Home › Encyclopedia Smithsonian › Science and Technology
Share this page

Useful References on Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises: Bibliographies and Sources of Information

Allen, J. A.
            l882     Preliminary Lists of Works and Papers Relating to the Mammalian Orders Cetacea and Sirenia. Bulletin of the
U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey, 6(3): 399‑562. l974 reprint by Arno Press. (l0l3 references up to l840.)  

Basham, S.E. and K. M. Karmon
            1995    Marine Mammals : A Selected Bibliography. Marine Mammal Commission, Washington, DC. 44 pp. (A broad overview with citations included on marine debris, whaling, marine mammal/fishery interactions, strandings, husbandry, disease, captive breeding, and pollutants.)

Bekierz, F. W.
            1986    Bibliographie Über Wal‑BibliographienCetacea. Bibliography on Whales‑ Bibliographies. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Vol. 88, pp. 1‑160.
Frankfurt am Main, 15. 12.   

Bird, J. E.
            l977     Whales, Whaling, Dolphins and Porpoises; an Annotated Bibliography. Publication No. ACSSD‑l. American Cetacean Society, San Diego, CA. 85 pp.

            1983    "An Annotated Bibliography of the Published Literature on the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis / australis), 1864‑1980." Part 5, pp. 467-628. In Roger Payne (editor), Communication and Behavior of Whales. Westview Press, CO.   

Braham, H. W.
1988    An Annotated Bibliography of Right Whales, Eubalaena glacialis, in the North Pacific. Report International Whaling Commission Special Issue No. 10, pp. 65‑77. National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, NMFS, NOAA, Seattle, Washington.

Cohat, Y. and A. Collet
            2001    Whales Giants of the Seas and Oceans. Discoveries, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., NY. 127 pp. (Mainly whaling history; translated from the French)

Fodor, B.
            l97l       The Sperm Whale (Physeter catodon,L.); a Bibliography. Bibliography Series No. 25, Office of Library Services, U.S. Department of the Interior,
Washington, DC. l00 pp. (735 references on literature published from l940‑l970. Available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22l6l. Stock No. PB‑200‑2l2.)  

Fordyce, R.E.
            l980     A Guide to Recent Literature on Archaeocete Cetaceans. Department of Paleobiology,
Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.  l6 pp. (ll6 titles of technical literature published between l935 and l980.)  

Forster, H. (Compiler)
            1985    The
South Sea Whaler. An Annotated Bibliography of published historical, literary and art material relating to whaling in the Pacific Ocean in the nineteenth century. Kendall Whaling Museum, Sharon, Ma and Edward J. Lefkowicz, Inc., Fairhaven, MA 157 pp.  

Gold, J.P.
            l98l       Marine Mammals: A Selected Bibliography. Revised l979 edition. Marine Mammal Commission, l625 ISt., NW, Washington, DC. 9l pp. (647 titles; includes legal references, sources of information, and list of Marine Mammal Commission Reports.  Available from the National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, VA 22l6l. Stock No. PB82‑l04282.)  

Heizer, R. F.
            l968     "A Bibliography of Aboriginal Whaling." Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, Vol. 4, Part 7, January l968, pp. 344‑362. (233 titles.)

Holbrook, J. R.
            l980     Dolphin Mortality Related to the Yellowfin Tuna Purse Seine Fishery in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. An Annotated Bibliography. Technical Bulletin No. 2, Porpoise Rescue Foundation. (457 entries; includes popular section.)

Jenkins, J.
            l948     Bibliography of Whaling. Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, British Museum (Natural History), Vol. 2, Pt. 4, pp. 7l‑l66. (Approximately 2000 entries.)

Johnson, S.W.
            l979     An Annotated Catalog of Published and Unpublished Sources of Data on Populations, Life History, and Ecology of Coastal Marine Mammals of
California. Southwest Fisheries Center Administrative Report LJ‑79‑l. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Center, La Jolla, CA 92038. (873 entries on distribution, population reproduction, mortality and fishery interactions of pinnipeds and cetaceans.)  

Magnolia, L. R.
            l977     Whales, Whaling and Whale Research; a Selected Bibliography. Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. 9l pp. (l000 titles. Available from the Whaling Museum, P.O. Box 25, Cold Spring Harbor, NY ll724.)

            l979     Selected Bibliography of Whales and Whaling. 2pp. (79 titles for non‑professionals. Available from the Whaling Museum, P. O Box 25, Cold Spring Harbor, NY ll724.)   

Mitchell, E. D., R.R. Reeves & A. Evely
            1986    Bibliography of Whale Killing Techniques. Special Issue 7. Reports of the International Whaling Commission, The Red House, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge. 161 pp.  

Oliver, Guy W. (compiler)
 1987    Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus,  Bibliography. Outer Continental Shelf Study Report MMS 86‑0059.157 pp. (Copies available from the National Technical Information Service,
5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161. PB‑88 120688.)  

            1986    Gray Whale, Eschrichtius robustus, Bibliography. Prepared for U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska OCS Region by the Coastal Energy Research Laboratory, University of Maryland and Eastern Shore.  326 pp. (Categorizes research literature on gray whales according to major research topics; issues of concern to Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development; and geographic areas. Extensive cross‑index.   Copies and poster available from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161. PB88‑130166.)   

Setzler-Hamilton, E. M. and Guy W. Oliver
            1991    Right Whale, Balaena glacialis, a Bibliography. National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161. Stock No. PB-91-121236.

Severinghaus, N.C.
            l979     Selected Annotated References on Marine Mammals of Alaska. Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, National Marine Fisheries Service,
7600 Sand Point Way, N.E., Seattle, WA 98ll5. l78 pp. (564 citations of current work and prior studies.) 

Sherbrooke W.C.
            l978     Jojoba. An Annotated Bibliographic Update. University of Arizona Office of Arid Lands Studies,
Tucson. 80 pp. (Supplement to Arid Lands Resources Information Paper No. 5.)  

Sherman, S.C.
            1986    Whaling Logbooks and Journals 1613‑1927.  An Inventory of Manuscript Records in Public Collections. Revised and edited by J. M. Downey and V. M. Adams, also H. Pasternack. Garland Publishing, Inc., NY 469 pp. 

Skaptason, P.A.
            l97l       The Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus, L.); a Bibliography. Bibliography Series No. 26, Office of Library Services, U.S. Department of the Interior.  (Available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22l6l. Stock No. PB‑200 293.)   

Society for Marine Mammalogy
            2004    Electronic Database: digital Bibliography of Society for Marine Mammalogy Publications (Papyrus version)  

Swann Galleries
            1996    The Barbara Johnson Collection:  Books and Manuscripts on Whales, Whaling and  Related subjects. Part I. Travel & Exploration; Early printed books;  Natural History; Melville Literature; Children’s Books. Swann Galleries, Inc. Public Auction
Sale 1737, October 28 & 29, 1996, 186 pp. Part II, 1997. Manuscripts; Letters; Journal; Ships and Major Merchant’s Registries; Japanese Books an Scrolls; Maps etc. Swann Galleries, Inc. Public Auction Sale, 1766, September 25, 1997, 166 pp.   

Truitt, D.
            l974     Dolphins and Porpoises; a Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of the Smaller Cetacea. Gale Research Co., Detroit, MI. 582 pp. (3549 titles.)

Whitfield, W. K., Jr.
            l97l       An Annotated Bibliography of Dolphin and Porpoise Families Delphinidae and Platanistidae. Special Scientific Report No. 26, Florida Department of Natural Resources. l04 pp. (ll85 titles.)

Wood, D.A.
            l977     A Bibliography on the World's Rare, Endangered and Recently Extinct Wildlife and  Plants. Environmental Series No. 3, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. 85 pp.

Wood, F. G.
            l980     Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program. Update l July l980. Code 5l04, Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego, CA 92l52. 45 pp. (Titles arranged under headings of sound, physiology, health care, breeding behavior, open sea release, tagging, and hydrodynamics.)



Aquatic Mammals is published three times/yr. It is the peer reviewed journal of the European Association for Aquatic Mammals. Papers on the biology, medical care, conservation and related investigations of aquatic mammals especially captive ones are emphasized. As of 1985, edited by V. J. A. Manton and published by the Zoological Society of London, Whipsnade Park, Dunstable Beds LU6 2LF.  

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (formerly Journal of the Fisheries Research Board), issued monthly by the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, is an excellent source of technical papers on marine mammals as well as fisheries management and ocean science.    

Cetology is composed of technical papers on the biology of marine mammals with an emphasis on cetaceans.  Issues are numbered separately and were published irregularly. They were available only through subscription from Biological System Inc. which is now defunct.  

Hvalradets Skrifters, a Norwegian journal, publishes many technical papers on whales; all are in English.  It is issued at irregular intervals by the Norske Videnskaps‑Akademi, Oslo.( Universitetsforlaget, Box 307, Blindern, Oslo 3, Norway)  

Institute of Cetacean Research

            See Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute  

International Marine Mammal Scientists Directory. 1988. Compiled by S. Pearson.  National Marine Mammal Laboratory, 7600 Sand Point Way, N.E., Seattle, WA 98ll5 ‑0070. 79 pp. (Lists individuals and organizations engaged in marine mammal research)   

International Whaling Commission, The Red House,135 Station Road, Impington, Cambridge, UK  CB4 4NP. Publishes the Journal of Cetacean Research and Management three times a year; on conservation and management. Responsibility for setting quotas for member whaling nations resides in this commission. The International Whaling Commission Annual  Report presents the findings of the Annual Meetings, catch limits for member nations, status of whale stocks, and scientific papers emphasizing distribution, occurrence and behavior of various cetacean species.  Numerous technical papers on the biology and behavior of specific cetaceans are presented to the Scientific Committee Meeting and are currently published as the Reports of the Scientific Committee.  

Journal of Mammalogy, issued quarterly, a publication of the American Society of Mammalogists. An index to articles it has published is available.  Journal features the latest research in mammalogy. Listings are by subject, locality, vernacular name, scientific name and author. Special publications and Mammalian Species may be ordered from the Secretary of the Society.  

The Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals is published twice a year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by SOLAMAC (Sociedad Latinoamericana de Especialistas en Mamíferos Acuaticos/Sociedade Latino-Americana de Especialistas em Mamíferos Aquáticos). A Guide for Authors is available at website: http//


Marine Mammal Commission is an independent agency providing annual reports and copies of pertinent articles describing current research and the status of marine mammals.  A list of marine mammal contract reports is available directly from the Commission, 4340 East  West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.  

Marine Mammal Science, a quarterly journal published by the Society for Marine Mammalogy,        an international organization of marine mammalogists, is devoted to authoritative, technical papers on all aspects of marine mammal biology and includes book reviews and letters with scientific commentary on issues affecting marine mammals or marine mammal science.  

National Marine Fisheries Service, Marine Mammals and Endangered  Species Division, Washington, DC 20235. This government agency cooperates with the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior in the management of marine mammals.  It provides bibliographies and information on whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions.  Copies of the Endangered Species Act of l973 and the Marine Mammal Protection Act of l972 are available upon request. Published yearly as updates and every three years in comprehensive form, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of l972 Annual Report describes the current activities of the National Marine Fisheries Service in regard to marine mammals and generally includes new information on marine mammal stocks. Original research reports and technical notes on investigations in fishery sciences are published in the quarterly Fishery Bulletin issued by the NOAA branch of the Service in Seattle, WA. It includes some papers on marine mammals such as those concerning the tuna‑porpoise problem.  

Species, newsletter of the Species survival commission published twice a year, Published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Reports on endangered populations, new research projects, meetings, and monitoring results with an emphasis on small cetaceans.  

Norsk Hvalfangst‑Tidende (Norwegian Whaling Gazette) was an important trade journal for Norwegian whaling from l9l2 to l968.  It is a source of many scientific articles on whales and whaling but may be difficult to obtain.  

Oceanic Abstracts, updated monthly, abstracts and indexes worldwide technical literature on the oceans including marine biology, living and non‑living resources; includes a year‑end cumulative index.  Supplied by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, 7200 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, Maryland 20814., html            

Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, l‑3 Fukagawa Etchuzima, Koto‑ku, Tokyo, Japan. Technical papers emphasizing cetacean biology. Publication has ceased, but it has been replaced by Scientific Reports of Cetacean Research published annually by the Institute of Cetacean Research, Tokyo, Japan (since 1990; in English). 

SEAN Bulletin (Scientific Event Alert Network), published monthly by the Smithsonian Institution, U.S. National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, reports strandings worldwide of cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians as well as unusual biological occurrences up to 1982. (Biological section, including cetaceans, has been discontinued; past issues are available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22l6l. No. PB8l‑9l57.)   

Wildlife & Ecology Studies Worldwide, an online abstract database (or CD-ROM) available for purchase from NISC.  Includes records from Wildlife Review (originally published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) back to 1935. Major topic areas include studies of individual species, habitat types, hunting, economics, wildlife behavior, management techniques, diseases, parasites, and more.

Zoological Record, an index published by the Zoological Society of London, specializes in citations of interest to taxonomists, but also lists articles, reviews, and technical papers on evolution, morphology, physiology, genetics, ecology, distribution, etc. of specific animal groups or species.  Articles are indexed by author, subject, systematics, and geographic area.



American Cetacean Society
.O. Box 2639
San Pedro, CA 9073l-0943  

            The American Cetacean Society provides educational fact sheets on many whale species, distributes action letters and newsletters featuring information on current issues involving marine mammals and cites new research publications. It publishes a national quarterly, the Whalewatcher; Journal of the American Cetacean Society.   

Ocean Conservancy
1725 DeSales St., N. W. Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036  

            The Ocean Conservancy concentrates its activities in the areas of education and public information.  It publishes a color quarterly  magazine, Blue Planet Quarterly .  

Cetacean Society International
P.O. Box 953
Georgetown, CT 06829  

            The Society issues a quarterly newsletter, Whales Alive, which includes current accounts of IWC activities, local education projects and the programs of active conservation organizations. Provides many Links to other Cetacean-related Sites.  

Hubbs -- Sea World Research Institute
2595 Ingraham St.
San Diego, CA 92109  

            The Center provides public information on various fields of marine science. It pubishes a quarterly newsletter, Currents.              

National Wildlife Federation
l4l2 l6th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036  

            The National Wildlife Federation distributes numerous periodicals, educational materials, a catalog of nature‑related materials and free fact sheets on marine mammals.  The publications list and catalog are available on request. An annual Conservation Directory is published and sold by the organization.  It contains a list of of organizations, agencies and officials concerned with natural resource use and management, bibliographic materials on conservation and sources for audio‑visual aids. Has a fact sheet “Keep the Wild Alive” that includes facts and photo of the humpback whale and discusses important endangered species issues.    

Wildlife Conservation Society (formerly New York Zoological Society)
Zoological Park

Bronx, NY l0460  

            This organization operates the Bronx Zoo, the Aquarium for Wildlife Conservation (formerly the New York Aquarium), and the Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences, part of the aquarium, the latter with an Oceanic exhibit that often has dolphins and other large species. They provide public information on marine mammals and promote educational programs and zoological research. The Society’s official publication, published bi-monthly, is  Wildlife Conservation, (formerly Animal Kingdom).  

Smithsonian Institution Press
750 Ninth St. NW, Suite 4300
Washington DC 20560-0950


Whales and Dolphins in Question The Smithsonian Answer Book by Dr. James Mead and Joy Gold can be ordered from the Smithsonian Institution Press.  

Whale Museum
62 First St. N.
P.O. Box 945
Friday Harbor, WA 98250            

            Promotes stewardship of whales inhabiting the Salish Sea; studies Orcas; promotes the soundwatch Boater Education Program.



Prepared by the Department of Systematic Biology, Vertebrate Zoology,
National Museum of Natural History,
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services,
Smithsonian Institution

November 2004


Smithsonian Information
202.633.1000 (voice)


Terms of Use | Privacy