Scientists are on the Biological Survey of the Panama Canal Zone. Smithsonian staff were in Panama with the Institute for Research in Tropical America, a group of private foundations and universities under the auspices of the National Research Council, who first established a research laboratory on Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone, now known as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in order to investigate the flora and fauna of tropical America.
The negative number #1084a is Hitchcock's negative number. The original photograph is located in Hitchcock's travel album. For other views of Santo Tomás Hospital see Negs. SUA2910-0710, SIA2010-0711 and SIA2010-0712.
Albert S. Hitchcock was a botanist with the United States Agriculture Department's Bureau of Plant Industry and Honorary Curator of Grasses at the United States National Herbarium at the Smithsonian
Some of the buildings of the new Santo Tomás Hospital located in Panama City, Panama. Smithsonian scientists visited Panama after a field station was created on Barro Colorado Island, now the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in the Panama Canal watershed.