A Guide to the Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence, 1945 Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence Ms2011-082

A Guide to the Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence, 1945

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2011-082


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2011 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Andrea Ledesma, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist, Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2011-082
Title
Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence, 1945
Physical Characteristics
0.1 cu. ft. 1 folder
Creator
Brown, Ralph Minthorne
Language
English
Abstract
The collection consists of Ralph Brown's 1945 compilation of correspondence on passenger pidgeons.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Passenger Pigeon Correspondence must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence, Ms2011-082, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred to Special Collection at Virginia Tech in July 2011.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Passenger Pidgeon Correspondence was completed in September 2011.


Biographical Note

Ralph M. Brown (1848-1958) was a Virginia Tech head librarian, amateur historian, and naturalist.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Ralph Brown's 1945 compilation of correspondence on passenger pidgeons.

Brown was a VPI librarian working under the request of a professor A. L. Dean. of the V. P. I. Agricultural extension division. The latter had made inquiries to ornithologists regarding "the possibility that the extermination of the passenger pidgeon was caused by disease."

All the six ornithologists contacted disagreed with Dean's hypothesis. "Market hunting," not illness, they affirmed, brought about the end to the passenger pigeon.

More specifically, Dr. S. C. Bishop of the University of Rochester wrote that "so far as [he] is concerned, there [was] no particular mystery about the end of the Passenger Pigeon. It was slaughtered by the millions." John T. Zimmer and A. C. Bent who represent the American Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Institution, respectively, also agreed. Nonetheless, Bent offers some hope to the initial theory by noting that "there may have been some disease or weakening from in-breeding, which brought about the end." Similarly the Smithsonian's Dr. A. Wetmore and Virginia's J. J. Murray provide Dean with some additional readings on ornithological history.

Brown sent the compilation, upon completion, to Dr. W. A. Murrell of the University of Florida.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by material type.

Related Material

Ralph M. Brown also compiled the V. P. I. Historical Index, 1872-1941. The finding aid can be found online. Items within this collection include histories on Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and the New River Valley and observation notes on weather and ornithology.

Separated Material


Index Terms

    Subjects:

  • Ornithology
  • Local Subjects:

  • Faculty
  • Science and Technology
  • University Archives

Contents List

Folder 1
Compiled correspondence, 1945