Scope and Content
Title: Anna Ryder Dickey Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1889-2000
Collection number: 213
Creator: Dickey, Anna Ryder
2 photo albums,
1 document box,
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: This collection contains photographs (albums and
separates), ephemera, and inscribed books documenting the friendship between
Anna Ryder Dickey and celebrated naturalist and wilderness conservationist, John
Muir. The albums document two Sierra Club nature trips that Muir, Mrs. Dickey,
her adolescent son, Donald R. Dickey, and others took to Yosemite National Park,
and Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks, in 1896 and 1902 respectively. Of
special note are six pictorialist style presentation photographs of John Muir
alone or with Mrs. Dickey, taken by the Pasadena photographer Kraig. The book
inscriptions, letters, and notes provide further proof of the Muir-Dickey
friendship, while the books themselves, newspaper clippings, and magazine
extracts highlight aspects of Muir's work, philosophy, and life
Physical location: History and Special Collections Division,
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research. Contact the History and Special Collections
Division, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los
Angeles, for information.
Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Biomedical
Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and
their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds
the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission
to publish if the Biomedical Library does not hold the copyright.
[Identification of item], Anna Ryder Dickey Collection, 213, Louise M.
Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections Division, University
of California, Los Angeles.
Gift of Mr. Donald R. Dickey, Jr. to the Louise M. Darling Biomedical
Library, University of California, Los Angeles, January, 2001.
Mr. Dickey Jr.'s generous gift also included circa 180 glass "lantern"
slides, hand-colored, of Californian, Canadian and Algerian land- and
sea-scapes, people, firds, flowers and mammals. These had been taken by Donald
R. Dickey Sr. and illustrated many of his public lectures. The slides are housed
in the History and Special Collections Division with similar materials of Ms.
Collection #59, the Donald Ryder Dickey Photographic Collection.
ANNA RYDER DICKEY was born December 23, 1863 in Dubuque Iowa and died May 4,
1928 in Pasadena, California. She was the mother of Donald Ryder Dickey, Sr. and
the grandmother of Donald Ryder Dickey, Jr. (from whom the collection was
obtained). Prior to moving to Pasadena, she lived in Dubuque, marrying Ernest M.
Dickey in 1885. The scrapbooks, photographs of John Muir, and related ephemera,
were accumulated while residing in Pasadena (specifically, the area known as San
Rafael Heights). As evidenced by the photographic material and several personal
notes in the ephemera, she maintained a close friendship with Muir during this
DONALD RYDER DICKEY, Sr. (1887-1932), who is featured in several of the
photographs in Scrapbook #2, was the son of Ernest and Anna Ryder Dickey. He was
a respected innovator in and practitioner of wildlife photography and collector
of Pacific Coast mammals and birds. In 1902, at age 16, he and his mother joined
a Sierra Club group in travel up the King's River Cañon, eventually
climbing and reaching the summit of Mount Whitney. The participants of this trip
included John Muir, C. Hart Merriam, Dr. Henry Gannett, as well as historian
Theodore Hittell and landscape artist William Keith.
During his senior year at Yale University, Dickey was stricken by a serious
heart condition. Allowed to graduate because of his high academic standing, he
returned to his parents' home in Pasadena for two years of rest. During this
time he gradually returned to his former interest in the outdoors and began
photographing and collecting birds and small mammals. Eventually he determined
to establish a research center for vertebrate zoology in Southern California,
with a study collection of specimens, with photographs and books to support it.
The collection, which focused mainly on southwestern fauna of California and
Mexico, but also included the birds of Laysan Island, and fauna of Michigan, New
Brunswick, and Central America, was housed at the California Institute of
Technology in the 1920s, and came to the University of California, Los Angeles
after his death.
JOHN MUIR (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar, Scotland. In 1849 he and his family
immigrated to Portage, Wisconsin. Muir was internationally renowned as a writer,
naturalist and forest conservationist, particularly in his advocacy for the
preservation of Yosemite Valley and adjacent wilderness areas of the Sierra
Nevada's during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also the first
acting president of the Sierra Club from its founding in 1892 until his death.
Through his publications and advocacy for environmental causes, Muir became one
of the strongest figures in the early environmental and ecological movement
within the United States.
Scope and Content
The collection documents the formal but close friendship that existed between
Anna Ryder Dickey and John Muir in the last 20 years of his life, with two photo
albums, separate photographs, letters, notes, and inscriptions. The numerous
photographs also picture the looks of an earlier California and provide a little
early history of the Sierra Club.
Housed separately with Ms. Collection #59, the Donald R. Dickey [Sr.]
Photographic Collection, are 180 glass lantern slides of scenery and wildlife
which were also part of Donald R. Dickey Jr.'s generous gift to UCLA.
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Photographs, 1896-1910. 2 albums and 6 folders
- Series 2. Ephemera, 1889-2000. 8 folders
- Series 3. Books, 1901-1965. 10 volumes
Donald Ryder Dickey Photographic Collection, Ms. Coll. No. 59, UCLA
Donald Ryder Dickey Field Notes, Ms. Coll. No. 110, UCLA Biomedical
Donald Ryder Dickey Personal Scrapbook, Ms. Coll. No. 301, UCLA Biomedical
Dickey, Donald R. Papers, 1914-1920, Coll. No. 707, UCLA Young Research
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Dickey, Donald R.
(Donald Ryder), 1887-1932
Natural History -- California --
Nature photography --
Zoologists -- United States --
Genres and Forms