John L. Blackford papers, 1932-1959  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Blackford, John L., 1906-1984
Title
John L. Blackford papers
Dates
1932-1959 (inclusive)
Quantity
3.0 linear feet
Collection Number
Mss 857
Summary
John Lindsey Blackford was a writer, naturalist and photographer. Much of his work focused on ornithology. This collection includes his publications, writings, correspondence, and photographs.
Repository
University of Montana, Mansfield Library, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
University of Montana
32 Campus Dr. #9936
59812-9936
Missoula, MT
Telephone: 406-243-2053
Fax: 406-243-4067
library.archives@umontana.edu
Access Restrictions

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana-Missoula.

Languages
Materials are in


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Lindsey Blackford was born on June 28, 1906 in Lewistown, Montana. He was the younger of two sons born to James McNeal Blackford II and his wife, Maude Lindsey Blackford. The Blackford family moved to Claremore, Oklahoma in October 1910, there James II set up a successful law practice. The family returned to Montana in August 1911 and settled in the Lincoln County seat of Libby in the northwest corner of the state. John explored the great outdoors of Montana by hiking, boating and fishing.

John excelled at school and graduated with honors from Libby High School at 16. He then waited a year while his older brother James III finished high school, in the fall of 1923 they both entered Stanford University and majored in law. John contracted staphylococcus from an infection during his summer break between his junior and senior years at Stanford. The infection caused permanent nerve damage and he was unable to finish his college education.

John changed his career and pursued photography and ornithology because of his passion for the outdoors. He developed a reputation as a naturalist and an author of articles on birds illustrated with his own photographs. He wrote for national magazines such as Nature, Desert (later Arizona Highways), Condor, The Audubon Magazine, American Forest, Pacific Discovery, The Living Wilderness, and Natural History. He also wrote nature stories for children that were published in My Weekly Reader, which many grade school children studied and enjoyed. In 1956, he published Western Wonderlands: A Guide to Bird Habitats of the Western United States.

From the mid-1930s until the late 1950s, John traveled the western portion of the United States extensively. He especially loved the Southwest, where he would spend months camping, photographing and writing articles, but his health prevented him from any further travel.

Throughout his life John continued to study and learn through extensive reading and correspondence courses from Stanford University. His favorite subjects, besides ornithology, were great religions of the world, anthropology and world history. He also did extensive research on health and medical issues. John Lindsey Blackford died in Roseburg, Oregon on April 24, 1984 at 77.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains such items as publications, original manuscripts, field notes, photo indexes, correspondences, photographs and school examination booklets. John Blackford's articles and photographs in magazines such as American Forests, Natural History, and Nature Magazine are the most prominent part of the collection. There are also numerous photographic prints of landscapes, plants, animals, and people mostly from the northwest and southwest United States.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright not transferred to the University of Montana.

Preferred Citation

[Name of document or photograph number], John L. Blackford Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Publications, 1933-1959Return to Top

1.3 linear feet

This series contains published articles by John L. Blackford.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
American Forests
1943, 1946
1/2
Canadian Nature
1946, 1948
1/3
My Weekly Reader
1944
1/4
Natural History
1943-1944, 1953, 1955
1/5
Pacific Discovery
1954-1955, 1957, 1959
1/6
The Condor
1955, 1958
1/7
The Desert Magazine
1943-1944
1/8
The Living Wilderness
1950
5/1
Nature Magazine
1933-1940
5/2
Nature Magazine
1941-1944
6/1
Nature Magazine
1945-1952
6/1
Nature Magazine
1952-1958
6/2
Nature Magazine
1958-1959

Series II:  Writings, 1932-1959 and undatedReturn to Top

0.7 linear feet

This series is divided into three subseries: manuscripts, field notes and miscellaneous writings. The series includes the manuscript of John L. Blackford’s book, Western Wonderlands, field notes and photo indexes that Blackford kept, and examination booklets from when Blackford went to Stanford. Per a note written by Blackford directing the placement of his materials upon his death, the volumes contain the original hand-written notes of his Blue Grouse study and a copy of the study, with a forward and important additional notations is at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at University of California. This copy contains important items added as inserts but not all of the original notations.

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Western Wonderlands
0.2 linear feet
This subseries contains the manuscripts to Western Wonderlands by John L. Blackford. Papers were taken out of their original order and organized together by their subject matter.
1953-1954 and undated
Box/Folder
1/10
Manuscript, Bird Habitats
undated
1/11
Instructions and Layout for Pictorial Section
undated
1/12
Manuscript, pages 25-27
undated
1/13
Manuscript, pages 30-35, 38-39
1954
1/14
Manuscript, pages 40-43, 46-47
1953-1954
1/15
Manuscript, pages 50-51, 54-55
1953-1954
1/16
Manuscript, pages 60-61, 72-73
1954
2/1
Manuscript, pages 78-79, 84-85
1954
2/2
Manuscript, pages 94-95, 98-99, 102-103
1954
Subseries 2: Field Notes
0.5 linear feet
This subseries contains original field notes from John L. Blackford and includes a photo index book from when Blackford was out in the field.
1932-1959 and undated
Box/Folder
2/3
Birchwood Birds Records and Nature Notes, Field Notes I
1932-1954
2/4
Bird Record and Nature Notes at Birchwood (typed)
1932-1946
2/5
Birchwood Birds Records and Nature Notes, Field Book II and III
1953-1957
2/6
Birchwood Birds Records and Nature Notes, Field Book IV and V
1957-1958
2/7
Birchwood Birds Records and Nature Notes, Field Book VI, VII, and VIII
1958-1959
3/1
Field Book
circa 1939
3/2
Field Book
1958-1959
3/3
Photo Index
1942-1944
3/4
Photo Index
1945-1946
Subseries 3: Examination Books
0.2 linear feet
This subseries includes the original hand written examination books that Blackford used when he went to Stanford from 1940 to 1942.
1940-1942
Box/Folder
3/5
Stanford University Examination Books
1940-1942

Series III:  Correspondence, November 21, 1953-January 16, 1957Return to Top

0.1 linear feet

This series contains correspondence from Blackford to bird experts, and letters he received from university and bird research foundations. There is also correspondence dealing with Blackford’s book, Western Wonderland.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/6
Correspondence
November 21, 1953-January 16, 1957

Series IV:  Photographs, 1923-1959 and undatedReturn to Top

0.9 linear feet

This series contains photographs used in John Blackford's published works and from various trips to the Southwest and Northwest. Included are photographs of landscapes, animals, plants and people. The series also contains two self-portraits of Blackford. Most photos were undated but some had folders with expiration dates, these photos were dated by this date.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/7
Arizona Miscellaneous Landscapes
undated
3/8
Canada Landscapes
circa 1946
3/9
Death Valley, California
undated
3/10
Desert Flora
undated
3/11
Desert Mountains
undated
3/12
Desert Palms
circa 1959
3/13
Desert Reptiles
circa 1951
3/14
Desert Landscapes, Arizona, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, and Cedar Break
undated
3/15
Desert Trees
undated
3/16
Flower Moths
undated
3/17
Lynch Lake
undated
3/18
Marsh Birds
circa 1952
4/1
Miscellaneous Animals
undated
4/2
Miscellaneous Birds
undated
4/3
Mountain Photographs, Glacier National Park and Grand Tetons
circa 1946
4/4
Oaks, Southwestern Arizona
undated
4/5
Point Lobos, California
undated
4/6
Rooster Rock
undated
4/7
Thompson Lake
undated
4/8
Self Portrait
circa 1923
4/9
Self Portrait, Birchwood Birds Records and Nature Notes, Field Notes I
1932-1954
4/10
Timberline Trees
undated
4/11
Trees
circa 1952
4/12
Unidentified Plants
undated
4/13
Unidentified Buildings
undated
4/14
Unidentified Landscapes
undated
4/15
Unidentified People and Animals
undated
4/16
Unidentified Southwestern Landscapes
undated
4/17
Yellowstone
undated
4/18
Yuccas
undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Geographical Names :
  • Northwestern States--Photographs
  • Southwestern States--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs
  • Occupations :
  • Naturalists--United States
  • Ornithologists--United States
  • Photographers--United States