Amelia S. Allen field notes

1901-1944


Descriptive Summary

Title: Amelia S. Allen field notes
Dates: 1901-1944
Collection Number: MVZA.MSS.0147
Creator/Collector: Allen, Amelia S., 1874-1945
Extent: 12.0 volumes
Repository: UC Berkeley. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Abstract: The Amelia S. Allen field notes collection contains 12 volumes of field notes and bird notes taken between 1901 and 1944, and a personal memoir written by Allen.
Language of Material: English

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

Amelia S. Allen field notes. UC Berkeley. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Biography/Administrative History

Amelia Sanborn 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.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Amelia S. Allen field notes collection contains 12 volumes of field notes and bird notes taken between 1901 and 1944, and a personal memoir written by Allen. Her memoir contains stories of her childhood, how she entered into the field of ornithology, and accounts of field trips. It also contains the story of her entry into the Cooper Club as well as her recollections of Berkeley at the turn of the century.

Indexing Terms

Birds--California--Identification
Cooper Ornithological Club
University of California (1868-1952). Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

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