The Library Search

Before any new field or lab work can be undertaken, researchers must comb through all previous studies and articles that have been written about the whale to assure that valuable information gained in the past is not lost to the future. This process is known as a library search.

A good library search allows the researcher to gain a solid understanding of the subject at hand before they begin. A good library search also frequently turns up information that might require new or additional study.

In addition to many interesting articles on fossil and modern whales, the library search on the Charlotte Whale uncovered three very important early scientific accounts of its discovery:

1.) Zadock Thompson 1850, An account of some fossil bones found in Vermont, in making excavations for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad. American Journal of Science, volume 9, no. 26, March 1850, pages 256-63.

This first account of the whale was published in the American Journal of Science less than one year after its discovery.

2.) Zadock Thompson, 1853, (Reference to both the Charlotte Whale and the Mt. Holly mammoth) Thompson's Vermont, Appendix, pages 15-20.

In an appendix to a later edition, Thompson includes maps and diagrams of the original site for the first time.

3.) George H. Perkins, 1908, Fossil Cetacea of the Pleistocene of the United States and Canada (with special reference to Delphinapterus vermontanus, Thompson). Report of the State Geologist of Vermont, 1907-1908, pages 76-112.

In this account, Perkins provides measurements of the skeletal elements and compares them to other Delphinapteran whales found in the Champlain Sea Basin. Also included are some of the earliest published photographs of the specimen.

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