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Seale (Alvin) diaries
M0172  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Alvin Seale's diaries were recorded from 1901 to 1940, with accounts of travel to various parts of the world including the Philippines, Hawaii, Alaska, the South Seas, Mexico, and the Galapagos, as well as the United States. While the diaries are generally personal in nature, with many photos of Seale and his wife rather than scientific documentation, there are some notes on fish and bird specimens. Most volumes contain large quantities of captioned photographs and some postcards. Entries and photographs are frequently not in chronological order, and there is some duplication of images among volumes. Newspaper clippings include an editorial by Seale arguing for annexation of the Philippines, followed by rebuttals by Filipino nationals. Some correspondence is included in the diaries as well. Note that a few photographs depict images of corpses, executed criminals, and the Bud Dajo massacre.
Background
Alvin Seale (1871–1958) was an ichthyologist and naturalist known for his aquarium design. Seale was born on July 8, 1871, in Fairmount, Indiana, to a family of Quakers. In 1892, he attended Stanford University, and was tutored by David Starr Jordan. Four years later, the year that Seale would have graduated with a degree in zoology, he was picked by Jordan along with fellow student Norman B. Scofield, to go to Point Barrow in Alaska in search of salmon in the Mackenzie River. Before returning to Stanford Seale collected sea birds along the Alaskan coast on behalf of the British Museum. In 1899 Seale briefly returned to Stanford but left to take the job of field naturalist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. Within two years he was promoted to Curator of Fishes. a position he held until 1904, when he returned to Stanford. While still curator, Seale made the first zoological survey of Guam in 1900. He returned to Hawaii via Manila, Hong Kong, China, and Japan. From the time of his return until 1903 Seale collected specimens from all over Polynesia. He went exploring in the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, and the Marquesas, Gambier, Austral, Cook, and Samoan islands. He also visited New Zealand, Australia, the New Hebrides and the Solomon Islands. In May, 1905 he finally received his degree from Stanford, 13 years after beginning his studies.
Extent
2.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Restrictions
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns. Some of these materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.
Availability
Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.