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Alberte Spratt Sea of Cortez Illustrations

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS 0-348

Scope and Contents

46 original drawings used as illustrations for Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck and Edward Ricketts, 1941.


  • Created: circa 1940
  • Other: Date acquired: 05/01/1968


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

These drawings are in copyright in the United States. Re-use or copying of these works beyond Fair Use may require permission from the rights-holder.

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

For nearly a decade before his death in 1968, American author John Steinbeck maintained a steady correspondence and close friendship with Jack Rudloe, founder of Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory in Panacea, Florida. An amateur marine specimen collector, Steinbeck made a six-week collecting trip in 1940 around the Baja Peninsula in the Gulf of California with his friend, Ed Ricketts, a professional marine biologist in Monterey's Cannery Row (and the inspiration for Steinbeck's fictional character, Doc). The famous journey, on the vessel, The Western Flyer—a 75-foot purse seiner—was documented in the 1941 book, the Sea of Cortez, which featured delicate, pencil illustrations of sea urchins, sun stars and bristleworms cataloged and processed on the trip (more than 500 species of fauna were documented on the voyage).  As a gesture of friendship, Stenbeck gave Rudloe, the original portfolio of drawings by California artist Alberte Spratt (1893-1950).


46 items

1 boxes

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jack Rudloe

Method of Acquisition

Gift from Rudloe and his wife, Anne, a marine biologist and FSU adjunct professor.

Related Publications

Steinbeck, John, and Edward Flanders Ricketts. Sea of Cortez; A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research, with a Scientific Appendix Comprising Materials for a Source Book on the Marine Animals of the Panamic Faunal Province. New York: Viking Press, 1941.

Alberte Spratt Sea of Cortez Illustrations
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US