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Finding Aid to the George M. Wright papers MVZA.MSS.0007
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions governing access
  • Conditions governing use
  • Preferred citation
  • Biographical note
  • Scope and contents note
  • Related archival materials
  • Arrangement note

  • Title: George M. Wright papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MVZA.MSS.0007
    Contributing Institution: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1926-2000
    Abstract: The George M. Wright papers consist of field notes completed throughout the United States and Canada between 1926-1933. There is also a folder of biographical materials containing an issue of The George Wright Forum, the George Wright Society's journal.

    Conditions governing access

    The collection is open for research.

    Conditions governing use

    Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.

    Preferred citation

    [Identification of item], George M. Wright papers, MVZA.MSS.0007, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

    Biographical note

    George M. Wright (1904-1936) was born in San Francisco. At UC Berkeley, he studied both forestry and vertebrate zoology and worked with Joseph Grinnell. Not long after graduating, he served as a ranger and junior park naturalist with Yosemite National Park. In 1929, Wright, Joseph Dixon, and Ansell Hall began work on a wildlife survey program for the National Park Service, which Wright initially provided funds for. As a result of this work, the first two monographs with the series title Fauna of the National Parks of the United States were published in 1933 and 1935. These publications, co-authored with Joseph Dixon and Ben Thompson, provided both detailed information about park vertebrates and policies for the National Park System that were ecologically sound. Wright also contributed writings to The Condor, Journal of Mammalogy, The Scientific Monthly, and the National Park Service Nature Notes series. In 1933, Wright was selected as Chief of the newly formed Wildlife Division of the National Park Service. In this role, he hired biologists and looked into new national park locations. And in February 1936, Wright was selected to be part of a group that was to plan the development of parks, reserves, and refuges along the United States-Mexico border. Not long after, he was killed in an automobile accident near Deming, New Mexico. In 1980, the George Wright Society, an organization made up of individuals working to improve conditions in protected areas, was formed.
    Sources Consulted:
    Bryant, Harold C. "George Melendez Wright. Roger Wolcott Toll." Journal of Mammalogy 17, 2 (1936): 191-192. Accessed September 22, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1374197 
    "George Melendez Wright (1904-1936)." WETA, Washington, DC and The National Parks Film Project, LLC. 2009. Accessed September 22, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/people/nps/wright/ 
    Linn, Bob. "George Wright 1904-1936." National Park Service. 2000. Accessed September 22, 2014. http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/sontag/wright.htm 
    Shafer, Craig L. "Conservation Biology Trailblazers: George Wright, Ben Thompson, and Joseph Dixon." Conservation Biology 15, 2 (2001): 332-344. Accessed September 22, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2641831 

    Scope and contents note

    The George M. Wright papers include two standard-bound volumes of field notes, including map and habitat sketches. These volumes, one of which has been reproduced and bound as two separate volumes, cover the years 1926-1933 and contain localities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Canada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This collection also includes a folder of biographical materials, which contains an issue of The George Wright Forum, the George Wright Society’s journal. It is a 20th anniversary issue and celebrates Wright’s life.

    Related archival materials

    Materials relating to this collection within the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Archives include the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology historical correspondence 1908-1930 collection  (MVZA.MSS.0117).

    Arrangement note

    The collection has been arranged in the following series: Field notes and Biographical materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Biological specimens--Collection and preservation.
    Biological specimens--Identification
    Biology Fieldwork
    Field notes
    Scientific expeditions--Alaska
    Scientific expeditions--Arizona
    Scientific expeditions--British Columbia--Pacific Coast.
    Scientific expeditions--California
    Scientific expeditions--Canada
    Scientific expeditions--Colorado
    Scientific expeditions--Idaho
    Scientific expeditions--Montana
    Scientific expeditions--Nevada
    Scientific expeditions--New Mexico
    Scientific expeditions--Oklahoma
    Scientific expeditions--Oregon
    Scientific expeditions--Utah
    Scientific expeditions--Washington
    Scientific expeditions--Wyoming
    University of California (1868-1952). Museum of Vertebrate Zoology