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William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946 United States
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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 The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.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

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

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

Condor 1

Manuscript that details trips to locate and photograph a baby condor.

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

The passing of the California condor

Manuscript discussing how little is known about California condors. The document details physical characteristics and behavior as well as nesting habitats. Features excerpts from "Condor 1."

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

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

Californian interest in Oregon

Manuscript discussing the interest Californians were taking in Southern Oregon for recreation, especially in respects to angling in the Rogue, Umpqua, and Wilson rivers. The author points out that these are smaller streams and for the fishermen who depend on the rivers for their livelihood could be greatly affected by Californians' recreational fishing.

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

Sportsmen kill the goose that lays the golden egg

Manuscript discussing the alarming state of the decline of local animal and fish populations. The author contends that it is a combination of exhausting the local population for sport and introducing foreign populations of animals and fish to satisfy the demand for game to hunt. The document proposes that there are two points in a plan of action in order to restore native populations. The first is to enforce the laws of protection for the animals and fish, and the second is to educate in order to support wildlife resources.

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

The storehouse of the red squirrel

In this manuscript we see the return of Piney the squirrel and the author observes that Piney and his fellow squirrels differ from other squirrels. They are different because unlike the other species of squirrels, they are vigilant in up keeping their supply of food. Piney took over a bird house near the author's property and it was discovered that Piney had collected one hundred and forty-six nuts. The author wonders if this store of food will be utilized and emptied by the time the birds arrive to occupy the bird house.

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

California or valley quail

The subject of this manuscript is the Valley or California quail, which can be found in California, Oregon, and now Washington. The document lists the bird's call, how it defends itself against enemies, and its physical appearance. The document ends with a comparison of the bird to the mountain quail.

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

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