Guide to the Ridgway Family Papers,
1864-1950

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Overview of the Collection

Title: Ridgway Family Papers
Dates: 1864-1950 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 5 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
Collection Number: USU_CAINE COLL MSS 8
Summary: The Ridgway Family Papers contain correspondence and illustrations that contribute to the knowledge of scientific research in the American West during the 1860s and of American scientific illustration during the latter part of the 19th century
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Material in English 

Biographical Note

Robert was born on July 2, 1850 in Mount Carmel, Illinois to David and Harriet Ridgway. By the age of 14 Ridgway had been sent away from home, to work for an uncle. Thus some of the earliest letters in the collection are from this time period, 1864-65. Even at this early age his correspondence reveals Robert's keen interest in ornithology. This interest in ornithology and illustration also surfaced in letters written to Spencer Baird, chief ornithologist, and second in command at the Smithsonian Institution. By 1865, the two had developed a lively correspondence that revolved around ornithology.

Robert returned to Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1868 and went to work for the Smithsonian Institution. His primary duty was to prepare a report on his fieldwork. In 1869 he returned to the West to rejoin the expedition at Salt Lake City, Utah. He spent the summer of 1869 working on specimen collection around the Great Salt Lake and in the Wasatch Mountains. This short trip to Salt Lake City generated five letters to and from Ridgway and his mother and Baird. The remainder of the correspondence is mainly between Robert and his mother, while he worked at the Smithsonian. The contents of these letters usually involve family matters, local Illinois' happenings, and Robert's work. This set of correspondence ends in 1875. The remainder of the correspondence to Ridgway comes from a variety of people and some are dated as late as the 1920s. Of interest in this correspondence are a group of letters from Amelia Ridgway, an English relative. These letters discussed Ridgway's English family genealogy.

At the tender age of 17, Ridgway accepted an invitation, by survey director Clarence King, to join the expedition as a zoologist. This opportunity became the starting point for an extremely successful career as a naturalist. The expedition was manned by men in their mid 20s and 30s, so a 17 year old was an oddity, even among this group of young professionals. Due to his age, and his boyhood enthusiasm, the thirteen letters that the young ornithologist wrote home, during the two year survey, offer the scholar a point of view of the American West and of the survey work that is extraordinary. These letters range in content from a detailed list of the expedition's equipment, to descriptions of steamship travel through the Caribbean Sea, land travel through Panama, and travel through the Sierra Nevada mountains and through the Great Basin desert.

Born in 1859, John Ridgway rose to prominence in the field of scientific illustration. By the end of his career he had held the position of chief illustrator for the United States Geological Survey, and scientific illustrator for the California Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institution.

Content Description

The Ridgway papers constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge of scientific research in the American West during the 1860s and of American scientific illustration during the latter part of the 19th century. The collection spans a period from 1864 through the early 1940s and chronicles the lives of two important American naturalists, John and Robert Ridgway. The fact that the two were brothers, and that their collection contains a great deal of family material, adds a unique perspective to the collection. A portion of the collection relates to the preparation and participation of Robert Ridgway as a zoologist on the 1867-68 United States Geological Fortieth parallel Survey. The material on Robert also covers his work at the Smithsonian Institution during the 1870s. Unlike the material pertaining to Robert, the papers that belong to John Ridgway are illustrative. Because of these two distinct differences within the collection it has been organized into three areas: correspondence, miscellaneous, and art.

The correspondence selection pertains totally to Robert Ridgway. This early correspondence with Baird gave Ridgway an entree to be included in the U.S.G.S. Fortieth Parallel Survey of 1867.

In contrast to these letters, the correspondence that Ridgway received from his family portrays different concerns and interests. First and foremost, in the minds of his parents was a concern for his well-being. They worried about him falling off cliffs, being chased by Indians and other images that his parents conjured up about the wild West. The letters also desired to share in Robert's excitement, as they asked for photographs and fresh reports on his work. This correspondence clearly demonstrates the strong sense of family ties between the Ridgways.

The correspondence has been arranged in an alphabetical and chronological order. The outgoing correspondence, from Robert Ridgway, has been placed in chronological order, while the incoming correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Folders 1a, 1b, and 1c are an addendum to this collection and consist of twenty-one letters between Ridgway and Baird from 1844—1866. This correspondence provides a rich view of Ridgway's early artwork, bird watching, and involvement in the sciences. The materials in these three folders are photocopies of the originals housed in the Smithsonian Institute Archives, Record Unit 7167. The Smithsonian's citation numbers have been retained on these letters.

The material about and by John Ridgway is mainly artwork. In this collection are oil paintings, pencil drawings, brush drawings and pen and ink illustrations done by John. The earliest dated piece was done in 1889 and the latest dated piece was finished in 1942. The finest material, done by John, in the collection are a series of drawings and proof prints that have been placed into a scrapbook. Many of these pieces are unpublished.

The remainder of the material is miscellaneous and has been processed topically. The material consists of photographs, printed material, and family items.

Conservation Note: Conservation measures that have been taken for this collection are as follows. With the exception of the art, the remainder of the papers have been de-acidified in a solution of Wei T'O. Where necessary, the letters and other items have been repaired and encapsulated. The Ridgway papers have been placed into acid free folders and then housed in acid free Pohlig Brothers Boxes. Any nitrate photo negatives were removed and placed in cold storage.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Use :  

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Ridgway Family Papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: Ridgway Family Papers USU_CAINE COLL MSS 8 Box [ ], Fd [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_CAINE COLL MSS 8, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Incoming correspondence has been arranged in alphabetical and chronological order while outgoing correspondence has been arranged chronologically.

Processing Note :  

Processed in March of 2005

Acquisition Information :  

The materials in this collection were purchased in conjunction with the Newel Hart papers in 1984 by USU Special Collections & Archives for inclusion in the Marie Eccles-Caine Archive of Intermountain Americana.

Related Materials :  

44 drawings have been removed and placed in the Art and Book Arts Collection and can be found via the online catalog.

Separated Materials :  

Nitrate photo negatives were removed and placed in cold storage. Patrons must request to view these negatives 3 hours in advance.

Items removed to Art and Book Arts Collection:

One of John Ridgway's notebooks containing artist proofs and original pen and ink drawings that Ridgway drew while serving as the chief illustrator for the United States Geological Survey, and the scientific illustrator and artist for the California Institute of Technology and Carnegie Institution of Washington. (Portfolio Shelf 2-5, Box 251-R1)

Two art portfolios containing: 6" x 10" watercolor of two partridges by Robert Ridgway, 13-1/2" x 18" painting of two road runners by John Ridgway, 15" x 20" painting of two road runners by John Ridgway, 12-1/2" x 15" two red winged black birds by John Ridgway (1941), 13" x 16" painting of three birds by John Ridgway, 14-3/4" x 19" three purple crackles with a California city in the background by John Ridgway (1920), 10-1/2" x 15-1/2" painting of two mockingbirds mounted on a board by John Ridgway (1920), 7" x 10" drawings of a globe mounted on a board by John Ridgway (1920), 10" x 14" brush drawing of a foot-bone of a fossil elephant from a specimen at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, 4" x 9" oil painting of a vase with flowers by John Ridgway (1889), 9-1/2" x 4" oil painting of a vase signed "Study" by John Ridgway, 8" x 9" oil portrait of a woman artist by unknown artist, 11" x 15" painting of a northwestern mountain by unknown artist, 12" x 16" painting of two trees with mountains in the background by unknown artist, 10-1/2" x 12" pencil drawing of Mt. Caramel, Illinois, by unknown artist, 10-1/2" x 13" pencil drawing of two men in a newspaper office by unknown artist, 12-1/2" x 13" two drawings sketched on either side of a piece of illustrators paper by unknown artist, and 10" x 13-1/2" pastel of a river scene (probably set in the Midwest) by unknown artist. (Portfolio Shelf 2-5, Box 351-R1 and Box 351-R2)


Detailed Description of the Collection

Correspondence, 1864-1928
1 box, 35 folders
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
1 1 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1864
Box
Folder
1 1 To Spencer Baird [click to view]
Ridgway was inquiring of Baird for the names of several birds that he had observed. Baird returned the letter, dated it August 17, 1864, with the names of the birds in question written into the letter.
1864 August 7
1 1a Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway, to Spencer Baird
(photocopies from Smithsonian Institute Archive, Record Unit 7167)
1864
Box
Folder
1 1a To: Spencer Baird
Discusses types of birds and the number of eggs found in each bird's nest, he also requests the "Pacific Rail Record Report"
1865 July 4
1 1a To: Spencer Baird
Replies to letter and explains his individual bird drawings
1864 September 2
1 1a To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his individual bird drawings and inquires why he has received no response to his September 3 letter
1864 October 17
1 1a To: Spencer Baird
Acknowledges response to September 3 letter and asks for a catalogue on North American birds
1864 November 2
To: Spencer Baird
Discusses birds and asks why no response has been given his letters
1864 December 23
1 1b Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway, to Spencer Baird
(photocopies from Smithsonian Institute Archive, Record Unit 7167)
1865
Box
Folder
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his observations on Bald Eagles
1865 January 20
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Letter explains drawings attached
1865 March 13
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Criticizes photographer and other artists and then discusses his bird drawings
1865 April 8
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Reports on summer work
1865 July 23
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his observations of birds
1865 August 5
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
States that he needs paint and attaches a detailed report of his observations and studies
1865 October 15
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Discusses bird eggs and plans for the next summer
1865 October 31
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his upbringing and personal life
1865 November 13
1 1b To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his observations of birds
1865 December 23
1 1c Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway, to Spencer Baird
(photocopies from Smithsonian Institute Archive, Record Unit 7167)
1866
Box
Folder
1 1c To: Spencer Baird
Discusses work outlook for the year
1866 January 27
1 1c To: Spencer Baird
Complains for lack of paper to draw on and discusses his observations of birds
1866 February 13
1 1c To: Spencer Baird
Discusses three new egg types not found in bird manual
1866 July 31
1 1c To: Spencer Baird
Discusses his observations of birds
1866 August 10
1 1c To: Spencer Baird
Note concerning a shipment of eggs
1866 November 6
1 1c To: Spencer Baird,
Discusses his artwork
date is illegible
1 2 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1867
Box
Folder
1 2 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
The letter, sent form Cincinnati, Ohio gave details to his father about his current trip to Washington, D.C., to meet Spencer Baird
1867 April 18
1 2 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view]
The letter, sent from the Smithsonian institution, discussed Ridgway's upcoming meeting with Clarence King, in New York City, his trip west to San Francisco on the steamship "Henry Chauncey", and his ornithological work at the Smithsonian.
1867 May 5
1 2 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
The letter detailed to Robert's father what kind of equipment he had been outfitted with for the U.S.G.S. expedition.
1867 May 9
1 3 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1867
Box
Folder
1 3 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
The letter mailed from the steamer "Chauncey" at sea in the Caribbean told his father about his travels in the Caribbean and in the Panama area, with specific attention given to the flora and fauna of the areas
1867 May 17
1 3 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter again described to his father his travels through Panama and into the Pacific Ocean. It was mailed from the steamer "Constitution" at sea off of the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico
1867 May 25
1 4 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1867
Box
Folder
1 4 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view part 1] [click to view part 2]
This letter, titled Sacramento, California, Camp no. 1, U.S.G.S. described to his mother the establishment of the survey party's first camp. A second letter is torn in half with no date and no addressee. It was most likely sent to Harriet Ridgway, as the contents mention the word mother. The letter was postmarked by Ridgway's hand, from Carson City, Nevada and includes several hand drawn bird stamps
1867 June 24
1 5 Outgoing correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1867
Box
Folder
1 5 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from Camp #12 at Big Bend of Truckee, Nevada. The letter described to his mother his trip from Sacramento, California through the Sierra Nevada mountain range, into Nevada. Of particular interest was his description of Chinese railroad workers blasting granite on the Central Pacific railroad grade. He finishes with an outline of his upcoming trip to Pyramid Lake, Nevada
1867 August 11
1 5 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from Camp #17, "Banks of the Humboldt River," and it described, to his father, his trip with Mr. Parker (an Indian agent) and Mr. O'Sullivan (the U.S.G.S. photographer) to Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Part of this letter is missing
1867 September 1
1 5 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from "Camp #19 Buena Vista" and discussed his summer's field work. Of particular interest in this letter was a list of Piute Indian names for birds and simple expressions that Ridgway has put together
1867 October 15
1 6 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1868
Box
Folder
1 6 To Sister Fannie (Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from "Headquarters U.S. Geological Exploration 40th Parallel", Carson City, Nevada and detailed photographs that he had sent home with the letter. These photographs were not in this collection
1868 January 14
1 6 To (Harriet Ridgway?) [click to view]
postmarked the Great Salt Lake City, Utah. Part of this letter is missing, but the existing piece discussed survey events, and it mentions some of the party members. This letter was likely mailed during the middle of the summer of 1868
undated
1 6 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from the Smithsonian institution and was his first letter written home after returning to the east. The letter described his three day trip on the Union Pacific Railroad back to Washington, D.C. It also mentioned a discovery that he had made on western hawks
1868 November 21
1 7 Outgoing Correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1869
Box
Folder
1 7 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from the Smithsonian Institution and it discussed specimen collecting that was done the previous year on the survey
1869 January 19
1 7 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from the Smithsonian Institution. It discussed the report that he was compiling from his survey work and a book that he was currently preparing about North American raptors
1869 Dec. 13
1 7 To Father (David Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent form the Smithsonian Institution . It told his father about Clarence King's decision to drop zoology and botany from the next year's expedition. Ridgway had been offered a trip to the west, anyway, but the only compensation would be to have his expenses paid
1869 January 20
1 7 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from the U.S.G.S. headquarters, Salt Lake City, Utah. It mentioned family matters, Granville Turner, and Spencer Baird
1869 June 14
1 8 Outgoing correspondence from Robert Ridgway 1871
Box
Folder
1 8 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent from the Smithsonian institution and mentioned his completed manuscript compiled from his survey trip. He went onto tell his mother that he was currently helping Baird on the "Manual of the Birds of North America."
1871 February 11
1 8 To Mother (Harriet Ridgway) [click to view]
This letter was sent form the Smithsonian Institution and it requested his mother to send him a Black Hawk specimen.
1871 April 28
1 9 Letters of introduction prepared for Robert Ridgway 1867
Box
Folder
1 9 Spencer Baird to Samuel Hubbard [click to view]
The letter asked Hubbard assist Ridgway in preparing for his upcoming trip, with Clarence King, to the West
1867 May 8
1 9 Spencer Baird to Whom it may concern [click to view]
Letter includes a sheet of paper entitled "Persons to whom Mr. Ridgway is especially recommended."
1867 May 8
1 10 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1919 and 1921
Box
Folder
1 10 E.A. Abbott
This letter announced that Ridgway had been awarded the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal and Hornoalum from the National Academy of Sciences
1921 March 24
1 10 William F. Bade
The letter congratulates Ridgway on the recent publication of part viii of his Birds of North America publication
1919 August 21
1 11 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1864-1865
Box
Folder
1 11 Spencer Baird [click to view]
This letter explained to Ridgway were he could find a copy of Baird's book, Birds of North America
1864 July 12
1 11 Spencer Baird [click to view] 1865 February 2
1 11 Spencer Baird [click to view] 1865 July 29
1 11 Spencer Baird [click to view]
The above letters all answered Ridgway's ornithology questions
1865 August 16
1 12 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1866
Box
Folder
1 12 Spencer Baird [click to view] 1866 October 26
1 12 Spencer Baird [click to view]
These two letters discussed bird specimens that Ridgway had sent to Baird
1866 November 7
1 13 Incoming Correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1869
Box
Folder
1 13 Spencer Baird [click to view]
To Ridgway in Salt Lake City, Utah. It discussed Utah specimens that Ridgway had sent to Baird and ones that he was to collect
1869 June 22
1 13 Spencer Baird [click to view]
To Ridgway in Salt Lake City, Utah. The letter mentioned items Ridgway had collected in the Wasatch Mountains
1869 July 4
1 14 Incoming Correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1869-1919
Box
Folder
1 14 Cora Beauman [?] May 24
1 14 Frank M. Chapman
The letter concerns Ridgway's move toward publishing his work on "Color standards"
1914 April 17
1 14 John W. Daniel
A twelve page letter discussing birds that Daniel had seen in Virginia.
1919 September 29
1 14 S.F. Emmons [click to view]
The letter explained to Ridgway now he was to meet with Clarence King, in Chicago, in order to receive money to return west
1869 May 6
1 15 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway 1866
Box
Folder
1 15 W.B. Holbrook
This letter acknowledges receipt of parts III and IV of the Birds of North America
1919 September 29
1 15 R.H. Howland
The letter explained to Ridgway the importance of his book on Color Standards was to his company, Niagra, Lithograph
1921 March 4
1 15 R.H. Howland
The letter acknowledges the receipt of Ridgway's Color Standards book
1921 March 12
1 15 John F. Kelley
Amateur naturalist living in the Adirondacks of New York State asking for information about ornithology
1917 February 17
1 15 Minnie J. King 1932 Christmas
1 15 da Costa Lima 1927 February 15
1 15 Albert Loius
Inquired if Ridgway would be interested in seeing specimens of hawks and owls from Minnesota and Arkansas
1919 Oct. 25
1 16 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway 1914
Box
Folder
1 16 Amelia Ridgway, Oct. 19 (received January 30, 1914)
Comments on his writings and enquired about his family genealogy. Amelia was writing from Fernbrook College, North Wales.
1 16 Amelia Ridgway
A chatty letter that informed Ridgway about his English family ties
1914 February 14
1 17 Incoming Correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1917
Box
Folder
1 17 Amelia Ridgway
This letter discussed the Ridgway family and described her family home in North Wales
1917 January 16
1 18 Amelia Ridgway
The letter contained material from Amelia: A photograph of Ellen Ridgway, and essay entitled Sheplegh Court, Blackawton, S. Devon, the Late Colonel's Home, a flyer about Dr. John Ridgway, and a flyer about the Fernbrook school
1922 October 15
1 19 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway
This folder includes three, undated, letters form Ridgway's wife. Evelyn Perkins Ridgway, that describe her last will and testament. Also included in the folder are insurance policy receipts, and the Ridgway's Marriage license
1 20 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1865, 1867
Harriet J. and Fannie Ridgway
This letter was written to Robert while he was away from home working for his uncle. It discussed primarily family matters
1865 May
Box
Folder
1 20 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed family concerns
1865 May 25
1 20 Harriet J. Ridgway [click to view]
This letter was sent to Robert while he was on the expedition. It outlines the family's concern for his well-being and fills him in on family happenings
1867 August 4
1 20 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter requested photographs from Robert and told him about the family
1867 August 25
1 21 Incoming Correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1868
Box
Folder
1 21 Harriet J. Ridgway 1868 February 23
1 21 Harriet J. Ridgway 1868 March 23
1 21 Harriet J. Ridgway
These letters express topics such as their concern for Robert, his brother John, his father's illness, and family financial troubles
1868 August 30
1 22 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1869
Box
Folder
1 22 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed family matters
1869 January 31
1 22 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed happenings in Olney and Mount Carmel, Illinois and Robert's forthcoming visit home
1869 February 13
1 22 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter mentioned Robert's attendance at the inauguration of President Grant, his work with Spencer Baird, and family concerns
1869 March 14
1 22 Harriet J. Ridgway
Ridgway received this letter in Salt Lake City, Utah and it discussed family matters
1869 May 18
1 22 Harriet J. Ridgway 1869 December 26
1 23 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway 1870
Box
Folder
1 23 Harriet J. Ridgway 1870 February 7
1 23 Harriet J. Ridgway 1870 March 13
1 23 Harriet J. Ridgway 1870 November 7
1 23 Harriet J. Ridgway
These letters follow a similar theme of family and local happenings
1870 November 20
1 24 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway 1871
Box
Folder
1 24 Harriet J. Ridgway 1871 February 5
1 24 Harriet J. Ridgway 1871 February 21
1 24 Harriet J. Ridgway 1871 March 11
1 24 Harriet J. Ridgway 1871 April 9
1 24 Harriet J. Ridgway
Again these letters revolve around the themes of family and local occurrence
1871 December 24
1 25 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1872-1873
Box
Folder
1 25 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed deaths in the family and the family drugstore
1873 February 2
1 25 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed Robert's brother John's talent for drawing and the family's financial troubles
1872 March 17
1 25 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter addressed family matters
1872 November 24
1 26 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1874-1875
Box
Folder
1 26 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed Robert's brother john's schooling and work with biological specimens
1874 October 17
1 26 Harriet J. Ridgway
This letter discussed family matters, brother John and Miss Perkins, Ridgway's future bride, and Lucien Turner's trip to Alaska
1874 April 12
1 26 Harriet J. Ridgway 1874 May 19
1 26 Harriet J. Ridgway 1874 August 20
1 26 Harriet J. Ridgway
These last three letters discuss family and community matters
1875 April 11
1 27 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1876
Box
Folder
1 27 Harriet J. Ridgway March 6, 1876
1 27 Harriet J. Ridgway July 15, 1879
1 27 Harriet J. Ridgway
These letters discuss family issues and local matters
July 25, 1879
1 28 This folder contains nine letters from Harriet Ridgway to Robert. They primarily discuss family and community matters Undated
1 29 Incoming correspondence received by Robert Ridgway 1875
Box
Folder
1 29 J.C. Ridgway
This letter thanks Robert for his hospitality in showing his cousin Lydia around Washington, D.C. It also gives an excellent account of the Ridgway family in America
1875 March 22
1 29 Nannae ("from your sister") [?] December 13
1 30 Incoming correspondence received by Ridgway 1867, 1919-1920
Box
Folder
1 30 B.H. Swales
This letter discussed a shipment of bird eggs and birds from a Dr. Abbott and a Mr. Duln. The specimens were sent from Haiti
1919 May 17
1 30 J. Wymans
This letter acknowledges the receipt of Ridgway's book on color standards
1920 April 28
1 30 Name illegible 1867 March 10
1 31 Miscellaneous items 1874
Box
Folder
1 31 1: Letter/poem written by C.W. Ridgway at Kirkwood, MO 1874 Sept. 27
1 31 2: Written to his friends and co-workers upon his retirement
1 31 3: Second page of a letter, no date, name illegible
1 32 Incoming correspondence received by Mrs. Palmiter (Robert's sister) in care of Robert Ridgway 1928-1929
Box
Folder
1 32 1: Harriet W. Cory 1928 Aug. 28
1 32 2: Letter mailed to Mrs. Palmiter, c/o of Robert Ridgway, thanking addressee and Robert for hospitality during a recent visit
1 32 3: Mrs. R.D. McDorman 1929 March 20
1 32 4: Letter mailed to Mrs. Palmiter expressing wished to visit her and her brother (Robert)
1 33 1 Sketch [currently in Art and Book Arts Collection] undated
Box
Folder
1 33 1: A sketch by John Ridgway titled "Sketch of Self Looking Into Double Mirror"
(Medium: DR, graphite; 1985.24.1)
ca. 1900
1 34 Reference material of Robert Ridgway
This folder contains 48 pages of hand-written bibliographic cards and reference notes, presumably for his article "Birds of North and Middle America."
Undated
1 35 Envelopes: This folder contains 12 envelopes undated

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Reference material and proofs of articles, undated
1 box, 12 folders

Folders 1-6: Hand written bibliographic information in alphabetical order by folder.

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 1 A-C
17 items
Undated
2 2 D-J
10 items
Undated
2 3 L-N
21 items
Undated
2 4 O-R
19 items
Undated
2 5 S
47 items
Undated
2 6 T-Z
11 items
Undated
2 7-11
These folders contain editor or author proofs of "The Birds of North and Middle America", Bulletin U.S. National Museum, no 50, Part III, 8 Vols
undated
2 12 Misc. items
2 envelopes, 2 scraps of letters proof of essay, "The Ligneous Flora of Richland County, Illinois" by Robert Ridgway
Undated

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Editors proofs, Robert Ridgway's obituaries, and John Ridgway's Manuscript and sketches, Undated
1 box, 13 folders

[Note: the following folders are in the Art and Book Arts Collection: Fd 9, Fd 10, Fd 11, Fd 12, Fd 13]

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
3 1-6 These folders contain editor or author proofs of "The Birds of North America" Undated
3 7 News clippings and obituaries about Robert Ridgway, press release about Ridgway from the Olney, Illinois Chamber of Commerce
3 8 A hand written manuscript by John L. Ridgway on the subject of Scientific illustration. Scientific Illustration. Stanford University, Press. 1938
(33 pages) This is most likely an early draft of John Ridgway's book
3 9 Miscellaneous sketches, most likely drawn by either John L. or Robert Ridgway
10 items
Undated
Box
Folder
3 9 Untitled. Two birds, foliage and branches ca. 1900
3 9 Fig. 4. Sketch showing general scheme of vanishing lines in a perspective vie and a PMT of the Sketch with ink corrections. ca. 1920
3 9 Untitled. Wing of songsparrow. ca. 1900
3 9 Untitled. Bird with MS color notations. ca. 1900
3 9 Untitled. Bird with MS color notations. ca. 1900
3 9 Untitled. Four sparrows(?) ca. 1900
3 9 Untitled. Sparrows and woodpecker. c. 1900
3 9 Untitled. (2 birds, branches) c. 1900
3 9 Untitled. Recto: Four birds [sparrows?] foraging. Verso: Bird [roadrunner] with mss color notations. Both ca. 1900
3 10 Sketches of birds
17 items
undated
Box
Folder
3 10 Untitled. 15 small line drawings of seabirds, done on tracing tissue mounted on index cards or scrap paper, by John L. Ridgway ca. 1900
3 10 Poison Ivy, by John L. or Robert Ridgway. ca. 1900
3 10 Virginia Creeper: American Woodbine, by John L. or Robert Ridgway ca. 1900
3 11 Sketches
4 items
Undated
Box
Folder
3 11 Untitled. Recto: study of bird in flight [3 views] with separate graphite, wc color studies. Verso: Mss and color studies, by John L. Ridgway ca. 1900
3 11 Untitled. Line study of tail feathers, by Robert Ridgway
3 11 Untitled. Line study of bird in flight and flowers, by John L. or Robert Ridgway
3 12 Sketches done by John Ridgway
5 items
undated
Box
Folder
3 12 Samuel Richard Beck. 1876 August 13
3 12 Recto: View in Mt. Caramel. Verso: Nanny drawn from life by JRL c. 1875
3 12 Untitled. Man riding horse. Fragment. Torn at right c. 1875
3 12 Recto: Untitled. Man riding horse, leading another horse with a rein. Verso: Untitled. Portrait of a girl. 1875 June 11 and 1874 May 26 (respectively)
3 12 Recto: Carriage, driver, and passenger. Verso: Untitled. WC washes Both ca. 1875
3 12 First original bird picture. 1881 July 21
3 13 Various sketches by John L. Ridgway undated
Box
Folder
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, head, fore paw undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, head undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, head undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, head undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, haunch undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger, head undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger undated
3 13 Untitled. Line drawing of sabre-toothed tiger body and woodpecker undated
3 14 Various sketches Undated
Box
Folder
3 14 Watercolor by DE Wright

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Photographs, and personal items from the Ridgway brother, Undated
1 box, 9 folders

All nitrate negatives from this box have been removed and placed in cold storage

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
4 1 5 cyanotype photographs of a falcon Undated
4 2 2 photographs of Robert Ridgway [click to view one of two photos]
One negative removed and placed in cold storage
Undated
4 3 7 photographs of unidentified people, most likely Ridgway family members
One negative removed and placed in cold storage
Undated
4 4 4 photographs, 2 mounted 8x10" pictures of Watkin's Glen, New York; 1 picture of the interior of a Washington, D.C. living room most likely belonging to Robert Ridgway Undated
4 5 Photograph album that includes a picture of Mrs. Robert Ridgway, and one unidentified tintype Undated
4 6 Photographs and negatives belonging to John Ridgway.
Four negatives removed and placed in cold storage
Undated
4 7 Christmas cards and bird identification cards belonging to John Ridgway Undated
4 8 A 4"x 6" notebook that was apparently passed through the Ridgway family. It contains notes and drawings by both John and Robert, as well as pharmaceutical formulas written in German Undated
4 9 Schribner's Ready Reckoner Log Book, George Fisher Publisher. Rochester, New York 1864

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Published material, 1886
4 folders
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
5 1 Articles about a proposed bird sanctuary to be developed at Robert Ridgway's Olney, Illinois property
5 2 Harry Harris, "Robert Ridgway with a Bibliography of his Published Writings and Fifty illustrations, "reprinted from the Condor, XXX, 5-18 1928 January
5 3 Reprints from the Condor in the possession of John Ridgway including an article entitled "Needless Photographic Failures"
5 4 Book of Common Prayer, with an 1886 insert for Evening Prayer 1881

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Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Ridgway, John (John Livesy) 1859
    • Ridgway, Robert, 1850-1929
    • Subject Terms :
    • Botanists--United States--Archives
    • Naturalists--United States--Archives
    • Ornithologists--United States--Archives
    • Scientific illustrators--United States--Archives

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