The Allan C. Brooks papers contain paintings, field notes, artwork, correspondence, personalia, and publications spanning
1867 to 1946. The artwork and paintings include originals commissioned for publication in Grinnell’s Wildlife of the Yosemite
released in 1924 and Fur-bearing Mammals of California published in 1937. Correspondence provides details of commissions,
arrangements, specimen collection and transfer, as well as personal exchange. These materials offer insight into the logistics
of wildlife illustration and naturalist livelihood in the early 20th century.
Allan Brooks was born in northern India at Etawah as the son of an Englishman on February 16, 1869. Though Brooks’ father
was a civil engineer, he was also an ardent avian aficionado and inculcated this love of ornithology in his son. Under his
father’s tutelage, Allan partook in natural history endeavors and wildlife pastimes early on from childhood through adolescence.
At the age of four, Allan Brooks was sent to England for schooling, where he resided for eight years before the family uprooted
in 1881 to Canada. There, the Brooks family participated in a pastoral lifestyle on their farm and both father and son continued
their ornithological recreation, whereupon Allan Brooks sketched, prepared bird skins, and ventured into the nearby regions.
Brooks began to seriously invest in his passion in 1894, harvesting local specimens to send to experts and museum collections
in the United States and Canada.
Copyright restrictions may apply. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted to the Museum of Vertebrate
Zoology Archives in writing for approval. Please contact the Museum Archivist for further information.
The collection is open for research.