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Adventures on the Upper Nile

Identifier: Film Collection no. 2

Scope and Contents

Charles Oliver O'Donnell (AMNH fellow) and James Lippitt Clark (AMNH vice-director of preparation and exhibition) traveled by steamer, in 1931, up the Nile from Khartoum to Shambe in the Sudan to collect giant eland for the AMNH Hall of African Mammals. Most of the footage was taken from the steamer, and consists of panoramic views of life along the Nile, and of the activities of the expedition staff and the shikaris (native hunters) on board ship. Expedition staff appearing in the film are: leader James Lippitt Clark, assistant leader Charles Oliver O'Donnell, preparator John W. Hope, photographer Jack Robertson, artist and preparator Dudley Blakely, and field assistant William T. Hunt. At Shambe the expedition disembarks and visits a Dinka village in the interior where a mock-combat dance is performed. At the expedition base-camp, about 150 miles from Shambe, staff members clean the skeleton and prepare the skin of a bull eland secured by the hunting party. Attention is also devoted to the collection and preparation in the field of exhibition accessories (rocks, tree branches, moss and other local materials) to be used in dioramas to recreate the habitats. Blakely is shown painting a habitat setting. The following animals appear in the film: white-eared cobs, shoebill storks, ducks, grey herons, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, antelopes, waterbucks, anhingas, ibis, duikers, white rhinoceroses (barely visible), chameleons, lemurs, white herons, elephants, a swarm of locusts 8 miles long, and the expedition mascot, Nis Nas, a small primate.


  • 1931


Language of Materials



1 Film Reel (39 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (39 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

U-Matic, viewing copy


Silent with English subtitles.


Jack Robertson, photographer.

Adventures on the Upper Nile, 1931
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420