North American Studies

The two types of item archived here were used to preserve field notes from visits to North American sites for the purpose of collecting specimens of crickets and katydids and recording their songs.  These notes serve a variety of purposes.  In particular, they describe the habitat and the conditions at the time the site was visited; they list species recognized by their songs as well as the identities, numbers, and sexes of specimens collected; they facilitate the return to the exact location of the site; and they describe noteworthy behaviors.

The usual motivation for viewing these field notes is likely to be an interest in learning more about the circumstances of collecting particular specimens or of making particular field audio-recordings.  Retrieval of such information is made possible by the field notes being linked to specimens and audio-recordings via a date and number.  Each number indicates a separate collecting and recording site visited on the indicated date.  For each new date, the numbering is reset to one (at the first site visited) and increased by one with each additional site visited on that date.  Numbered sites for a date have never reached nine and have seldom exceeded five.  From 1957 forward, on TJW’s GrylTett specimen labels, this number appears after the collecting date and along with the locality and, collector(s).

The same system of date plus number was used to specify field notes describing the circumstances of each audio-recording made in the field and, for audio-recordings of caged specimens, the circumstances under which the captive specimen was collected.  In these cases, only the date and site number (in parentheses) were used—e.g., 21Aug1958(4).

From 1957 to mid-1968, these field notes were recorded on 5x8-inch cards.  In mid-1978, TJW stopped using 5x8 cards for this type of field notes in favor of entering them into record books with numbered pages.  These record books also contain extensive field notes on other projects, especially of long-term studies of populations of Anurogryllus arboreus and Gryllus ovisopis.

Funding for collecting and organizing the Thomas J. Walker Collection was partially provided by Thomas J. Walker.