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Anna Ryder Dickey collection, 1889-2000
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Anna Ryder Dickey Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1889-2000
    Collection number: 213
    Creator: Dickey, Anna Ryder 1863-1928
    Extent: 2 photo albums, 1 document box, 10 books
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
    Abstract: This collection contains photographs (albums and separates), ephemera, and inscribed books documenting the friendship between Anna Ryder Dickey and celebrated naturalist and wilderness conservationist, John Muir. The albums document two Sierra Club nature trips that Muir, Mrs. Dickey, her adolescent son, Donald R. Dickey, and others took to Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks, in 1896 and 1902 respectively. Of special note are six pictorialist style presentation photographs of John Muir alone or with Mrs. Dickey, taken by the Pasadena photographer Kraig. The book inscriptions, letters, and notes provide further proof of the Muir-Dickey friendship, while the books themselves, newspaper clippings, and magazine extracts highlight aspects of Muir's work, philosophy, and life story.
    Physical location: History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles, for information.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Anna Ryder Dickey collection (Manuscript collection 213). Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5331840 

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mr. Donald R. Dickey, Jr. to the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles, January, 2001.
    Mr. Dickey Jr.'s generous gift also included circa 180 glass "lantern" slides, hand-colored, of Californian, Canadian and Algerian land- and sea-scapes, people, firds, flowers and mammals. These had been taken by Donald R. Dickey Sr. and illustrated many of his public lectures. The slides are housed in the History and Special Collections Division with similar materials of Ms. Collection #59, the Donald Ryder Dickey Photographic Collection.


    ANNA RYDER DICKEY was born December 23, 1863 in Dubuque Iowa and died May 4, 1928 in Pasadena, California. She was the mother of Donald Ryder Dickey, Sr. and the grandmother of Donald Ryder Dickey, Jr. (from whom the collection was obtained). Prior to moving to Pasadena, she lived in Dubuque, marrying Ernest M. Dickey in 1885. The scrapbooks, photographs of John Muir, and related ephemera, were accumulated while residing in Pasadena (specifically, the area known as San Rafael Heights). As evidenced by the photographic material and several personal notes in the ephemera, she maintained a close friendship with Muir during this time.
    DONALD RYDER DICKEY, Sr. (1887-1932), who is featured in several of the photographs in Scrapbook #2, was the son of Ernest and Anna Ryder Dickey. He was a respected innovator in and practitioner of wildlife photography and collector of Pacific Coast mammals and birds. In 1902, at age 16, he and his mother joined a Sierra Club group in travel up the King's River Cañon, eventually climbing and reaching the summit of Mount Whitney. The participants of this trip included John Muir, C. Hart Merriam, Dr. Henry Gannett, as well as historian Theodore Hittell and landscape artist William Keith.
    During his senior year at Yale University, Dickey was stricken by a serious heart condition. Allowed to graduate because of his high academic standing, he returned to his parents' home in Pasadena for two years of rest. During this time he gradually returned to his former interest in the outdoors and began photographing and collecting birds and small mammals. Eventually he determined to establish a research center for vertebrate zoology in Southern California, with a study collection of specimens, with photographs and books to support it. The collection, which focused mainly on southwestern fauna of California and Mexico, but also included the birds of Laysan Island, and fauna of Michigan, New Brunswick, and Central America, was housed at the California Institute of Technology in the 1920s, and came to the University of California, Los Angeles after his death.
    JOHN MUIR (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar, Scotland. In 1849 he and his family immigrated to Portage, Wisconsin. Muir was internationally renowned as a writer, naturalist and forest conservationist, particularly in his advocacy for the preservation of Yosemite Valley and adjacent wilderness areas of the Sierra Nevada's during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also the first acting president of the Sierra Club from its founding in 1892 until his death. Through his publications and advocacy for environmental causes, Muir became one of the strongest figures in the early environmental and ecological movement within the United States.

    Scope and Content

    The collection documents the formal but close friendship that existed between Anna Ryder Dickey and John Muir in the last 20 years of his life, with two photo albums, separate photographs, letters, notes, and inscriptions. The numerous photographs also picture the looks of an earlier California and provide a little early history of the Sierra Club.
    Housed separately with Ms. Collection #59, the Donald R. Dickey [Sr.] Photographic Collection, are 180 glass lantern slides of scenery and wildlife which were also part of Donald R. Dickey Jr.'s generous gift to UCLA.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Photographs, 1896-1910. 2 albums and 6 folders
    • Series 2. Ephemera, 1889-2000. 8 folders
    • Series 3. Books, 1901-1965. 10 volumes

    Related Material

    Donald Ryder Dickey Photographic Collection, Ms. Coll. No. 59, UCLA Biomedical Library.
    Donald Ryder Dickey Field Notes, Ms. Coll. No. 110, UCLA Biomedical Library.
    Donald Ryder Dickey Personal Scrapbook, Ms. Coll. No. 301, UCLA Biomedical Library
    Dickey, Donald R. Papers, 1914-1920, Coll. No. 707, UCLA Young Research Library

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Dickey, Donald R. (Donald Ryder), 1887-1932
    Muir, John, 1838-1914
    Natural History -- California -- Pictorial Works
    Nature photography -- California
    Zoologists -- United States -- Archives

    Genres and Forms

    Photograph albums