bouché and those of
Art Mokray, a resident of the Republic of Panama.
After early explorations failed to uncover a natural waterway across Central America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,
numerous plans, schemes, and financial arrangements were developed for digging a canal. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant
instructed the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation to organize expeditions for surveying possible isthmian canal routes. These
surveys were made during the period 1870-1875 by Navy personnel, and on March 15, 1872 the President appointed an Interoceanic
Canal Commission to appraise the survey reports. On February 7, 1876, the Commission announced a unanimous decision in favor
of a route across Nicaragua.
52.77 linear feet
(53 boxes, 13 flat file folders)
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition,
the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected
by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other
restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility
for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
The collection is open for research.