Vernon Orlando Bailey Papers, 1889-1941 and undated
About the Project
These projects are completed volunteer transcriptions of Vernon Bailey's field notes from Smithsonian Institution Archives collections documenting his career as a field naturalist between 1889 and 1941. Vernon Orlando Bailey (1864-1942) was born in Manchester, Michigan. At an early age his family moved to Elk River, Minnesota, where he developed an interest in natural history. Around 1885, Bailey began sending collections of birds and mammals to Clinton Hart Merriam, Chief of the newly created Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy of the United States Department of Agriculture (in 1896 the name was changed to the Bureau of Biological Survey). In 1887, Bailey was appointed Special Field Agent for the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy. His title was changed to Chief Field Naturalist in 1890, and he remained with the Biological Survey until his retirement in 1933. Bailey's chief biological interest was the study of the life history and distribution of mammals.