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Environmental Collections at The Bancroft Library

Overview of Collections

The Bancroft Library has personal and professional papers of naturalists, conservationists, and other like-minded people who did great work for the environment in California and the West, including several who had close ties with the UC Berkeley campus itself. In addition to prominent leaders of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, members of the National Park Service and associated government agencies and UC Berkeley faculty are well-represented in Bancroft collections.

Leaders of the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club Members Papers are a rich resource not only as a record of individual conservation activities but also for the history of the club itself, chronicling its internal workings along with its myriad legislative, educational, and recreational activities. A wide variety of Sierra Club leaders—celebrated activists of critical importance to the development of the conservation movement in the United States—are represented in this collection, including Ansel Adams, William E. Colby, Richard M. Leonard, William Siri, Edgar Wayburn, and other volunteer-activists intensely involved in local conservation efforts.

It should be noted that not all papers of active conservationists who were also Sierra Club members are included in this group. A number of important collections of personal papers, such as those of Francis P. Farquhar and Robert B. Marshall, were acquired by The Bancroft Library independently of the Sierra Club collection and are cataloged separately.

Ansel Easton Adams

Ansel Easton Adams
Image citation: Bancroft Portrait Collection, BANC PIC Adams, Ansel:06--POR, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Woodbridge Metcalf

Woodbridge Metcalf was on the faculty of UC Berkeley's School of Forestry from its inception in 1914 until 1956. In 1926, Metcalf became the first extension forester for California, dedicating himself to public education in forestry and conservation for the next thirty years. He played a key role in the development of rural and forest fire protection programs in California, organized a number of 4-H summer camps to teach youth about forests and the California environment, advocated for better management of farm woods, studied the efficiency of windbreaks in the protection of citrus orchards in Southern California, and managed the university-owned Whitaker's Forest in Tulare County. In addition, he was the author of numerous forestry articles and pamphlets as well as censuses of trees in a range of California locations, including the San Francisco Bay region and the campus of UC Berkeley.

Strawberry Canyon experiment plot of U. of C. Forestry Dept.

Strawberry Canyon experiment plot of U. of C. Forestry Dept.
Image citation: G4364.B5:2U5K4 1920 .M42, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Emanuel Fritz

Emanuel Fritz taught forestry at UC Berkeley from 1919 to 1954. In addition, he worked as a private consultant in forestry for the Department of the Interior, various legislative committees, and associations such as the California Redwood Association, the Union Lumber Company, and many others. He was the author of many works on forestry, the lumber industry, and wood technology, including an extensive bibliography of the coastal redwood. Fritz was a world-renowned authority on the sequoia and was often referred to as "Mr. Redwood" by the western press. Fritz's work, particularly in the Redwood Region, was a major factor in the implementation of programs of forest protection and conservation, in reducing the hazard of fire, in substituting for liquidation-cutting the concept of tree farming for continuous yield, in minimizing damage to standing trees through tractor rather than skyline logging, and in reforestation through the preservation of seed trees.

Postcard of tree stumps, recto and verso, with Emanuel Fritz's notes

Postcard of tree stumps, recto and verso, with Emanuel Fritz's notes
Image citation: Forestry photographs from the Emanuel Fritz papers, BANC PIC 1987.057--B, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Florence Merriam Bailey

Florence Merriam Bailey devoted her life to the study and protection of birds. From her work in ornithology she authored more than ten books, including several field guides to birds and close to one hundred articles. She gained recognition as a naturalist while at Smith College where she founded the Smith College Audubon Society out of her disgust over the use of feathers and whole birds in fashion. Her later accomplishments include establishing the Audubon Society of the District of Columbia and becoming the first female associate member of the Ornithologists' Union. As an amateur ornithologist Florence Bailey was at the forefront of the movement to use binoculars, rather than shotguns, to observe birds.

Florence Bailey Field Notes

Field notes entry with safety-pinned plant matter, July 26, 1917
Image citation: Florence Merriam Bailey papers, BANC MSS 79/139, Box 6, Folder 3, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Robert Marshall

Robert Marshall, forester and environmentalist, served as director of forestry for the Office of Indian Affairs from 1933 to 1937. During this period, he, along with Benton MacKaye, Aldo Leopold, and others, established the Wilderness Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the wilderness in its unspoiled state. In 1937, Marshall was made chief of the new Forest Service Division of Recreation and Lands, but died suddenly of a heart attack in 1939 at 38.

Robert Marshall

Robert Marshall on North Doonerak Mountain
Image citation: Bancroft Portrait Collection, BANC PIC Marshall, Robert:72--POR, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

A. Starker Leopold

Aldo Starker Leopold was a wildlife biologist who made substantial contributions in the fields of ornithology, wildlife management and conservation, and public policy. He completed a Ph.D. in zoology at UC Berkeley in 1944, and in 1946 became assistant professor of zoology. He would continue as professor of zoology and forestry at UC Berkeley until his retirement in 1978. Leopold also served as associate director and director of UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. He was an active member of many conservation societies, including the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, the National Wildlife Federation, and the California Academy of Sciences. As chairman of advisory committees to the Department of Interior in the 1960s and 1970s, Leopold was instrumental in producing three major policy reviews with far-reaching impact: wildlife management in national parks, predator and rodent control, and management of the wildlife refuge system.

Figures 13 and 14 of A Survey of California Deer Herds, Their Ranges and Management Problems

Figures 13 and 14 of A Survey of California Deer Herds, Their Ranges and Management Problems
Image citation: A. Starker Leopold papers, BANC MSS 81/61, Volume 5, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

David Ross Brower

David R. Brower is considered by many to be the father of the modern environmental movement. He became the Sierra Club's first executive director in 1952. During his tenure, Brower helped guide the Sierra Club's rise to national prominence, building the organization's membership from 2,000 to 77,000 members. Under his direction, the Sierra Club led the effort to pass the Wilderness Act of 1964, halted dam construction that would have flooded Dinosaur National Monument, and pushed for the creation of the Kings Canyon, North Cascades, and Redwoods National Parks, and the Point Reyes and Cape Cod National Seashores. Brower also led the Sierra Club into one of its largest campaigns, the fight against proposed dams in the Grand Canyon. Later he founded Friends of the Earth in 1969 and Earth Island Institute in 1982.

David Ross Brower

David R. Brower, President, Friends of the Earth
Image citation: Bancroft Portrait Collection, BANC PIC Brower, David Ross:1--POR, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Margaret Wentworth Owings

An artist and wildlife conservationist, Margaret Wentworth Owings founded the Friends of the Sea Otter in 1968 and led as its president until the early 1990s. She is also well known for her successful campaigns to block development on beaches along California's central coast in the 1940s and to pass Proposition 117 to ban sport hunting of mountain lions in the late 1980s. She served as the only woman in the California State Park Commission from 1963 to 1969 and was a leader in many environmental groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, the National Parks Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Page from Sea Otters and the Grunsky Bill Scrapbook

Page from Sea Otters and the Grunsky Bill Scrapbook
Image citation: Margaret Wentworth Owings papers, BANC MSS 86/71, Volume 1, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Mark Evanoff

Mark Evanoff is an anti-nuclear environmental activist who advocated for opposition to nuclear proliferation, nuclear reactors, and the global nuclear arms race during the 1970s and 1980s. Following the successful citizen-led action movement, which lobbied against a planned nuclear power plant in Bodega Bay, California, from 1958 to 1964, Evanoff and other grassroots anti-nuclear activists sought to continue the battle to prevent nuclear power plants from being built in California and elsewhere. Evanhoff worked with numerous local and global anti-nuclear groups, mostly with the Abalone Alliance and the Friends of the Earth, in opposing the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. He additionally participated in protest actions, mobilized activists and prepared groups for non-violent civil disobedience training and legal defense, wrote, collected and disseminated educational literature and resources about nuclear power and disarmament. Evanoff was arrested twice for participating in blockades at Diablo Canyon and later served as consultant to the California Public Utilities Commission, weighing in on seismic factors and their potential to affect the sustainability of the plant.

Support Nuclear Disarmament Poster

Support Nuclear Disarmament Poster
Image citation: Mark Evanoff papers, BANC MSS 99/295, OS Box 1, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois began his career as an environmental advocate in 1973 when he took up the fight to save the Stanislaus River from being dammed, co-founding Friends of the River to organize the campaign. Dubois rose to national prominence when, in 1979, he chained himself to the Stanislaus River canyon bedrock as the new reservoir was being filled. His action resulted in a temporary halt in the filling of the reservoir, buying time for legal action and the formation of a legislative campaign to save the Stanislaus River. Despite these efforts, the reservoir was filled in 1982, but Dubois continued his work on behalf of the natural environment, co-founding the International Rivers Network in 1984 and serving as international coordinator for Earth Day 1990 and 2000.

Earth Day 1990 Flyer

Earth Day 1990 flyer
Image citation: Mark Dubois papers, BANC MSS 2003/314, Carton 4, Folder 29, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Key Collections

Sierra Club members papers, 1892-2003
BANC MSS 71/295

A wide variety of Sierra Club leaders are represented in this collection, including staff members engaged in national environmental politics; activists of critical importance to the development of the conservation movement in the United States; and volunteer activists involved in local conservation efforts. The papers, mostly correspondence and subject files, are a rich resource not only as a record of individual conservation activities but also for the history of the Club itself. It should be noted that not all papers of active conservationists who were also Sierra Club members are included in this group. A number of important collections of personal papers were acquired by The Bancroft Library independently of the Sierra Club collection and are cataloged separately.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral Histories: Oral History Center Sierra Club Project, Sierra Club Nationwide I (BANC MSS 88/187), Sierra Club Nationwide II (BANC MSS 88/188), Sierra Club Nationwide III (BANC MSS 90/35), and Sierra Club Nationwide IV (BANC MSS 98/151)

C. Hart Merriam papers, 1798-1972 (bulk 1871-1942)
BANC FILM 1958
(microfilm use only, original documents restricted due to fragility)

This collection covers a wide range of topics including natural history, zoology, ornithology, geography, geographic distribution, botany and wildlife conservation. The extensive correspondence file includes notable figures such as John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt
Collection Finding Aid

William Hammond Hall papers, 1803-1979 (bulk 1870-1928)
BANC MSS 86/152

This collection consists of correspondence, writings, diaries, maps, photographs, notes, and clippings recording the fifty year career of a pioneer in the fields of irrigation, reclamation, and conservation.
Collection Finding Aid

George Marshall papers, 1836-1993 (bulk 1945-1980)
BANC MSS 79/95

This collection consists of Marshall's professional materials accumulated during his lifelong career as a leading conservationist. The bulk of the collection includes correspondence and records of three conservation organizations where he served in official positions and as a member of various committees - the Adirondack Mountain Club, The Wilderness Society, and Sierra Club.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: George Marshall interviews, BANC CD 273:1-9

George Davidson papers, 1845-1911
BANC MSS C-B 490

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of George Davidson, a geodesist, astronomer, geographer and engineer. Of interest is his work with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey which includes correspondence, field notebooks, and subject files.
Collection Finding Aid

LeConte Family Papers, 1858-1949
BANC MSS C-B 452

This collection spans two generations of the LeConte family, and consists mainly of correspondence and notebooks. Of particular interest is the material relating to Jospeh LeConte, a geologist and professor at UC Berkeley. An early California conservationist, he was a friend of John Muir and a member of the Sierra Club.
Collection Finding Aid

Woodbridge Metcalf papers, 1886-1972 (bulk 1912-1972)
BANC MSS C-B 1018

This collection documents the scholarly and public service forestry work of Woodbridge Metcalf from the beginning of his career through his retirement years. Of interest are his subject files on his interests and activities with a range of tree species and California locations as well as particular sets of files on his work with eucalyptus and fire. A small related collection is the Woodbridge Metcalf files relating to the Northern California Section of the Society of American Foresters (BANC MSS 84/118).
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Extension forester, BANC MSS 69/150

Florence Merriam Bailey papers, 1887-1940
BANC MSS 79/139

An accomplished ornithologist, Bailey devoted her life to the study and protection of birds. This collection consists of her field notes and journals, drafts of primarily unpublished books and articles, plus a small amount of correspondence to her father, Clinton Levi Merriam and other naturalists and ornithologists.
Collection Finding Aid

Emanuel Fritz papers, 1900-1988
BANC MSS C-B 728

This collection documents Fritz's work on the forestry faculty at the University of California, his work with a range of forestry and lumber organizations and associations, his consulting work in forestry and wood technology, and his role in shaping forestry law and policy on the national, state, and local level.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Emanuel Fritz, teacher, editor and forestry consultant, BANC MSS 74/20

William Frederic Badè papers, 1906-1936
BANC MSS 72/174

This collection contains correspondence relating mainly to conservation activities in the Sierra Club and to the publication of his works on John Muir. There are also subject files on Hetch-Hetchy, John Muir, national parks, the proposed Roosevelt-Sequoia National Park (California), the Water and Power Act of 1922, and Yosemite National Park.
Collection Finding Aid

Robert Marshall papers, 1908-1939
BANC MSS 79/94

This collection primarily consists of Marshall's correspondence with family, friends, and professional associates, field notebooks, journals, writings, and other material primarily related to Marshall's forestry career with the Office of Indian Affairs and the National Forest Service.
► Collection Finding Aid

Francis P. Farquhar papers, 1912-1968
BANC MSS C-B 517

This collection contains a wide variety of materials reflecting Farquhar's avocations as conservationist, mountaineer, author, and historian. Included are comprehensive correspondence and subject files. Please note that recent additions to Farquhar's papers are cataloged separately under BANC MSS 94/31 and are currently unprocessed and unavailable for use.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Francis P. Farquhar on accounting, mountaineering, and the national parks, BANC MSS C-D 4025

Newton Bishop Drury papers, 1912-1978
BANC MSS 79/61

This collection documents Drury's leadership of, and conservation issues relevant to, the Save the Redwoods League, the California state park system, and the National Park Service.
► Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Parks and redwoods, BANC MSS 73/157

Paul Robert Needham papers, 1912-1963 (bulk 1930-1963)
BANC MSS 67/59

This collection contains correspondence, reprints, speeches, and other materials from Needham's early work as an aquatic biologist and as Director of Fisheries with the Oregon State Game Commission. Of interest are his files on specific projects relating to the management of streams, creeks, and lakes, especially in California and Oregon.
► Collection Finding Aid

Margaret Wentworth Owings papers, 1913-1996
BANC MSS 86/71
 (partially restricted collection)

This collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, and files related to Margaret Owings' work in environmental conservation and wildlife preservation.
► Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Artist, and wildlife and environmental defender, BANC MSS 92/717

Edgar Wayburn papers, 1923-2010 (bulk 1951-2007)
BANC MSS 96/48

This collection predominantly contains subject files from Wayburn's work with the Sierra Club and international conservation organizations, as well his efforts concerning national parks, Alaska, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
► Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Global activist and elder statesmen of the Sierra Club, BANC MSS 97/130

David Ross Brower papers, 1924-2001
BANC MSS 79/9

This collection consists of records accumulated in the course of Brower's lifelong work as a conservationist. Included are his correspondence, writings, testimonies and speeches on virtually every topic associated with the environmental movement in the twentieth century, including dams, energy resources and and conservation, logging, nuclear power and nuclear war, population control, wilderness preservation, and wildlife conservation. Constituting the bulk of the collection are records from the conservation organizations he participated in or helped found.
► Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral Histories: Environmental activist, publicist, and prophet, BANC MSS 80/133 and Reflections on the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Earth Island Institute, BANC MSS 2014/154

A. Starker Leopold papers, 1925-1983
BANC MSS 81/61

This collection the personal and professional papers of Leopold, a wildlife biologist who made substantial contributions in the fields of ornithology, wildlife management and conservation, and public policy. He also held several positions at UC Berkeley, including Professor of Zoology and Forestry, and Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Collection Finding Aid

William Penn Mott, Jr. papers, 1931-1992
BANC MSS 2000/133

This collection covers over six decades of Mott's professional life as a student of landscape architecture and as a park and recreation professional managing parks at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Included are files regarding his positions as Superintendent of the Oakland Park and Recreation Dept., General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, Director of the California Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Director of the United States National Park Service and other professional activities.
► Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Dynamic park leadership, BANC MSS 94/52

Norman B. Livermore, Jr. papers, 1933-2006
BANC MSS 2011/129

Norman B. Livermore, Jr. was a noted California conservationist and Secretary of Resources under Governor Ronald Reagan. He was also an early director of the Sierra Club. From 1957 to 1965. Of interest are his files on Resources Agency of California, Water, Wilderness.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Man in the middle: high Sierra packer, timberman, conservationist, and California Resources Secretary, BANC MSS 84/66

Dwight C. Steele papers, 1942-2002 (bulk 1970-2001)
BANC MSS 2005/195

This collection contains correspondence, subject and organizational files on various environmental conservation issues, with particular focus on the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe Region.
► Collection Finding Aid

Florence Klinger papers, 1945-1981
BANC MSS 82/105

This small collection contains published and related materials pertaining to a wide variety of conservation issues and proposed projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Materials include publications from local and national environmental groups, newsletters, letters, California governmental committee hearings, proposed town and county plans, lawsuits, federal, state and local government hearing reports, and related newspaper clippings.

Bernarr Bates papers, 1946-1973
BANC MSS 72/45

This small collection contains correspondence, memorandum, reports, speeches, photographs, brochures and subject files, documenting Bates's conservation efforts including the California Redwood Association's frequently adversarial relationship with the timber industry and the creation of Redwood National Park.

Paul J. Zinke papers, 1947-1996
BANC MSS 2010/111

This collection documents the professional work of UC Berkeley forestry and environmental studies professor, Paul J. Zinke.
Collection Finding Aid

Mark Evanoff papers, 1947-1988 (bulk 1977-1988)
BANC MSS 99/295

This collection consists of materials Evanoff collected during the 1970s and 1980s primarily while he was actively opposing and organizing others against nuclear power in California. The bulk of the collection pertains to information about the nuclear industry, the proliferation of nuclear arms, the regional and global environmental impact of nuclear reactors and the grassroots opposition groups who fought against the development and operation of nuclear power plants.
► Collection Finding Aid

Dorothy Ward Erskine papers, 1950-1982
BANC MSS 83/79

This collection consists primarily of subject files concerning early conservation and environmental issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Collection Finding Aid
Related Oral History: Dorothy Erskine interview, BANC CD 104:1-3

Joel Hedgpeth papers, 1958-1978
BANC MSS 78/156

This small collection contains correspondence concerning Pacific Gas and Electric Company's proposed nuclear plant at Bodega, California. Included are scrapbooks of clippings, miscellaneous articles and related papers, with information on effects of radioactivity on marine life.
Related Oral History: Marine biologist and environmentalist, BANC MSS 97/89

Tom Turner papers, 1968-2002
BANC MSS 2011/206

This collection consists mainly of Turner's writings on environmental issues. It also includes his work with Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.
► Container listing in UC Library Search record

Olive Mayer papers, 1968-2000
BANC MSS 2009/132
 (portion of collection is unprocessed and unavailable for use)

This collection contains correspondence, legal documents, reports, notes, press releases, and photographs documenting Mayer's work as a peace activist and an environmental activist in San Mateo County.
► Container listing in UC Library Search record

Mark Dubois papers, 1970-2002
BANC MSS 2003/314
 (portion of collection is unprocessed and unavailable for use)

This collection documents Dubois's work as an environmental advocate over the course of three decades. He co-founded and directed numerous environmental awareness organizations and campaigns, including the Friends of the River, California Water Preservation Council, the International Rivers Network, and WorldWise.
► Collection Finding Aid

Charles R. Batten papers, 1970-1980
BANC MSS 85/110

This small collection contains materials relating to environmental and conservation issues, gathered by Charles Batten while director of communications for the California Forest Protective Association.

Maxine E. McCloskey papers, 1976-2002
BANC MSS 2008/128

The collection consists of papers of Maxine E. McCloskey's personal and professional efforts to protect marine mammals and spans the years 1976-2005. It includes correspondence, notebooks, articles written by McCloskey, newsletter and publicity materials, press and clippings, and subject files relating to McCloskey's environmental work.
► Collection Finding Aid

Mary Moore papers, 1978-2018
BANC MSS 2018/260

This collection consists of files of ephemera, newsclippings, and some correspondence relating to political action and social protest movements mainly in Northern California and mostly in Sonoma County. Environmental topics include nuclear power, logging, and Earth First.
► Collection Finding Aid

Lara Hilder and Peter Liederman papers, 1985-1994
BANC MSS 97/142

This collection documents the couple’s environmental and nuclear disarmament activities with the Sierra Club from 1985 to 1994. The bulk of material consists of research for the publications, including government reports regarding the military’s impact on the environment, newsletters from various peace, environmental and nuclear disarmament groups, and newspaper and magazine clippings.
Collection Finding Aid