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Guide to the Joseph Grinnell papers, 1884-1938
BANC MSS C-B 995  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Joseph Grinnell Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1884-1938
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 995
    Creator: Grinnell, Joseph, 1877-1939
    Extent: Number of containers: 21 boxes Linear feet: 10.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence, accounts and manuscripts, relating mainly to the activities of the Cooper Ornithological Club and its publication, The Condor, and to the collection, preservation and identification of zoological specimens in Alaska and California.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joseph Grinnell papers, BANC MSS C-B 995, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    The papers, transferred from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in November 1965, relate particularly to the organization and activities of the Cooper Ornithological club, and to the collecting, preservation and identification of specimens obtained in Alaska and California.


    Joseph Grinnell, noted ornithologist and first director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology of the University of California, the son of author and naturalist Elizabeth Grinnell and of Dr. Fordyce Grinnell, a government physician to the Plains' Indians, was born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on February 27, 1877. Grinnell grew up in Pasadena, attended Throop Polytechnic Institute, and obtained his doctorate from Stanford, He later taught at both of these institutions.
    It was during field trips to Alaska that Grinnell met Annie Alexander. From this association grew the idea of building a museum to house specimens collected. When the plans materialized, Grinnell was appointed director of the Museum, and began his teaching career at the University of California in Berkeley.
    Always interested in birds, Grinnell was very active in the Cooper Ornithological Club, and for many years was editor of its publication, The Condor.