Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the records document the activities of the organization from its founding in 1901 through the 1990's. reflecting the stewardship of its successive presidents (and vice presidents) including William Dutcher, T. Gilbert Pearson, John H. Baker, Carl W. Buchheister, Charles H. Callison, Elvis J. Stahr, Russell W. Peterson, and Peter A.A. Berle, and the work of its several departments and divisions.
The records chronicle the transformation of the National Audubon Society from a relatively small association of ornithologists concerned primarily with the protection of migratory birds along the Atlantic seaboard, into one of the largest and most influential members of the movement for environmental conservation. Included are collateral records relating to the Audubon movement in its early stages including records of the American Ornithologists' Union, and files of photographs and printed matter.
The National Audubon Society records are arranged in four series:
The records in Section A. document the first three decades of the organization's existence from its founding in 1901 and incorporation in 1905 to the mid 1930s. The records reflect the leadership of William Dutcher, NAS first president, and that of his successor T. Gilbert Pearson. Included are collateral papers and records dating from 1881, relating to William Dutcher and to the Audubon movement in its earlier period.
Section A is arranged into nine series:
A.1 Ornithological Correspondence of William Dutcher, 1883-1907 A.2 Correspondence of the Presidents and Other Officers of the NAS, 1901-1930 A.3 Sales and Subscriptions Correspondence, 1910-1932 A.4 Warden's Reports, 1901-1934 A.5 Additional Records of the NAS Societies, 1906-1932 A.6 Field Notes and Diaries of William Dutcher ,1881-1906 A.7 Frank M. Chapman, Editor of Bird-Lore, circa 1899-1930s A.8 American Ornithologists' Union, 1885-1902 A.9 Audubon Society of the State of New York, 1897-1912
The records in Section B. document the organization's activities from circa 1934 to 1991, reflecting the leadership of its successive presidents and vice presidents including John H. Baker (1934-1959), Carl W. Buchheister (1959-1969), Charles H. Callison (1960-1977), Elvis J. Stahr (1968-1979), Russell W. Peterson (1979-1985), and Peter A. A. Berle (1985-1991) as well as the work of other administrative officers and staff and the organization's departments and divisions.
Section B is arranged into in six series: B.1 Files of the Presidents, Vice presidents and General Files; B.2 Files of Other Administrative Officers; B.3 Department and Divisional Files; B.4 Corporate Minutes; B.5 Miscellaneous Records; B.6 Topical Files
The photographs in Section C. consist of black and white photographic prints, glass plate negatives, film negatives, and color slides of bird species and the natural environment. Most of the photographs were taken by William Leon Dawson whose work focused on the scenic beauty of the outdoors and on the multitude of bird species inhabiting the Western United States. Avian species represented in the collection include Avocets, Brewer's Blackbird, Pied-billed Grebe, Screech Owl, and the Prairie Warbler.
Complementing these photographs are Dawson's images of the natural scenery of the West Coast, and to a lesser extent Florida and Montana. Also represented are other professional observers of nature including painter Allan Brooks, author and photographer Herbert K. Job, and a few anonymous photographers. There are several lapel buttons at the end of the series.
Section C. is arranged in three subseries: Avian Photographs by Dawson, 1899-1925; Geographical Images of Western United States by Dawson, 1905-1928; Photographs by Others