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Finding Aid to the Chester Versteeg Papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960)
BANC MSS 96/31 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Chester Versteeg papers
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1993
    Date (bulk): 1921-1960
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 96/31 c
    Creator: Versteeg, Chester
    Extent: 5 cartons, 1 oversize folder, 1 oversize roll; 6.5 linear feet
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: The Chester Versteeg papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960), include materials produced and collected by Versteeg relating to the Sierra Nevada and, in a more limited scope, other mountainous regions of North America.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    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.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection 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], Chester Versteeg Papers, BANC MSS 96/31 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Separated Material

    Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog
    Farquhar, Francis Peloubet, 1887-1974--Correspondence
    Matthes, François, 1874-1948
    Versteeg, Chester, 1887-1963--Archives
    Sierra Club
    Sierra Club. Geographic Committee
    Mountaineering--California--Kings Canyon National Park
    Mountaineering--California--Sequoia National Park
    Mountaineering--California--Yosemite National Park.
    Mountaineering--Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
    Names, Geographical--Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)--History
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)--Name

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Chester Versteeg papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Janice Hampson and Elizabeth Todd on July 19, 1995.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Josh Roselle in 2010.

    Biographical Information

    Chester Versteeg (1887-1963) was a Los Angeles-based insurance broker, Sierra Club officer, researcher, and author whose hobby was the Sierra Nevada. He was an avid hiker and mountain climber; he first hiked the Sierra in 1909 and climbed over 250 peaks in the range, including 40 first ascents. He served on the Sierra Club's editorial board and was the first chairman of the Geographic Committee of the Sierra Club. In this capacity he was involved in proposing names for Sierra Nevada features. He also organized the Desert Peaks section of the Sierra Club. He was an amasser of information and collected historical data including maps and photographs, and he conducted interviews with over 400 pioneers, explorers, and settlers of the Sierra Nevada.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Chester Versteeg papers, 1910-1993 (bulk 1921-1960), include materials produced and collected by Versteeg relating to the Sierra Nevada and, in a more limited scope, other mountainous regions of North America. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, raw and analyzed data, complied notes, and clippings. The majority of the collection relates to books he hoped to write, including a history of saw mills in the Sierra, place names in the Sierra, and interesting place names in the mountainous regions of North America. These books are likely unpublished. Researchers may be interested in data collected on place names and on accounts of Sierra experiences. This material was obtained by various methods, including interviews and written requests for information. As Versteeg was chairman of the Geographic Committee of the Sierra Club, this collection contains proposals and correspondence regarding assigning names for previously unnamed geographic features in the California Sierra Nevadas. Much of this correspondence is between Versteeg, representatives of the Sierra Club, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture. There is a small amount of correspondence with and from Francis Farquhar, president of the Sierra Club.