Fritz-Metcalf Photograph Collection

The University of California’s Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library has announced the availability of a newly digitized photograph collection relating to forestry, conservation, and the lumber industry in California and the United States.

The collection comes about due to a long standing collaboration between Emanuel Fritz and Woodbridge Metcalf. Fritz and Metcalf were among the first to join the faculty of the new School of Forestry at UC Berkeley in the early years of the 20th century. Fritz taught forestry at the University from 1919 to 1954, while Metcalf served on the forestry faculty from 1914 until 1956.

Extension Foresters Metcalf of California, Lunnum of Washington, and Goodmonson of Oregon at Christmas tree meeting, 1952

Woodbridge Metcalf (at left)

Emanuel Fritz riding a lumber load on the Meadow Valley Grays Flat lumber tramway

Emanuel Fritz

The two men were also avid amateur photographers, and together amassed a collection of nearly 9,000 photographs documenting their passionate involvement with forestry and the University. Subjects of the photographs include:

  • The activities of the University of California Berkeley’s School of Forestry, including the Forestry Club and Forestry Summer Camp
  • Forest research, reforestation and conservation
  • Fire protection, firefighting equipment, and lookout stations
  • Logging operations and equipment
  • Lumber mills
  • Roads, railroads, bridges, and other logging infrastructure
  • The University campus

The bulk of the photographs were taken between 1910 and 1960 by Fritz and Metcalf, with contributions by other affiliates and friends of the University’s School of Forestry. Professor Fritz, a member of the faculty from 1919 until 1954, was a widely-respected expert on the Coast Redwood. Professor Metcalf was on the faculty from 1914 until 1956, and during his more than three decades as Extension Forester consulted on tree farm projects throughout the West. Both were highly active in conservation organizations such as the Save-the-Redwoods League and the California Conservation Council. The Fritz-Metcalf Photograph Collection is a rich resource for those interested in the history of forestry, logging, fire prevention, and the University’s School of Forestry, and is one of 18 photograph collections housed in the Bioscience Library.

Joe Flynn on tramway

Joe Flynn, a member of the Camp Califorest class of 1926 returning to the sawmill from the yards and planing mills of the Spanish Peak Lumber Company over their lumber tramway (photo #1465)

The approximately 9,000 images in the Fritz-Metcalf Photograph Collection can be browsed or searched online at:

For additional assistance with the collection please contact:
Norma Kobzina
Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library
2101 VLSB #6500
U.C. Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6500

Focus on Canadian Environmental History

By Julia Hendry, Archivist

The Wilfrid Laurier University Archives and Special Collections collects primary materials on the environment in Canada, with special emphases on water resources, Biosphere Reserves, and Canada’s north.  The archives aims to document aspects of environmental policy in Canada, particularly the role of non-governmental agencies and academic researchers in influencing policy about environmental conservation. Some of our holdings include the records of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, and the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association.

The Laurier Archives is one of the only archival repositories in the country with a primary focus on collecting non-governmental records about the environment. As a relatively new archives, our collecting work is just beginning. Being part of a discussion about the future of environmental history would help us establish collecting priorities, ensuring that we are collecting records that will be useful to researchers.

About archivist Julia Hendry:
I have been the Head of Archives and Special Collections at Wilfrid Laurier University since January 2010. Prior to coming to Laurier, I worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I was the University Archivist, and before that, in charge of the historical manuscript collection. I have a great deal of experience working with historical researchers to connect them with appropriate primary sources. In addition, one of my particular areas of interest is incorporating primary documents into classroom teaching. I think that having the perspective of an archivist would enliven your discussions, and that keeping the archival community involved will help us to support the work of environmental historians now and in the future.

Contact info:
Wilfrid Laurier University Library
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON
Canada N2L 3C5
519-884-0710 x3825

Origins of Earth Day, Environmental Movement Come to Life on New Website

A new website, “Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day: The Making of the Modern Environmental Movement,” tells the story of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson and how his idea, conceived as a “national teach-in on the environment,” became a historic turning point.

Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day contains more than 200 webpages with more than 500 original documents, images, quotes, video clips, and media from Nelson’s three terms as a U.S. senator from Wisconsin and his subsequent work as counselor of The Wilderness Society. The documents are from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s extensive collection of Gaylord Nelson papers donated by the former senator 20 years ago.

Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day is a remarkable resource for teachers, students, scholars, and citizens wanting to learn more about the values, people, ideas, and social movements that have come to shape the changing landscape of American environmentalism,” says Gregg Mitman, interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The website is a cooperative venture of the Nelson Institute, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and the Nelson family. The website was researched by Brian Hamilton and designed by Melanie McCalmont. Consulting scholar was Adam Rome.

“Gaylord Nelson is today best remembered as the father of Earth Day, but his political career offers a wider and more revealing window on the transformation of American environmental politics during the middle decades of the 20th century,” says UW-Madison environmental historian William Cronon. “Anyone interested in Nelson or the history of environmentalism will want to explore this site, which also offers a treasure trove of online documents as a model for how archival materials can be made more widely available over the web.”

Earth Day at 40 Exhibits and Conference

The Wisconsin Historical Society also plans two special exhibits beginning in March – one about Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day, at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in downtown Madison, the other about Gaylord Nelson’s life and career – at the Society’s headquarters on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

The Nelson Institute will mark the anniversary with a public conference, “Earth Day at 40: Valuing Wisconsin’s Environmental Traditions, Past, Present, and Future,” April 20-21 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.  Confirmed speakers include environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., author Margaret Atwood, and Wilderness Society president William Meadows.

For further details about the Web site, visit:

Information, images, and other resources to help journalists cover the 40th anniversary of Earth Day are available at:

For information about the historical exhibits and April conference, visit: