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Guide to the Will Beittel Papers MS.09
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Related Archival Materials note
  • Separated Materials note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Arrangement note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Scope and Contents note

  • Title: Beittel (Will) Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.09
    Contributing Institution: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1994
    Abstract: Lecture materials, clippings, propagation and planting notes, and photographs relating to trees and shrubs growing in Santa Barbara County, and especially plants grown by Will Beittel, former Santa Barbara City Arborist and Nurseryman at UCSB.
    creator: Beittel, Will, (Wilbur G.)

    Conditions Governing Access note

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation note

    Will Beittel Papers, MS-09. Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, C.H. Muller Library. University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Related Archival Materials note

    A collection of Santa Barbara park inventories including maps and plant lists by Will Beittel are located at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Library.

    Separated Materials note

    A copy of Santa Barbara's Trees containing Beittel's annotations was moved to the library collection.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Wilbur (Will) G. Beittel was born March 2, 1913 in Philadelphia. After attending NYU and Oberlin College, he began a music career in 1936 as a composer and arranger for the Lucky Strike Hit Parade and CBS Swing Session. He also wrote for various motion picture studios up until he switched careers around 1955 after attending Pierce Agricultural College.
    Beittel moved to Santa Barbara and became the City Arborist until 1963. He lived at horticulturist Francesco Franceschi's original home and garden (now Franceschi Park), overseeing the plants there and using the grounds as the city's nursery, where he propagated and introduced many exotic species to Santa Barbara. He grew plants for the street tree program, public parks, and other civic properties, propagating between 4,000 and 5,000 plants per year. In 1963, Beittel became the Senior Nurseryman at University of California, Santa Barbara. He continued growing unusual exotic species which he planted around the campus grounds, many which are still there today.
    Among Beittel's noteworthy contributions to horticulture are several books that he authored: Santa Barbara's Street and Park Trees, Santa Barbara's Trees, and Dr. F. Franceschi, Pioneer Plantsman. He co-wrote Trees of Santa Barbara with Katherine Muller and Richard Broder. Beittel also taught several popular classes through Adult Education. Beittel passed away in 1999 at the age of 86.

    Arrangement note

    The collection is organized into five series: Series 1 Teaching Materials; Series 2 Publications; Series 3 Clippings; Series 4 Professional Papers; and Series 5 Photographs.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    Materials acquired from the Dept. of Biological Sciences. Photocopies of additional materials received from Susan Chamberlin September 2008 and copied from files on the campus lagoon at the Cheadle Center.

    Scope and Contents note

    Series 1 Teaching Materials includes notes and handouts for several adult education and extension courses taught by Beittel. Series 2 Publications includes lists in draft form and galley proofs of some pages from the 1977 edition of Santa Barbara's Trees. Series 3 Clippings includes newspaper articles about Beittel, articles about Santa Barbara parks and trees, and articles on individual plants written by Beittel for the Santa Barbara News-Press. Series 4 Professional Papers includes Beittel's records on plant propagation for Franceschi Park and UCSB and inventories of plants on the UCSB campus. There are also records on experimental plantings of various eucalyptus species on campus, a project aimed at finding suitable street trees for Santa Barbara. In this series is also correspondence from Raymond B. Cowles and Sima Eliovsen on South African plants, and a tribute to Santa Barbara Park Superintendant Finlay MacKenzie. Series 5 Photographs includes color slides and prints of plants that Beittel planted at Franceschi Park and at UCSB, as well as trees and shrubs growing in various parks and gardens in Santa Barbara.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Beittel, Will, (Wilbur G.)
    Shrubs--California--Santa Barbara
    Trees--California--Santa Barbara