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Inventory of the John D. Olmsted Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Olmsted, John, 1938-
    Title: John D. Olmsted Papers
    Date: 1968-1969
    Date: 2012
    Extent: 0.4 linear feet
    Abstract: John DeVeaux Olmsted was born on March 2, 1938 and died March 8, 2011. He founded the Mendocino-Tahoe Conservancy. He also worked to establish or save many California State Parks. He was instrumental in the creation of the Independence Trail, a wheelchair accessible nature trail in South Yuba State Park in California.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-539
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English.


    John DeVeaux Olmsted was born on March 2, 1938 and died March 8, 2011. He had a 40 year career as a naturalist in California. Sometimes called "the father of the trail", he founded and saved California parks, including Jug Handle, a state reserve near Mendocino, the South Yuba River State Park which includes the Independence Trail, the first wheelchair accessible nature trail. Before his death, he founded the Mendocino-Tahoe Conservancy
    Greatly influenced by John Muir, John Olmsted spent more than 40 years preserving open space in California. His life's vision was to create an across California trail from Mendocino to Lake Tahoe, which would be called, "The Cross California Ecological Trail." He strongly believed in Muir's contemplation, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
    Fellow conservationists remember John Olmsted as a conservationist who loved to teach people about the nature beauty of California. While at the Golden Gate Park, he created a collection of images that gave 720 examples of California plant and animal life. He taught with the Oakland Museum, UC Berkeley Extension and the Mendocino Art Center.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of 2 DVDs entitled, "My Father Who Art in Nature: John Olmsted Memorial" and "Stories of the Yuba: a Filmmaker's Journey on the River of his Youth, both by Alden Olmsted, the son of John D. Olmsted. There is also a set of slides entitled "The Language of Nature, Set 1, California Plant and Animal Life in 720 Slides, edited by John D. and Priscilla C. Olmsted.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Olmsted, John, 1938---Archives
    Olmsted, Priscilla C.
    Olmsted, Alden
    Naturalist--United States--Biography
    Conservationists--United States--Biography


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Patricia C. Inouye processed this collection and created and encoded this finding aid. This collection was processed under the Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired from Alden Olmsted.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John D. Olmsted Papers, D-539, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis 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 researcher.