Notes of travel made from memoranda in old diaries [1869-1885], 1897-1898


Date: 1869-1898 | Size: 1 volume(s), 1 volume, 328 p., index


Dalton Dorr (1846-1901) was the curator, secretary and director of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia, the forerunner of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from 1880-1899. A journal, written in 1897, copied from his notes and from memory, of travels in Greenland (1869), the Indian Territory, Colorado and the Pacific coast (1872-73); Paris, England, Scotland, and Ireland (1882-85), with some sketches. He took the Greenland cruise with Isaac I. Hayes in 1869, which was described by Hayes in his "Land of Desolation" (New York: Harper, 1872). See also, a companion volume of albumen prints taken by William Bradford and other members of "Under the midnight sun: a pleasure cruise in Greenland" in the summer of 1869.

Background note

Dalton Dorr (1846-1901) was elected secretary of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, now known as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in 1880. In 1887, the title of curator was added to his duties that later culminated in the directorship of the museum in 1892. He administered these three tasks until 1899. Dorr enjoyed traveling. The "Notes of travel made from memoranda in old diaries" (B D735) is a hand-written account of recollections of his excursions. Written in the winter of 1897-1898, the journal presents details of "A Pleasure cruise in Greenland" in the summer of 1869 with marine painter William Bradford, Massachusetts photographers John Dunmore and George Critcherson, and arctic explorer and physician Dr. Isaac I. Hayes. Dr. Hayes' published work, The Land of Desolation (1872), gives a full description of the Panther's voyage north along the island's west coast. From March 1872 to April 1873, Dorr explored "The Indian territory, Colorado and the Pacific Coast" including the Mojave reservation, Fort Yuma, Arizona City, San Diego and San Francisco. Other places noted include trips to Paris (1873), England, Scotland, and Ireland (1882-1884), and a Continental trip (1885). Referenced in the journal, "Under the midnight sun" (919.8 D73u) is the companion bound folio of albumen prints by Bradford, Dunmore and Critcherson of Greenland. The 92 photographs, with hand-written captions, reflect arctic landscapes, native houses, Norse ruins, glaciers, icebergs, bears, and Inuits. The picturesque representations have scientific as well as ethnographic value. A manuscript map of Davis Strait and the west side of Greenland, shows the route of the 1869 Bradford expedition in red.

Scope and content

Seventeen black and white engravings of landscapes, glaciers, birds, Inuit dwellings, camps, and group portraits. Published photomechanical prints replicating the original photographs taken by members of William Bradford's 1869 expedition to Greenland. Some published in Harper's Weekly magazine, but primarily from Hayes' work The Land of Desolation. Eight small pencil sketches, by Dorr, of Native American territories along the Colorado River in 1872-73. Images include arrowhead mountain, Fort Yuma, Mohave man and dwelling. Six small ink sketches of floor plans and architectural details of buildings visited by Dorr in England in 1882-83. Referenced in Murphy Smith's Historical American Sketches. Locations visited on the Colorado include the Colorado River Reservation at Ehrenberg and the Fort Yuma Reservation. The section recounting his travels through Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) includes mentions of stops in Gibson, Muscogee, "Hell-Town," Perryville, Boggy Junction, Wolf's Junction (including description of a community of Black and mixed race people), Tishomingo, Harris's Station, Fort Anadarko, and Fort Sill.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

1 volume, 328 p.


Gift from Hayes A. Dorr and accessioned, 11/--/1973 (1973

Processing information

Inventory is not complete, only scanned images noted.

Alternate formats available

This item is also available on microfilm (Film 1420).

Related material

Hayes, I. I. (Isaac Israel), 1832-1881. The land of desolation: being a personal narrative of observation and adventure in Greenland (New York, 1872) Call no. 919.8 H32L

Indexing Terms


  • Engravings.
  • Journals (notebooks).
  • Sketches.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Colorado -- Description and travel.
  • England -- Description and travel.
  • Greenland -- Description and travel.
  • Ireland -- Description and travel.
  • Pacific Coast (U.S.) -- Description and travel.
  • Paris (France) -- Description and travel.
  • Scotland -- Description and travel.
  • United States -- Description and travel.
  • West (U.S.) -- Description and travel.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bradford, William, 1823-1892
  • Dorr, Dalton, 1846-1901
  • Hayes, I. I (Isaac Israel), 1832-1881


  • Inuit
  • Mohave Indians
  • Plains Indians