Notebook kept by Rafinesque on a trip from Philadelphia to Kentucky, 1818

About the Project

To have become a naturalist at an early age living in France, with further study and field research in Europe and the United States, it was undoubtedly frustrating to Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840) to be largely regarded as eccentric despite meticulous field work. Nonetheless, his often unconventional ideas were hard for his professional peers to embrace. More contemporary scientists have come to recognize Rafinesque for his field work and avant-garde thinking.

The field journal he kept in the autumn of 1818 during a trip from Philadelphia to Kentucky is mostly in French and includes sketches of plants, shells, fish, and mammals as well as hand-drawn maps. Please help us transcribe Rafinesque's almost two-hundred year old notes, some of which were made during a week-long stay with John James Audubon.

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