Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Margaret Wentworth Owings Papers
BANC MSS 86/71 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (132.98 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content Note

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Margaret Wentworth Owings papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1913-1996
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 86/71 c
    Creator: Owings, Margaret Wentworth
    Extent: Number of containers: 10 boxes, 4 cartons, 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder, 5 volumes

    Linear ft.: 9.6 linear ft.
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: Collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, and files related to Margaret Owings' work in environmental conservation and wildlife preservation. She was particularly concerned with mountain lions, sea otters, sea lions, California redwoods, and parks and wildlife in Africa. Owings was the only woman on the California State Park Commission in the 1960s. The collection contains only a few personal papers, including a small amount of correspondence with family members, awards, biographical information, and files related to her husband, architect Nathaniel Alexander Owings.
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection open for research, with the following exceptions:
    Correspondence from John Steinbacher was restricted at the request of Mr. Steinbacher on May 27, 2008. Use only by permission of Mr. Steinbacher. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed, in writing, to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. Materials in these collections are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and may not be used without permission of The Bancroft Library. Use may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, privacy and publicity rights, licensing terms, and trademarks. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Margaret Wentworth Owings papers. BANC MSS 86/71 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Title: Margaret Wentworth Owings Photograph Collection,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1992.057--PIC
    Artist, and Wildlife and Environmental Defender: oral history transcript,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 92/717 c

    Separated Material

    • Selected printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • Some Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (cataloged as BANC PIC 1992.057--PIC).
    • One fabric cap has been transferred to the Objects Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Owings, Margaret Wentworth--Archives
    Owings, Nathaniel Alexander, 1903-
    Rachel Carson Memorial Fund
    Friends of the Sea Otter
    California State Park Commission
    African Wildlife Leadership Foundation
    Conservation of natural resources--California
    Game protection--California
    Coast redwood
    Sea lions
    Otters
    Puma
    Wildlife conservation
    Women conservationists--California
    Adobe houses--New Mexico
    Conservationists--California

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Margaret Wentworth Owings Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Margaret Owings in several installments from October 1987 through March 1997.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Elizabeth Stephens, 2004; Bancroft Library Staff, 2008.

    Biographical Sketch

    Born April 29, 1913 in Berkeley, California, Margaret Wentworth Owings was a 1934 graduate of Mills College, where her father, Frank Wentworth, was a trustee, and completed graduate studies in art at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University in 1935. She set her artistic career aside and earned international recognition as a tireless advocate for sea otters, mountain lions and other wild creatures.
    Honored with the National Audubon Society Medal, the Gold Medal Award from United Nations' environmental program, the Department of the Interior's Conservation Service Award, and many other citations and medals, Mrs. Owings inspired new generations in the fight to preserve wilderness and the animals that call it home.
    She is most closely identified with the California sea otter, a threatened marine mammal whose cause she championed as founder and president of the Friends of the Sea Otter. She also led successful campaigns to end bounty-hunting of mountain lions in California, and to impose moratoriums on hunting mountain lions-an effort that was crowned passage of a state initiative banning lion hunting in the state.
    As a member of the Point Lobos League, she fought successfully in 1947 to save beaches between the Carmel River and Point Lobos State Reserve. With her husband, noted architect Nathaniel Owings, she campaigned to keep the scenic Big Sur coast in its undeveloped state.
    In addition to her role with Friends of the Sea Otter, which she led as president from its founding in 1968 until the early 1990s, she was on the council of the Save-the-Redwoods League, a member of the California Parks Commission (1963-69); a trustee of Defenders of Wildlife (1969-74); a board member with the National Parks Foundation (1968-69); a trustee of the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation (1968-76); a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund (1972-82); founder of the Rachel Carson Council established to carry on the work of combating toxics in the environment; and a member of the Big Sur Land Trust.
    In addition to her long commitment to wildlife conservation, Mrs. Owings and her husband were devotees of the art and Indian culture of the Southwest. They were seasonal residents of Santa Fe, N.M. for more than 30 years and assembled a significant collection of Pueblo Kachinas, now in the permanent collection of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
    [Excerpted from Friends of the Sea Otter website]

    Scope and Content Note

    The Margaret Wentworth Owings Papers, 1913-1996, consist of correspondence, speeches, articles, and files related to her work in environmental conservation and wildlife preservation. She was particularly concerned with mountain lions, sea otters, sea lions, California redwoods, and parks and wildlife in Africa. Owings was the only woman on California State Park Commission during the 1960s. The collection contains only a few personal papers, including a small amount of correspondence with family members, awards, biographical information and files related to her husband, architect Nathaniel Alexander Owings. Her art work is also not covered in this collection of papers.