Allen, born 1874 in Missouri, was a pioneering woman in the ornithological field and a lifelong lover of birds, particularly those
of California and Berkeley. She came to California in 1888 as a young woman with her family and served as a schoolteacher
during the late 1800s until she married James T. Allen, a professor, and moved to Berkeley at the turn of the century. Berkeley
was where she began her ornithological work through a course in Zoology taught by A. J. Cook, and through field trips throughout
California with her husband and with professor Charles R. Keyes. It was Keyes who introduced her to the Cooper Club (now Cooper
Ornithological Society) and its prestigious members such as Barlow, Emerson, and Grinnell. Allen flourished in the Cooper
Club, and became a notable female member in 1913. In her own memoir (in the collection) she writes, “I believe there were
no women, or if they did belong to the club they were not supposed to attend the meetings.” Allen, however, broke that precedent
and was elected Secretary of the Northern Division in 1916, Vice-President in 1925 and eventually President in 1926. She was
the first woman to hold the office. Allen was also an expressive writer, detailed note-taker, and published author. Her writings
appear in such publications as The Condor and The University of California Chronicle. She died in 1945 at her home in Strawberry
Canyon in Berkeley, where she had been observing the local birds for over 30 years. References: Fidler, Christina. “In the
‘Early Days.’” MVZ Archives. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2013. http://mvzarchives.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/in-the-early-days.
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