The Bird Egg Collections Papers consists of correspondence, memos, catalogs, inventories, notes, and other materials from
1883-2004 related to the oological collections and collectors at San Diego Natural History Museum. The bulk of the collection
pertains to the Bancroft Egg Collection and its eventual transfer to the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.
Egg collecting, also known as oology, was a popular form of natural history collecting in the nineteenth-century. As ornithology
began to formalize as a scientific discipline in the late 1800s, commercial egg collecting was considered integral to ornithological
research. Hobbyists utilized catalogs and lists advertising bird eggs, skins and nests for sale or trade to build their collections.
However, a rise in popular interest in bird protection, fueled by the extinction of certain zoological species such as the
Passenger Pigeon, led to stricter restrictions on the collection of animal specimens. By the end of the Second World War,
egg collecting had declined.
.5 Linear Feet
7 files of textual materials, including correspondence, memos, catalogs, inventories, notes, and other materials.
Copyright may be reserved. Consult the San Diego Natural History Museum Research Library Director for more information.
The collection is open to researchers by appointment. Contact the Research Library Director, San Diego Natural History Museum.