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Save the Redwoods League Records
BANC MSS 88/15 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Related Collections
  • Separated Materials
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • System of Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Save the Redwoods League records
    Creator: Save the Redwoods League
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 88/15 c
    Physical Description: 184.2 Linear Feet (141 cartons, 3 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 nitrate negative box, 2 oversize volumes, 13 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1854-2013
    Date (bulk): 1917-2010
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: The Save the Redwoods League records document the organization’s work to preserve redwood trees, and its role in the development and protection of state and national parks in California. The bulk of the collection covers the tenures of League executive directors Newton B. Drury (1919-1940 and 1959-1978), Aubrey Drury (1920-1959), and John B. Dewitt (1965-1996). This includes the early years of the organization and its four key projects, preservation of: I. Humboldt Redwood State Park, including Bull Creek-Dyerville and Avenue of the Giants; II. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park; III. Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park; and IV. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, including Mill Creek.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Access

    Collection is open for research with the following exceptions: Nitrate Negatives are CLOSED TO RESEARCH DUE TO HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESTRICTIONS; and unprocessed digital materials are UNVAILABLE FOR USE. Inquiries regarding digital materials should be submitted to The Bancroft Library via the Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections form: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/libraries/bancroft-library/unprocessed-collections-form

    Publication Rights

    Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Save the Redwoods League Records, BANC MSS 88/15c,The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternative forms of this collection.

    Related Collections

    Save the Redwoods League photograph collection (BANC PIC 2006.030)
    Portraits of Save the Redwoods League members (BANC PIC 1988.040)
    California State Parks Council records (BANC MSS 68/125 c)

    Separated Materials

    Photographs and artifacts transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 2006.030).
    Audiovisual materials transferred to the Audiovisual Collections of The Bancroft Library (Phonodisc 786 B).
    Digital materials transferred to the Digital Collections Unit of The Bancroft Library.

    Acquisition Information

    The Save the Redwooods League Records were given to The Bancroft Library by Save the Redwoods League on January 26, 1960. Additions were made on November 3, 1982, December 2, 1987, and 1994-2013. Previous accessions formerly shelved under BANC MSS C-A 284 and BANC MSS 83/57c have been consolidated in the collection described in this guide.

    Accruals

    Future additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Marjorie Bryer in 2015-2016.

    Organizational History

    Save the Redwoods League protects redwood forests from destruction; works with the California State Parks and the National Park Service to establish redwood parks and reserves; purchases redwood groves by private subscription; fosters better understanding of the value of these trees to current and future generations; and supports conservation and restoration of forest areas. In 1917, Stephen Tyng Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, inspired conservationists John Campbell Merriam, Madison Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn to investigate the state of redwood forests in Northern California. The new Redwood Highway had opened the area to more logging, which threatened the ancient trees. The trio visited established logging operations on the Mendocino County Coast, and still undisturbed forests along the Eel River. Continuing north, they reached Humboldt County and the Bull Creek-Dyerville Flat area, where gigantic redwoods soared more than 300 feet. Awed by the trees’ beauty and serenity, and troubled by the devastation that logging had wrought along the Redwood Highway, Merriam, Grant, and Osborn agreed that a national or state park was necessary to save part of the redwood forest. This motivated the founders, with the support of others, to establish Save the Redwoods League in 1918. The League soon received its first donations to purchase redwood lands, and in 1919, hired its first Executive Director, Newton Bishop Drury.
    Throughout its history, the League has worked with activists, private donors, legislators – and often with lumber companies – to purchase and protect redwoods. The League established a memorial grove program as a way for donors to save trees and honor loved ones. In 1921, the first grove was established in honor of World War I veteran, Raynal C. Bolling. As its centennial approached, the League had dedicated over 1,000 memorial groves and preserved nearly 200,000 acres of redwoods.
    The fight to save the redwoods affected the preservation of land in parks throughout California. In 1928, the League led the campaign that won public approval of legislation that established the California state park system and allocated $6 million in funds to acquire state park lands. Land purchased by the League is generally donated to national or state parks for public use and permanent protection.
    Some of the League’s key projects include: acquisition and preservation of groves in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, including Bull Creek-Dyerville Flat and the Avenue of the Giants Parkway; Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park; Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park; and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, including Mill Creek. In partnership with the Sierra Club and the National Geographic Society, the League helped revive the idea of creating a national Redwood Park. Congress established Redwood National Park in 1968. The League also helped preserve land in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Navarro River Redwoods State Park, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, along the Santa Cruz County Coast, and in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
    Save the Redwoods League continues to protect redwood forests from logging and pollution, provides gifts to establish parks and preserves, and has active scientific research and education programs. For more information on the League’s history, including a timeline of League milestones, please see the League’s website: http://www.savetheredwoods.org/about-us/mission-history/

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Save the Redwoods League records document the organization’s work to preserve redwood trees, and its role in the development and protection of state and national parks in California. The bulk of the collection covers the tenures of League executive directors Newton B. Drury (1919-1940 and 1959-1978), Aubrey Drury (1920-1959), and John B. Dewitt (1965-1996). This includes the early years of the organization and its four key projects, preservation of: I. Humboldt Redwood State Park, including Bull Creek-Dyerville and Avenue of the Giants; II. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park; III. Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park; and IV. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, including Mill Creek.
    Council and Councilor files for these years are robust. Records documenting the significant role the League played in the creation of the California State Park system and in the establishment of Redwood National Park are particularly comprehensive. Other notable topics are discussed in Series and Sub-series scope notes. Many people, places and things were important throughout the League’s history, so significant correspondence from the organization’s leadership can be found throughout the collection.
    There are very few records related to the Executive Directors that followed John B. Dewitt, or from the late 1990s and early 21st Century more generally. There are also gaps regarding land acquisition because the League has currently retained most of its property files. Some records were damaged or destroyed in a 2001 fire.
    Most of the photographs in the collection have been removed and cataloged separately under the call number BANC PIC 2006.030. However, photographs that are intrinsically related to the manuscript materials they were filed with have been kept in the collection to provide context for the researcher. These include portraits of Councilors and photographs accompanying land appraisals.
    The League staff used several filing systems, categorizing documents using a numerical code and/or by recording the subject matter or key project number on them. They also made multiple copies of each document, because they fell into more than one category, were sent to different people, or served multiple functions. Consequently, there is great deal of overlap and some duplication in the collection, and researchers looking for materials on a certain topic or correspondence with a specific person may find records in more than one place. Chronological order is sometimes approximate because incoming and outgoing correspondence was often stapled together. A filing key through 1942 can be found in the Archival and Administrative Records to help with navigation. Original order was maintained whenever possible and original folder titles and pertinent League designations were retained when available, but folders were not always checked to verify that their contents matched the label.
    The collection has been divided into eleven Series: Archival and Administrative Records; Financial Records; Executive Directors’ Records; Council and Board of Directors’ Records; John C. Merriam, Lawrence C. Merriam, and Merriam Family Papers; California State Park Legislation; Redwood National Park; Subject and Research Files; Agencies and Organizations; Publicity, Publications, and Circulation; and Maps.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Coast redwood--California
    Conservation of natural resources--California--History.
    Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park (Calif.)
    Environmentalists--California
    Forest conservation -- California, Northern -- History
    Forest ecology -- History
    Forest reserves -- California
    Humboldt Redwoods State Park (Calif.)
    Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (Calif.)
    Logging -- California, Northern -- History
    Parks -- Law and legislation -- California
    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (Calif.)
    Redwood National Park (Calif.)
    Redwoods
    Save the Redwoods League
    Save the Redwoods League -- Archives
    Dewitt, John B. -- Archives
    Drury, Aubrey, 1891-1959 -- Archives
    Drury, Newton Bishop, 1889-1978 -- Archives
    McDuffie, Duncan, 1877-1951 -- Archives
    Merriam, John C. (John Campbell), 1869-1945 -- Archives
    Merriam, Lawrence Campbell, Sr. -- Archives