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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 The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.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

Two studies in blue

Manuscript in which William L. Finley points out the importance of knowing two flocks of birds of blue: bluebirds and blue jays. He lists his observations and assertions that knowing wild birds can improve any child's life.

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

Notes on grebe skin traffic

Manuscript describing the plight of the western grebe being hunted for their durable skin. The document describes the hunters' realization of the diminishing bird population.

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

Herons

A lecture describing a trip to California to search for herons.

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

Phoebe

Manuscript describing observations of a family of phoebes.

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

Wild life restoration

Manuscript in which the author makes a case for restoring and protecting land for wildlife. Describes the unnecessary drainage and damage to habitats for local fauna which have gone unchecked.

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

The trail of the plume hunters

Manuscript that is compiled of various excerpts. The main focus of the manuscript is the devastation of bird populations due to plumage hunting for fashion and other interests.

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

Grebe hunting

Manuscript discussing the hunting of Western grebes in the name of plumage.

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

Rearing a wren family

Manuscript in which the author observes a wren family, including a description of physical appearance and behavior.

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

Black-headed grosbeak

Manuscript reflecting on observations of a couple of grosbeaks. The manuscript features an excerpt from "A family of grosbeaks."

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

Kingfishers

Manuscript describing kingfishers, including appearance, diet, and hunting habits.

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

Preface for lecture

A preface for a lecture on the author's motivation for bird photography, focusing on land birds of Oregon and California.

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

Plight of grebes

Manuscript containing excerpts from the "Plume hunting", "Grebe hunting", and "Notes on grebe skin traffic" manuscripts. This document further expands upon the motivation of plume hunting. Author also provides physical description, observations of behavior, and figurative description of some specimens in the wild.

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

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