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Bridges, William. NYZS Department of Publications Curator records, 1933-1977  

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Guide to the records of the New York Zoological Society Department of Publications Curator, William Bridges, 1933-1977

Guide to the Records of the New York Zoological Society Department of Publications Curator, William Bridges, 1933-1977 2006

Guide to the Records of the New York Zoological Society Department of Publications Curator, William Bridges, 1933-1977
2006

Collection Overview

Repository
Wildlife Conservation Society Archives
Creator
Bridges, William, 1901-1984
Collection Number
2006
Title
New York Zoological Society. Department of Publications. Curator of Publications. William Bridges records
Date
1933-1977
Extent
3.87 linear feet (3 cartons, 3 flat boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
William Bridges (1901-1984) was appointed Editor and Curator of Publications of the New York Zoological Society in 1935 and Curator of Publications Emeritus in 1966. This collection consists of papers relating to the Department of Publications while headed by Elwin R. Sanborn (1901-1935) and William Bridges (1935-1966). The collection also contains correspondence, notes, research articles, typescripts, revisions, production notes, and page proofs pertaining to articles and books written by Bridges for the New York Zoological Society, including New York Aquarium Book of the Water World (1970) and Gathering of Animals: An Unconventional History of the New York Zoological Society (1974).

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Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • New York Aquarium.
  • New York Zoological Park.
  • New York Zoological Society.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bridges, William, 1901-1984
  • Sanborn, Elwin R., (Elwin Roswell)

Subject(s)

  • New York Zoological Park -- History
  • New York Zoological Society -- History
  • Zoo animals

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible access restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.

Processing Information

Finding aid created and collection processed by Shayna Marchese, Queens College intern, October 2011.

Repository Contact

Wildlife Conservation Society Archives

2300 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY, 10460
718.220.6874
library@wcs.org

Related Collections

Collection 1001. William T. Hornaday and W. Reid Blair incoming correspondence and subject files, 1895-1939.

Collection 1004. Lee S. Crandall records, 1903-1969.

Collection 1008. William Beebe records, circa 1894-1932.

Collection 1017. William Beebe and John Tee-Van records, 1909-1947.

Collection 1022. Raymond L. Ditmars records, 1925-1940.

 

Preferred Citation

[Item], [Date]. William Bridges records, 1933-1977. Collection 2006. Wildlife Conservation Society Archives, New York.

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Biographical Note

William Andrew Bridges (January 27, 1901-March 28, 1984) was the Editor and Curator of Publications for the New York Zoological Society from 1935 until his retirement in 1966. He wrote many books on animals both during and after his tenure at the Zoo, including Gathering of Animals: An Unconventional History of the New York Zoological Society, published in 1974 for the Zoo's 75th anniversary. He also wrote articles regularly for the Zoological Society Bulletin (1935-1941) and Animal Kingdom (1942-1974).

Born in Franklin, Indiana, Bridges’s earliest job was as a paperboy for The Franklin Star. At thirteen, he began working in the Star's print shop, learning skills such as setting linotype. In 1919, he began attending Franklin College, where he edited the yearbook; by his senior year he also edited and reported for the college's newspaper. After graduating in 1923, he moved to Paris to work as a rewrite man at the American edition of the Chicago Tribune. Bridges returned to Franklin for a year in 1925 to work at the Star before heading back to Paris to work at the Paris Times.

He moved back to the United States for good in 1928, first living in Greenwich Village and later in Pleasantville, NY. He joined the rewrite staff of The New York Sun in 1929. In 1934 he traveled to Trinidad and British Guinea to report on Dr. Raymond L. Ditmars's search for the venomous bushmaster snake; Ditmars was a herpetologist at the New York Zoological Society. This began Bridges's career of writing about animals. He wrote human interest stories about the Bronx Zoo for the Sun up until the retirement of Elwin R. Sanborn, whereupon Bridges was hired on December 31, 1934 as its Curator of Publications. He was chosen to travel to the Belgian Congo on a Zoological Society expedition to find the rare Congo Peacock because of his knowledge of the French language and continued to travel extensively, mainly in Central America and Africa. He wrote countless articles for both the Zoo and for outside publications. Bridges was the author of 19 books on animals, 15 of which were written during his tenure at the Zoo. After retiring, he wrote The Bronx Zoo Book of Wild Animals (1968), New York Aquarium Book of the Water World (1970), Zoo Careers (1971), and Gathering of Animals.

Bridges was married three times. Lynn Vandivier attended Frankiln College with Bridges and was married to him in Paris in 1924. She passed away in 1949. His second marriage was to Lucille Hedges in 1962. After her passing in 1968, he married Nana Hedges Marts in 1969.

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Scope and Content

The collection consists mainly of the work of William Bridges as Curator and Curator Emeritus of Publications at the New York Zoological Society. It includes the correspondence and publication materials of the Department of Publications while headed by Elwin R. Sanborn (1901-1935) and William Bridges (1935-1966). Bridges's records while Curator of Publications include correspondence, typescripts, research notes, and requisition forms. After his retirement in 1966, Bridges continued to write about the Zoo; his records from that era contain correspondence, notes, research articles, typescripts, revisions, production notes, and page proofs. There are also two scrapbooks: one is newspaper clippings compiled by Bridges while working at the New York Sun, and the other was made for Bridges's retirement in 1966, containing writing, photographs, and illustrations compiled by his colleagues at the Zoo.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged in four series, with additional subseries divisions:

Series 1
 Office of Curator. Elwin R. Sanborn and William Bridges records, 1915-1967 Subseries 1A: Correspondence Subseries 1B: Publication materials
Series 2
 Curator of Publications. William Bridges records, 1935-1966 Subseries 2A: Correspondence Subseries 2B: Publication materials Subseries 2C: Requisitions
Series 3
 Curator Emeritus of Publications. William Bridges records, 1967-1975, chronological by publication date Subseries 3A: The Bronx Zoo Book of Wild Animals, 1968 Subseries 3B: New York Aquarium Book of the Water World, 1970 Subseries 3C: Zoo Careers, 1971 Subseries 3D: Gathering of Animals, 1974
Series 4
 Scrapbooks, 1933-1966

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Curator of Publications. Elwin R. Sanborn and William Bridges records, 1915-1967 

Subseries a: Correspondence, 1915-1967 

Elwin R. Sanborn records, 1915-1940 

Box

Beebe, William, 1922-1937 

1

Keller, Helen, 1923-1924   

Scope and Contents note

Regarding an article Sanborn requested by Keller for the September 1923 Zoological Society Bulletin.

1

Hornaday, William T., 1915-1928 

1

Townsend, C. H., 1923 

1

Miscellaneous, 1924-1940 

Scope and Contents note

Letters concerning photography and publicity.

1

William Bridges records, 1938-1967 

Box

Beebe, William, 1938-1961 

1

Bransom, Paul, 1946 

1

Ditmars, R. L., 1942 

1

Gypsy Rose Lee, 1954 

Scope and Contents note

Letter from Lee to the Zoo asking for a binder in which to keep issues of Animal Kingdom and Bridges's response.

1

Osborn, Fairfield, 1936-1966 

Scope and Contents note

Letter from Osborn in 1936 congratulating Bridges on his work on the Bulletin, and Bridges’s last letter written as Curator, sent to Osborn upon his retirement on January 31, 1966, thanking him for “the privilege of working with you, and for animals.”

1

Miscellaneous, 1943-1967 

Scope and Contents note

Various letters, postcards sent to Bridges.

1

Subseries b: Publication materials, 1938-1966 

Box

The American Bison, 1938-1965 

Scope and Contents note

Order forms for the book by Martin S. Garretson, memos, advertisements, postcard, newspaper clippings, and publisher correspondence.

1

The Management of Wild Animals in Captivity , 1963-1966   (2 folders)

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence about Lee S. Crandall's book, memos, press clippings, foreword revisions, requisitions, additions, and corrections pamphlet.

1

Subseries c: Exhibitions list, 1900-1933 

Box
1

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Series 2: Curator of Publications. William Bridges records, 1935-1966 

Subseries a: Correspondence, 1948-1966 

Box

Personal, 1948-1971 

Scope and Contents note

Press clippings, letters, photographs, job description, memos.

1

Retirement, 1966 

1

Subseries b: Publication materials, 1940-1962 

Box

Blind cave fish expedition, Mexico, 1940 

Scope and Contents note

1936 U of Michigan research article titled “The first known blind fish of the family characidae: a new genus from Mexico,” typed correspondence to Lynn Bridges, chronology, preliminary reports, proposal for travel. This research led to “The blind fish of La Cueva Chica” in the Zoological Society Bulletin 43.3 (1940): 74-97.

1

Blind cave fish expedition, Mexico, photographs, 1940 

Scope and Contents note

Three photographs taken while in Mexico.

1

"The crow that fooled a zoo" , 1941 October 26 

1

Congo expedition, 1946 

1

Belgian Congo Expedition newsletters, 1947-1948 

1

Notes, Elephant and okapi, 1946-1947 

1

"Why?" (New York Aquarium promotion book, not published), 1950 

Scope and Contents note

Large-format mock-up of a promotional book for the New York Aquarium.

6

Kuryuryata, circa 1950 

1

"On looking at the animals" , 1951-1952 

1

"Seeing things in the country" , 1953 

1

"Seeing the Bronx Zoo’s animals in the wild" , 1954 

1

"Animal diets" , 1955 

1

"Penguin" , 1955 

Scope and Contents note

Entry for Encyclopedia Americana: Typescript, correspondence, printed encyclopedia page

1

"Promoting a zoo in cities under 100,000 Population" , 1955 

Scope and Contents note

Typescript of a talk delivered at AAZPA Convention.

1

"Bronx Zoo history" , 1956 

Scope and Contents note

Typescript sent to Bronx Board of Trade for publication.

1

"Selected zoological book list " , 1956 

Scope and Contents note

Typed list of recommended books presented to AAZPA members.

1

"New York Aquarium" , 1960 

1

"Supply of wild animals" , circa 1962 

1

"Speaking of animals" , 

1

"Theory and practice of taking a child to the zoo " , 

1

Subseries c: Requisitions, 1928-1970 

Box

Monographs of the Pheasants sales, 1928-1970   

Scope and Contents note

Requisition forms for William Beebe’s book, lists of people who ordered it.

1

Bridges's books, 1954-1964 

Scope and Contents note

Requisition forms for Bridges’s books, invoices, correspondence, page mock-ups of Panda Babies.

1

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Series 3: Curator Emeritus of Publications. William Bridges records, 1967-1975 

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence, research, notes, typescripts, and articles related to books Bridges published as Curator Emeritus.

Subseries a: Bronx Zoo book of wild animals: A guide to mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians of the world, 1968, 1961-1968 

Box

Correspondence with publishers, 1961-1968 

1

Subseries b: New York Aquarium book of the water world, 1970, 1968-1970 

Research, 1968-1970 

Box

Outline and notes, 1968-1970 

1

Correspondence, research, 1968-1969 

1

Articles, research, 1968-1969 

1

Species lists,   

1

Production, 

Box

Typescript, 

1

Correspondence, Publisher, 1969-1970 

1

Captions, 

1

Page proofs, vellum page mock-ups, 

Note

Large format; 2 spreads on vellum paper

6

Page proofs, galley, 

1

Page proofs, blue lines, 

1

Subseries c: Zoo careers, 1971 

Box

Typescript, 

1

Captions, 

1

Production notes, 

1

Page mock-ups on vellum, 

1

Page proofs, galley, 

1

Page mock-ups of book, 

6

Subseries d: Gathering of animals: An unconventional history of the New York Zoological Society, 1974, 1969-1975 

Research, 

Outline and Notes, 

Box

Outline and notes,   (11 folders: half-pages on card stock)

2

Outline and notes,   (4 folders)

3

Notes, Annual reports,   (2 folders)

3

Correspondence, 

Box

General history, 1969-1973   

3

American Bison Society, 1972-1973 

3

Aquarium, 1973-1974 

3

Elephants, 1947-1961 

Scope and Contents note

Includes matchbook from Chas. “Elephant” Davis, elephant collector

3

J. Ripley Forbes, National Science for Youth Foundation, 1972-1973 

Scope and Contents note

Research on Hornaday, photocopies of articles dating back to 1901.

3

General research, 

Box

Research notes, General, 1969-1973   

3

Historical notes, Annual reports, 

3

Buildings, 

Scope and Contents note

Lists of buildings, dates they opened, Zoo map, lists of photograph requests for buildings included in the book.

3

Production, 

Correspondence, 

Box

Publisher, Harper & Row, 1973-1977 

Scope and Contents note

Includes letter from Robert Moses congratulating Bridges on his work and list of possible titles (e.g. Animals & Autocrats, Wild Animals and Strong-Willed Men, All for Animals).

3

Art, 1972-1974 

3

Typescripts, 

Box

Chronology folder, 

3

Typescript, marked “my original”, 

3

Typescript, edited, 

3
Box

Revisions, 1973 

Scope and Contents note

Titled: Dedicated Men and Lively Animals: The First 75 Years of the New York Zoological Society.

3

Corrections, 

3

Captions, 

3

Dust jacket, 

3

Reactions, 

Box

Reviews, 1974-1975 

3

Correspondence, Readers, 1974-1975 

3

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Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1933-1966 

Box

New York Sun, 1933-1935 

Scope and Contents note

Newspaper clippings pasted into bound scrapbook of human-interest stories Bridges wrote for the New York Sun.

4

Retirement book: A special William Bridges edition: Animal kingdom, 1966 

Scope and Contents note

Bound book of typed pages, photographs, drawings, and paintings submitted by Zoo colleagues on the occasion of Bridges's retirement.

5

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Wildlife Conservation Society Library & Archives | 2300 Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY 10460 | library[at]wcs[dot]org


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