Central America

In and Out of Central America

This book came to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library from the now defunct Panama Canal Zone Library, one of the most important libraries in Panama during the Canal Zone era.

Danzas Folklóricas en la Villa de Los Santos

The struggle between good and evil. The battle between the sacred and the profane. These have been recurring themes in all societies and through art, populations were instructed in the principles of Christian religion. Clothing, costumes, music, and dance serve to teach people about the rules to follow as Christians. 

Archæological Researches in Costa Rica

Considered a publication of exceptional value, this thorough study of Costa Rican archaeology investigates graves and burial mounds, pottery vessels, and buildings. The author spent over a year working in the field, both on the Atlantic coast and the interior of the country. The volume is beautifully illustrated with 87 plates and over 400 text illustrations. Formerly a copy held by the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, the volume is inscribed to anthropologist “Professor F.W. Putnam, with compliments of the author.”

Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World

This rare second edition of Journal of researches... is the final definitive text of Darwin's "first literary child," revised to reflect his developing ideas on evolution. It chronicles his historic five-year voyage on the Beagle to Brazil, Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, Chile, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries and islands along the way. This journey was the most important event in Darwin's intellectual life.

Map of Panama, Showing Canal Zone & Water Shed of Rio Chagres

This is one of a series of reports and maps from the Governor of the Panama Canal between 1906 and 1914, printed by the Government Printing Office. The full title of the map is Map of Panama, Showing Canal Zone & Water Shed of Rio Chagres. To accompany the Annual Report of the Commission, Culebra C.Z., September, 1909. This particular map was printed in 1909, detailing advances in the Porto Bello rock plant, Gatun locks, and further information about construction and engineering of the Canal.

Banana Gold

This is a charming account of the author’s impressions of Central American natural and social geography in the early 20th century. Carleton Beals was a progressive journalist who traveled extensively throughout Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, during times of political and social strife in the 1920s and 30s. The Art Deco illustrations of Carlos Merida beautifully complement the picturesque descriptions of small village life and the tropics.

Note: From the library of Alexander Wetmore, Sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Revista de Costa Rica en el Siglo XIX

This volume was commissioned by the president of Costa Rica and published in 1902. The Comisión Conmemorativa de Costa Rica en el Siglo XIX worked with various authors to highlight the social history, local customs, and artistic contributions of Costa Rica during the 19th century. The book also covers the history of the Catholic Church in Costa Rica during this period. The goal of this volume was to highlight the many successes of Costa Rica following its independence. The cover depicts a silver angel holding aloft a burning torch inscribed with the Roman numerals XX (20).