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Collection Guide
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Inventory of the Muir Family Papers, 1860-1906
HM 57349 - 57497  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Muir Family Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1860-1906
    Collection number: HM 57349 - 57497
    Creator: Muir Family
    Extent: 155 cataloged items in three boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    This collection contains 155 cataloged items in three boxes, spanning the period 1860 to 1906, with the bulk of the collection between 1863 and 1899.
    Acquisition number : 1364.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open to qualified researches by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    Restrictions: Researchers wanting permission to quote from or to reproduce any of the John Muir letters in this collection must contact the Muir-Hanna Trust, via the University of the Pacific, to inquire about possible restrictions on the John Muir material.
    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Muir Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was a gift to the Huntington Library from John C. Bell in September 1987.

    Biographical Note

    John Muir's family immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1849, when he was eleven years old. The Muir family made their home on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin. Muir (1838-1914), after attending the University of Wisconsin, traveled around the United States for several years. He came to California in 1868, where he became a naturalist and an avid supporter of the Yosemite Valley, helping to establish Yosemite National Park in 1890. He wrote numerous articles and books concerning the environment and the importance of nature. Daniel H. Muir, Jr. (1843-1923), the recipient of the letters, and the younger brother of John Muir, became a medical doctor in 1870, and married Emma Kinaston in 1872.

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection, which is arranged alphabetically by author, is made up of correspondence and ephemera from John Muir and his family. The family members represented in the collection are John Muir, his parents, his seven siblings, two of his sisters-in-law and two of his nieces. The letters largely deal with family affairs, and give a detailed account of the family's daily life. Many of the letters mention John and his activities at different points in his life. They often discuss Muir's location, his publications and the family's trips to California to see him, his wife Louie, and their two daughters, Wanda and Helen. Several of John Muir's letters are written from Yosemite Valley; these letters give detailed accounts of Muir's activities at Yosemite as well as physical descriptions of the valley.
    Correspondence: All but one letter (John Muir to Anne Gilrye Muir, HM 57467) are addressed to Daniel H. Muir Jr., or his wife Emma Kinaston Muir (eleven letters are addressed to Daniel H. Muir, Jr. and Emma Kinaston Muir). One-third of the letters are written by John Muir's mother Anne Gilrye Muir. One letter is written by E. C. Love, a friend of the Muir family. The correspondence includes the following members of the Muir family (list shows relation to John Muir and number of items written by each family member): Joanna Muir Brown, sister (6); Anna G. Galloway, niece (1); Sarah Muir Galloway, sister (16); Mary Muir Hand, sister (7); Anna Muir, sister (4); Anne Gilrye Muir, mother (68); Daniel Muir, father (6); Daniel H. Muir, Jr., brother (1); David G. Muir, brother (9); John Muir (28); Katie Muir, sister-in-law (1); Margaret Muir Reid, sister (1); and Anna Reid Waterman, niece (1).
    Ephemera: The ephemera consists of six folders and contains calling cards, a Christmas card, envelopes, wedding invitations, mementos from John Muir, and miscellaneous printed ephemera, including newspaper clippings.