Extending the Boundaries of Science

The U.S. Exploring Expedition included experts in geology, natural history, botany, horticulture, linguistics, and zoology, as well as visual artists. They collected tens of thousands of specimens, which—along with their scientific illustrations, observations, and data—formed an exhaustive body of information about Pacific islands and peoples. Congress authorized publication of a multi-volume report of the findings, and the expedition’s artifacts and specimens established or enhanced the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and other major research institutions.