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William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946 Oregon
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William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946

  • MSS Finley
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 1946

William L. Finley's papers primarily document his work as a wildlife conservationist, author, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker from about 1900 to 1940. The collection also documents the work his wife Irene Finley and photography partner Herman Bohlman. The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2014:062) is made up of correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the wildlife conservation work of William and Irene Finley. Among the topics addressed in the correspondence include: song bird protection laws in Oregon, requests to Finley for use of his photographs, the forming of an Oregon Fish and Game Commission, biological surveys conducted by Finley, legislation in California repealing meadowlark protection, and letters by Finley to various organizations regarding the presentation of one of his lectures. A highlight among the correspondence is a thank you letter from Finley to President Theodore Roosevelt for his establishment of wild bird reservations. The clippings are newspaper articles written by Irene and William Finley about encounters with wildlife, nocturnal bird sounds, and their filming of wildlife at Paulina Lake. The four articles all appeared in editions of the "Oregon Sunday Journal."

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Wild ducks conservation

Manuscript in which the author describes the need for duck conservation in Oregon due to hunting. Duck hunters want the season to be longer, which is reflected in a new game bill that was introduced in the Senate (Senate Bill 99) and the House of Representatives (House Bill 108). The document asks the Oregonian to "raise its voice" in response to the duck hunters.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The weaver of the west

Manuscript in which William L. Finley observes a bush-tit's nest and the family that occupies it. Provides field observations and colorful descriptions of the family of birds. Also included are Finley's handwritten notes.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Plume hunting

Manuscript in which the author describes the brutal practice of plume hunting. Observations of grebes are also recorded.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Gull habits

Manuscript describing gull behavior, including diet and appearance.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The bird of night

Manuscript describing owls that have nested in a local barn, including diet and pest control benefits.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Jimmy

Manuscript describing a neighbor's adoption of a baby bird and observing the bird grow up.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The white heron

Manuscript detailing the pursuit of photographing white herons. The author describes concerns regarding the decreased population due to plume hunting. Also included is a page about bluebirds.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Klamath trip

Manuscript detailing lake trips. Document goes on to describe physical characteristics such as length and plant life, as well as detailing the search for white herons. The author is disappointed to learn that the area was one of the most popular plumage hunting sites.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Notes

Manuscript depicting the landscape south of the Dalles.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Humming bird

Manuscript containing similar pieces as "The hummingbird at home."

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Audubon societies

Manuscript describing the work that Audubon societies have accomplished in preserving bird populations. Author calls people of Oregon to action in supporting their local society.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Jack crow

Manuscript in which the author writes about being friends with a crow.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Hunting grebes

Manuscript that shares a few excerpts from "Plight of grebes", focusing on why grebes have been singled out for their plumage.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Compilation of manuscripts on birds

The handwritten manuscript features a rough draft of "Bird lives" as well as other manuscripts that most likely were broken up into different manuscripts later.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

The bush-tit

Manuscript describing a bush-tit, most notably feeding behavior.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Habits and history of the beaver

Manuscript in which the author corrects the perception that beavers are more valuable as pelts rather than members of ecological society. Extolls the idea that beavers should just be put back in the right place rather than killing them.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Destruction of fish runs in the Sandy River

Manuscript campaigning for the federal government to aid in controlling the fish resources of the Sandy River. The author states that the Fish Commission and Game Commission cannot keep up with the demand of maintaining the fish runs. Document provides a condensed history of the river.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Squaw or bear grass

Short manuscript that goes into detail about bear grass, specifically the different names it is known by as well as its uses.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Golden eagle nearly wrecks car

Manuscript recalling a collision of Mr. Echidnas and an eagle. Fortunately the bird survived and was put into the care of Dr. L. E. Hibbard. The author goes on to point out that this eagle is protected by law but sadly has been exterminated in several parts of the Pacific Northwest.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

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