Between the 1910s and the 1960s, WCS’s Department of Tropical Research (DTR), led by William Beebe, conducted dozens of ecological expeditions across tropical terrestrial and marine locales.

Among the DTR's staff were artists who illustrated the species observed and collected during these expeditions. Artists participated in field work and collaborated closely with DTR scientists to create their illustrations.

This digital collection includes just over 2,200 digitized color and black-and-white illustrations of living and non-living specimens created by DTR field artists between 1916 and 1953. These include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, marine invertebrates, plants, and fungi. The sites where the DTR worked include British Guiana (now Guyana), the Galápagos Islands, the Hudson Canyon, Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Venezuela, and Trinidad.

The artists known to be represented in this digital collection are Toshio Asaeda, Harriet Bennett (later Strandberg), Else Bostelmann, Douglas Boyden, John Cody, Isabel Cooper (later Mahaffie), Donald Dickerman, Dwight Franklin, Kenneth Gosner, Paul G. Howes, Llewellyn Miller, Laura Schlageter, George Swanson, Helen Damrosch Tee-Van, Elswyth Thane, and Ezra Winter.