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Environmental Collections at The Bancroft Library: Key Collections

Key Collections

The John Muir papers microfilm project

This 51-reel microfilm collection brings together some 11,000 unpublished items written by John Muir and some related papers authored by Muir's contemporaries from repositories throughout the United States, including The Bancroft Library.
► Collection Guide (via Proquest)

John Muir collection of papers, 1860-1914

This collection contains letters from and to John Muir, most of the correspondence relating to his interest in conservation and Yosemite National Park. Notable corespondents include Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Edward Colby, and Robert Underwood Johnson. The material has been microfilmed as part of the John Muir Papers Microform Project under call number BANC MSS 86/212 FILM

Sierra Club records, 1890-2009
BANC MSS 71/103

The records form one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of environmental records in the United States. The Club designated The Bancroft Library as its official archives in 1958, and the organization began transferring records from the San Francisco office to the Library on a regular basis in 1970. A very wide range of record types are included in the collection, including correspondence, minutes, agendas, reports, by-laws, financial records, scrapbooks, sample ballots, notes, rosters, action alerts, statements and testimony, press releases, clippings, and policy statements. Documentation for the early years is scarce, since the Club's office in San Francisco was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
► Collection Finding Aid

William Edward Colby papers, 1892-1964

This collection spans Colby's life-long connection with conservation. He was the first Secretary of the Sierra Club, and later served as its president. Of interest is material relating to the Sierra Club, John Muir, Yosemite, and the Hetch Hetchy controversy.
Collection Finding Aid

Stephen Tyng Mather papers, 1883-1930

Stephen Mather was the first director of the U.S. National Park Service, and his collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks of clippings, and other material relating primarily to his last years with the Service.
Collection Finding Aid

Gabriel Sovulewski papers, 1864-1977 (bulk 1906-1938)
BANC MSS 2002/257

Sovulewski was supervisor of Yosemite National Park from 1906 to 1916, when he became special ranger and acting superintendent. He served as general foreman, administrative, from 1917 to 1920 after which he was appointed park supervisor, the position he held until his retirement in 1936.

Robert Bradford Marshall papers, 1898-1949

This collection contains Marshall's correspondence, notes, manuscripts of his writings, speeches, memoranda, clippings and scrapbooks, mainly relating to the Marshall Plan for water development, conservation, Hetch-Hetchy, roads, Yosemite National Park and other parks.
Collection Finding Aid

Robert Underwood Johnson papers, 1889-1924

This collection documents Underwood's interests in California and conservation. Of note are materials on the Hetch Hetchy controversy along with 146 letters from John Muir.
► Collection Finding Aid

Letters concerning Hetch Hetchy, 1908-1910
BANC MSS 99/364

This collection contains letters written mostly to William Edward Colby in his role as Sierra Club Secretary concerning actions to prevent the flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley by the city of San Francisco.
Collection Finding Aid (contains downloadable pdfs)

John D. Works papers, 1910-1917

This collection covers Work's time as a US Senator representing California from 1910 to 1917. Of interest are his files on Hetch Hetchy Valley legislation.
Collection Finding Aid

Marsden Manson Papers, 1887-1931

The bulk of this collection covers Manson's tenure as San Francisco City Engineer from 1908 to 1912. Included is correspondence relating to San Francisco's water supply, Hetch Hetchy, and Spring Valley Water Company.
Collection Finding Aid

M.M. O'Shaughnessy papers, 1882-1937
BANC MSS 92/808

This collection consists of materials relating to O'Shaughnessy's career as a civil engineer, working first as a consultant in private practice, and later as City Engineer of San Francisco. He is best known for his role in developing the Hetch Hetchy water system.
Collection Finding Aid