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Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953 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 The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.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

The bat, a winged mammal

An overview of bats, including diet, mating season, and appearance. A brief discussion of bat species in Oregon is included.

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

Murre multitudes

This manuscript describes the California murre, including a physical description and the commercialization of murre eggs.

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

Status of water fowl in northwestern states

The manuscript argues that the land that has been used for homesteads should be returned to the birds of the area. The land is not suitable for farming long term due to its often alkaline nature. The ill suited land distribution is contributing to the decline of duck and geese populations as well as the other native water fowl.

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

Muffet and Midget

Manuscript about two baby hummingbirds, focusing on the interaction between mother and offspring.

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

Malheur, the unfortunate

An edited version of "Malheur, the unfortunate" which describes the destruction man has wreaked upon the lake and surrounding area.

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

Warbler ways

Manuscript in which the author examines a family of black-throated gray warblers.

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

Humming bird

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

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

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