This collection is comprised of books, pamphlets, documents, correspondence, press clippings, maps, reports, periodicals,
photographs, and other material pertaining to the history and culture of the Panama Canal, the Canal Zone, and the Republic
of Panama. Materials document a wide spectrum of subjects, including the exploration and construction of a Central American
isthmian canal, the administrative and bureaucratic structure of the Canal Zone, tourism in Panama, residential life in the
Canal Zone, and the political relationship between the United States and the Republic of Panama. A substantial amount of the
collection is also devoted to the historical and literary study, and journalistic documentation, of both the Panama Canal
and the Republic of Panama. In addition, the collection contains the personal papers of Adrien and Jean Bouché and those of
Art Mokray, a resident of the Republic of Panama.
After early explorations failed to uncover a natural waterway across Central America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean,
numerous plans, schemes, and financial arrangements were developed for digging a canal. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant
instructed the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation to organize expeditions for surveying possible isthmian canal routes. These
surveys were made during the period 1870-1875 by Navy personnel, and on March 15, 1872 the President appointed an Interoceanic
Canal Commission to appraise the survey reports. On February 7, 1876, the Commission announced a unanimous decision in favor
of a route across Nicaragua.
76.5 linear feet
(27 document boxes, 20 flat storage boxes, 2 glass plate negative boxes, 1 half-size document box, 1 record storage box, 1
map-case drawer, unboxed material)
Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives. All
requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections
& Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the
physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by
The collection is open for research.