Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Conservation of another kind

MS_150311_0490-edit-resized.jpgAs its name implies, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) holds the conservation of wildlife and wild places as its central mission.  Not surprisingly, many of the posts here on “Wild Things”—the blog for the WCS Archives—highlight WCS’s historical conservation efforts.  This post, however, features a different kind of ‘conservation’: recent work performed on some of the Archives’ own materials. Continue reading

Notes from the Field

4062-01-05-1972-02-NYZS-CFBCarticle Processing the records of the New York Zoological Society’s (now the Wildlife Conservation Society) Center for Field Biology and Conservation (CFBC) was like a crash course in the Society’s field research and wildlife conservation efforts of the 1970s. In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse of both the CFBC’s history, as seen through its records, and the processing process itself. (Archival terms are linked to the Society of American Archivists glossary.)  Continue reading

WCS Luminaries, Wikipedia, and Increasing Access to Archives

Wildlife Conservation Society_35307_Jocelyn Crane Griffin With Crab_BZ_01 20 66 One way to trace the history of an organization is through the people who worked for it.

Recently, I’ve been working on a project to write biographies of some key figures in the history of WCS and upload these to Wikipedia. This has the advantage of not only providing a historical resource about the person but also broadening awareness of WCS’s history.   Continue reading

Trail blazing for women scientists: Gloria Hollister Anable’s papers

Gloria Hollister on a suspension bridge at Garraway, British Guiana, 1936. Scanned from WCS Archives Collection 1006

Processing the collection of Gloria Hollister Anable has been an enlightening experience not only because of her extraordinary life but also because of her obscurity. Relatively unknown outside of conservation circles, Hollister took part in several expeditions for the New York Zoological Society (NYZS), including Dr. William Beebe’s expeditions to Bermuda. During one such expedition to Nonsuch Island, Hollister descended in the Bathysphere, an underwater submersible, to a depth of 1,208 feet – at that time a record for a deep-sea dive completed by a woman. Hollister led her own expedition to British Guiana in 1936, worked in the first Red Cross blood bank during World War II, and in the 1950s was chairwoman of the Mianus River Gorge Conservation Committee. Continue reading

Working in the Wild

4041-1976-Bryceson-Conway-thumbnail.jpgIn the 1970s, the New York Zoological Society [NYZS] increased its efforts in international conservation, sponsoring external researchers and conservationists with projects that furthered the NYZS mission of protecting wildlife and wild places.  NYZS-sponsored researchers conducted field work in countries far from home, often for several months at a time.  Reporting back to the Society, they shared exciting scientific findings or provided updates on conservation efforts in regions including East Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.  But amid the progress reports and publications full of data from the field, the correspondence from field researchers gives a sense of the physical and logistical difficulties of conducting international research.  Continue reading

Preserving Special Format Items in the WCS Archives

Project-Oversize-04If you descended the stairs to the WCS Archives on a Wednesday over the last four months, you might have seen tables and holding shelves set up in the outer room, and boxes, storage tubes, building plans, artwork, and large documents (and lots of interleaving tissue) everywhere–along with two unfamiliar but friendly faces!  Continue reading