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Mildred E. Baker Travel Scrapbook Collection: Finding Aid
photCL 237  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Mildred E. Baker Travel Scrapbook Collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1927-approximately early 1970s
    Bulk dates: 1927-1941
    Collection Number: photCL 237
    Creator: Baker, Mildred E., 1899-1987
    Extent: 13 volumes in 6 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains scrapbooks chiefly containing narratives, snapshots, and clippings documenting summer canyoneering and camping trips to the American Southwest, the Colorado River, and the Canadian Rockies by Mildred E. Baker (1899-1987) in the 1930s and early 1940s, as well as some volumes related to Baker's activities and interest in bookbinding, poetry, and the Woodcraft League of America in upstate New York with bookbinder John F. Grabau (1878-1948).
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mildred E. Baker Travel Scrapbook Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Volumes 11 and 13, gift of Mildred Baker McVey, March 1974; Volumes 1-10 and 12, gift of McVey, October 1990.

    Biographical Note

    Mildred E. Baker (later Mildred McVey) (December 23, 1899-March 20, 1987), also known as "Millie," was a secretary for an investment firm and a botanist for the Buffalo Museum of Science in Buffalo, New York. During summers in the 1930s and early 1940s, Baker took extensive camping and canyoneering trips with two friends: teacher Florence A. Huck (1895-1980) and social worker Katherine Crisp, also of Buffalo. In 1940, she took part in the "Nevills Expedition," with Norman Nevills, rafting down the Green and Colorado Rivers from Wyoming to Lake Mead; she became one of the first women to successfully travel the full length of the Colorado River. In the 1940s, she became friends with Otis Marston, river-runner and historian of the Colorado River and Green River regions, and communicated with him about her travel experiences in the American Southwest. In the 1940s, Baker married Philip Rosa, but they later divorced. Around 1948, Baker moved to Encinitas, California, and married Chester Lee McVey (1894-1968) in 1959. They later lived in Laguna Hills, California.

    Bibliography

    Shaffer, Marguerite S. "Playing American: The Southwestern Scrapbooks of Mildred E. Baker," in The culture of tourism, the tourism of culture : selling the past to the present in the American southwest, ed. Hal K. Rothman (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2003)

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains thirteen scrapbooks chiefly containing narratives, snapshots, and clippings documenting summer canyoneering, camping, and tourism trips to the American Southwest, the Colorado River, the Canadian Rockies, and Wyoming by Mildred E. Baker in the 1930s and early 1940s, as well as volumes related to Baker's activities and interest in bookbinding, poetry, and the Woodcraft League of America in Upstate New York with bookbinder John F. Grabau in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Most of these volumes reflect the participation of two Baker's friends from Buffalo: Florence A. Huck and Katherine Crisp, who frequently traveled with Baker and were also involved in bookbinding activities.
    Baker's scrapbooks follow a general pattern: they include typescript narratives describing her trips illustrated with her own snapshots and handwritten captions, as well as clippings from magazines and newspapers, occasional bits of poetry, and printed ephemera. Most of the travel volumes include lists of identified flowers, shrubs, trees, ferns, and birds seen on the trip, reflecting Baker's interests in botany and ornithology. Many of the volumes also have additional printed items laid in, with some dating through the early 1970s. All of the volumes are bound in decorative bindings stamped "Grabau," and most have marbled paper over the pasteboards.
    Volumes 1-2 and 4-5 reflect Baker's experiences chiefly at Sunset Hill, the summer home and artist's retreat of bookbinder John F. Grabau, near Buffalo, New York, presumably as part of the "Ojenta tribe" of the Woodcraft League of America. These volumes include poetry and photographs of the landscape, camping and other outdoor outings and group events, and bookbinding, including images of binding specimens by both Grabau and Baker.
    Many of the volumes document Baker's trips to the American Southwest, including her experience as one of the first women to raft the full-length of the Colorado River as part of the 1940 "Nevills Expedition" led by Norman D. Nevills. Her scrapbook of this trip (volume 11) includes photographs of Nevills and his wife, Doris Nevills, and fellow participants including mining engineer John S. Southworth of Glendale, California, botanist Hugh C. Cutler of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and future Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Regular themes among the photographs include depictions of the natural landscape including rock formations, mountains, rivers, and lakes; Native Americans; trading posts; cliff dwellings; petroglyphs; lodgings; and means of transportation including by train, automobile, airplane, horse, and burro.
    The volumes consist of:
    Volume 1: [Sunset Hill "Christmas" scrapbook album]. 1927-1928

    Locations referenced: Sunset Hill estate, Upstate New York
    Volume 2: Sunset Hill and Algonquin Park "birthday" scrapbook album]. 1927-1933

    Locations referenced: Sunset Hill estate, Upstate New York, and Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada
    Volume 3: Navajo Mountain, 1931

    Locations referenced: Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico
    Volume 4: Anthology of Sunset Hill (Its Trails and Poets' Glen). 1934-approximately 1938

    Locations referenced: Upstate New York
    Volume 5: Some poems of Sunset Hill by Mildred E. Baker, Wm. P. Alexander and others. Christmas 1936

    Locations referenced: Upstate New York
    Volume 6: Memorable Days on Teton Trails. 1934

    Locations referenced: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
    Volume 7: A Glimpse of the Old West. August 16th-September 2nd, 1935

    Locations referenced: New Mexico
    Volume 8: Wilderness Wanderings in Jasper and Mt. Robson Parks. July 3rd to 23rd 1936

    Locations referenced: Alberta, Canadian Rockies
    Volume 9: Trail Riding in the Canadian Rockies. July 23 to Aug. 8, 1937

    Locations referenced: Alberta, Canadian Rockies
    Volume 10: Peace of Rainbow and Canyon. July 2nd to 25th, 1938

    Locations referenced: Arizona, Utah
    Volume 11: Rough Water. Down the Green and Colorado Rivers from Green River, Wyoming, to Boulder Dam, Nevada. June 20th-August 22nd, 1940

    Locations referenced: Wyoming, Utah, Nevada
    Volume 12: [Scrapbook of newspaper clippings related to the Nevills expedition]. 1940-1941

    Locations referenced: Wyoming, Utah, Nevada
    Volume 13: Turquoise Skies and Copper Canyon. 1942

    Locations referenced: Arizona, Utah

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    • Otis R. Marston Papers   (Call number: mssMarston papers) contains correspondence with Baker and a typescript copy of Baker's journal during the Nevills Expedition.

    Arrangement

    The volumes are arranged chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Baker, Mildred E., 1899-1987 -- Photographs.
    Crisp, Katherine -- Photographs.
    Cutler, Hugh C., 1912-1998 -- Photographs.
    Goldwater, Barry M. (Barry Morris), 1909-1998 -- Photographs.
    Grabau, John F., 1878-1948 -- Photographs.
    Grabau, John F., 1878-1948 -- Homes and haunts -- Photographs.
    Huck, Florence A. -- Photographs.
    Nevills, Norman D., 1908-1949 -- Photographs.
    Southworth, John -- Photographs.
    Nevills Expeditions -- Photographs.
    Woodcraft League of America -- Photographs.
    Artist colonies -- New York (State) -- Photographs.
    Artist colonies -- New York (State).
    Boats and boating -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Bookbinding -- Photographs.
    Camping -- Photographs.
    Canyoneering -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Cliff-dwellings -- Arizona -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    National parks and reserves -- Canada -- Photographs.
    National parks and reserves -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Outdoor recreation -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Petroglyphs -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Rapids -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Rivers -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Travel -- Canada -- Photographs.
    Travel -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Women travelers -- Canada -- Photographs.
    Women travelers -- West (U.S.) -- Photographs.
    Alberta -- Photographs.
    Arizona -- Photographs.
    Canada -- Photographs.
    Canadian Rockies (B.C. and Alta.) -- Photographs.
    Carlsbad Caverns (N.M.)
    Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) -- Photographs.
    Grand Canyon (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Grand Teton (Wyo.) -- Photographs.
    Green River (Wyo.-Utah) -- Photographs.
    Louise, Lake (Alta. : Lake) -- Photographs.
    Mogollon Mountains (N.M.)
    Navajo Mountain (Utah) -- Photographs.
    New Mexico -- Photographs.
    Rainbow Bridge (Utah) -- Photographs.
    Rainbow Bridge National Monument (Utah) -- Photographs.
    Upstate New York (N.Y.) -- Photographs.
    Utah -- Photographs.

    Forms/Genres

    Photographs.
    Photograph albums.
    Poems.
    Scrapbooks.

    Contributors

    Grabau, John F., 1878-1948.
    Grabau, John F., 1878-1948, binder.
    Huck, Florence A.
    Alexander, William P. (William Prindle), 1881-1956.