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Conway, William G. NYZS and WCS General Director records, 1900-2004  

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Guide to the records of the General Director William G. Conway, circa 1900-2004 (bulk 1960-2003)

Guide to the Records of the General Director William G. Conway, circa 1900-2004 (bulk 1960-2003) 1028

Guide to the Records of the General Director William G. Conway, circa 1900-2004 (bulk 1960-2003)
1028

Collection Overview

Repository
Wildlife Conservation Society Archives
Creator
Conway, William, 1929-
Collection Number
1028
Title
Wildlife Conservation Society. Office of General Director. William G. Conway records
Date
Bulk, 1960-2003
Date
1900-2004
Extent
136.15 linear feet (161 Hollinger boxes, 54 cartons, 19 half-Hollinger boxes, 1 half-carton, 4 card file boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
The collection contains the records of William G. Conway, General Director and President of the New York Zoological Society (which became the Wildlife Conservation Society) and Ornithology Curator and Director of the Society’s Bronx Zoo. During his 43 years at the Society, Conway oversaw the growth of the organization’s international conservation programs, a wave of development at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium, the acquisition of the Wildlife Survival Center on Saint Catherines Island, and the takeover of the management of the three City Zoos that had formerly been run by New York City. Conway’s records provide a sustained view of the evolution of the Society, the zoological profession, and the conservation field. The bulk of the material consists of annual correspondence, administrative records of the Society, and records pertaining to Conway’s involvement with organizations outside of the Society. The collection also contains Conway’s subject files, writings, research notes, and the files from his post-presidential position as Senior Conservationist.

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Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums.
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
  • Institute for Research in Animal Behavior.
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
  • New York Aquarium.
  • New York Zoological Park.
  • New York Zoological Society. City Zoos Project.
  • New York Zoological Society.
  • Wildlife Conservation International (New York Zoological Society).
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (New York, N.Y.). International Program.
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (New York, N.Y.). Wildlife Survival Center (Saint Catherines Island, Ga.).
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (New York, N.Y.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Conway, William, 1929-

Subject(s)

  • Ecology -- Societies, etc.
  • Endangered species
  • Endangered species -- Breeding
  • Endangered species -- Law and legislation
  • New York Zoological Park -- History
  • New York Zoological Society -- History
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Wildlife conservation -- Africa
  • Wildlife conservation -- Argentina
  • Wildlife conservation -- Asia
  • Wildlife conservation -- Economic aspects
  • Wildlife conservation -- Law and legislation
  • Wildlife conservation -- South America
  • Wildlife conservationists
  • Wildlife management
  • Wildlife research
  • Zoo animals
  • Zoo directors
  • Zoo exhibits
  • Zoos -- Administration
  • Zoos -- Design and construction

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Certain portions of this collection are restricted. Please contact the WCS Archives regarding these access restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Internal transfer, 1979 (Acc. 1979.010).

Internal transfer, 1981 (Acc. 1981.231).

Internal transfer, 1982 (Acc. 1982.004).

Internal transfer, 1983 (Acc. 1983.011).

Internal transfer, 1985 (Acc. 1985.011).

Internal transfers, 1987 (Acc. 1987.004, 1987.005, 1987.007, 1987.008, 1987.009).

Internal transfers, 1989 (Acc. 1989.009, 1989.011, 1989.012).

Internal transfers, 1992 (Acc. 1992.003, 1992.007).

Internal transfer, 1994 (Acc. 1994.013).

Internal transfers, 1998 (Acc. 1998.008, 1998.009).

Internal transfers, 1999 (Acc. 1999.002, 1999.026).

Internal transfer, 2000 (Acc. 2000.003).

Internal transfers, 2004-2006 (Acc. 2006.002).

More information on these accessions is available from the WCS Archives.

Repository Contact

Wildlife Conservation Society Archives

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

Related Collections

Most collections dating from the 1960s through the 1990s include some Conway memos or other correspondence; the collections below contain records created and compiled by Conway.

Collection 2075. Ornithology records.

Collection 3003. City Zoos Project records, 1934-2005.

The archives also holds additional Conway-related accessions. Please contact the WCS Archives for more details.

Preferred Citation

[Item], [Date]. William G. Conway records, circa 1900-2004 (bulk 1960-2003). Collection 1028. Wildlife Conservation Society Archives, New York.

Items Separated

Animal Records, 1970s-1990s. 0.25 linear feet. Transferred to the Animal Records Department.

Personnel Files, 1950s-1990s. 2 cubic feet. Transferred to the HR Department.

Acc. 1979.022: Fairfield Osborn correspondence, 1968. 2 cubic feet. Transferred to collection 1029/Osborn as boxes 69 and 70.

Non-WCS Publications and Printed Ephemera, 1960s-2000s. 2 cubic feet. Materials from other zoos, zoo associations, conservation organizations, New York City and New York state cultural institutions, etc. Held for transfer to the WCS Library. (Includes Board minutes for the AAZPA and for the American Conservation Association.)

NYZS/WCS Publications and Ephemera. Various items, including several folders of Zoolog, transferred to the WCS Archives Publications and Printed Ephemera collection.

Board of Trustees committee meeting minutes and agendas, 1970s-1990s. Approximately 0.4 linear feet. Transferred to the Planning Committee, Executive Committee, and Conservation Committee meeting collections.

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Biographical Note

In 1956 William G. Conway came to the New York Zoological Society from his hometown zoo in Saint Louis, where he had briefly pursued herpetology before setting on what would become a life-long commitment to ornithology. As the Bronx Zoo’s Curator of Ornithology, Conway conducted observational and behavioral studies on birds both in the zoo and out in the field, especially in South America, publishing his findings in scholarly as well as popular journals. During these early years, he oversaw the planning and construction of the new Aquatic Bird House and introduced the zoo audience to his research and field work through exhibits and through numerous articles in the Society’s magazine, Animal Kingdom.

Conway rose quickly through the ranks of NYZS leadership, being named Director of the Bronx Zoo in just five years and General Director of the Society five years after that. With these expanded roles, Conway created an Exhibits and Graphic Arts department and oversaw a wave of development at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. By the end of Conway’s second decade at NYZS, the Zoo and Aquarium had opened several major new exhibits, including Wolf Wood, the World of Darkness, and the World of Birds at the Zoo, and a shark exhibit and the Whale and Dolphin Stadium at the Aquarium. After another twenty years, Conway’s role had increased again as he was named President of the now-renamed Wildlife Conservation Society, and he had overseen another wave of development at the Society’s New York facilities, including the Wild Asia, Jungle World, and Congo exhibits at the Bronx Zoo; Sea Cliffs, a rebuilt Shark Tank, and Discovery Cove at the Aquarium; and the management of three zoos that had formerly been run by New York City.

In the meantime, Conway actively facilitated the growth of the Society’s international wildlife conservation programs. Under his auspices, the Institute for Research in Animal Behavior--the Society’s collaboration with Rockefeller University--included field researchers as well as lab scientists. Those field researchers formed the core of the Society’s Center for Field Biology and Conservation, which Conway inaugurated in the early 1970s alongside its first official Conservation Department. In the early 1980s Conway merged the Department with the Center into a reorganized Animal Research and Conservation Center, which eventually grew into the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Global Conservation department. Along the way the Society’s conservation departments have aided in or been directly responsible for the creation of scores of new parks and reserves in dozens of countries.

Conway has also been a leader in the zoo profession and the conservation field. While he has held numerous official positions--including President of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and a Director not only of that group, but also of the National Audubon Society, the World Wildlife Fund, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, and many others--his longer-lasting impact lies in the innovations he has brought to the profession. These include his push for the accreditation of zoos, his major efforts on behalf of legislation regulating and banning the skin trade, the foundation of the Species Survival Program, and many similar efforts to promote both in-situ and ex-situ conservation of vanishing species.

After his retirement from its presidency, Conway continued on at the Wildlife Conservation Society for another five years as Senior Conservationist. During this period he retained his close involvement with the Society’s Latin America Program, coordinating several projects in South America’s Southern Cone and continuing his own field work with flamingos, penguins, and other wildlife in Patagonia and the Andes.

NYZS / WCS Career Chronology
1956-1972 Assistant Curator & Curator, Ornithology
1961-1999 Director, Bronx Zoo
1966-1999 General Director, NYZS / WCS
1973-1974 Chairman, Ornithology
1992-1999 President, NYZS / WCS
1999-2004 Senior Conservationist and Trustee

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Scope and Content

Conway’s records provide a sustained view of the evolution of the Society, the zoological profession, and the conservation field. The bulk of the material consists of annual correspondence, administrative records of the Society, and records pertaining to Conway’s involvement with organizations outside of the Society. There is significant overlap of people, organizations, and subjects between the series; for the fullest view of a topic, each location should be checked for relevant material. Major themes in the correspondence include the Society and its facilities, Society staff and associates, the Society and the world, and trends in conservation and the zoo profession. The Administrative files contain Conway’s records of Society business and pertain to the management of the Society as a whole, of its zoos and aquarium, or of its national and international conservation programs. The records in the Organizations series pertain to Conway’s involvement in and dealings with national and international zoo and conservation organizations, individual zoos and aquariums, New York City and New York State governmental and cultural institutions, animal rights organizations, foundations and other funders, and various corporate bodies. They document the rise of the conservation field, the changing role of zoos, the place of the Society among other New York cultural institutions, and Conway’s own role as a leading voice among conservation advocates. The collection also contains Conway’s subject files, writings, research notes, and the files from his post-presidential position as Senior Conservationist.

The collection includes a fair amount of visual and/or non-paper materials, including photographs and slides, architectural and exhibit drawings in various formats and media, maps and illustrations, and the occasional feather, analog reel, or digital item. The collection inventory contains detailed information on the location of these items.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series and subseries

Series 1
 Correspondence, 1950-1998 (bulk 1960-1998)
   Subseries 1a
 1960-1998 Annual correspondence, 1950-1998 (bulk 1960-1998)
   Subseries 1b
 Formerly-restricted correspondence, 1951-1967
Series 2
 Topical files, 1907-1999 (bulk 1950-1999)
   Subseries 2a
 Administrative files, 1907-1999 (bulk 1950s-1990s)
   Subseries 2b
 Organization files, 1950-1999
   Subseries 2c
 Subject files, 1921-1999 (bulk 1950s-1990s)
Series 3
 Writings and research, 1950s-2004
   Subseries 3a
 Writings, 1950s-2004
   Subseries 3b
 Research index card files, 1950s-1961
Series 4
 Senior Conservationist Records, 1900s-2004 (bulk 1990-2004)
   Subseries 4a
 Correspondence, 1997-2004
   Subseries 4b
 Administrative, organization, and subject files, 1900s-2004 (bulk 1990-2004)
Series 5
 Objects and artifacts, circa 1980s

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1950-1998  (Bulk, 1960-1998)

Subseries a: 1960-1998 Annual Correspondence, 1950-1998  (Bulk, 1960-1998)

Scope and Contents note

This series provides a sustained view of the evolution of the Society, the zoological profession, and the conservation field. There is significant overlap of people, organizations, and subjects between these correspondence files and the Administrative, Organization, and Subject files in the Topical series, as well as the files in the Senior Conservationist Records series; for the fullest view of a topic, each location should be checked for relevant material. Major themes in the correspondence include:

The Society and its facilities: Much of Conway’s correspondence deals in some way with the history of the Society and the facilities and animals that have comprised it over the years. For example, the planning, construction, and opening of new exhibits at the Bronx Zoo can be seen in everything from paint chips in the color scheme of the Aquatic Bird House to photographs of a construction tour of Congo Gorilla Forest. Nearly all other new exhibits are documented along the way. Wild Asia, Jungle World, and the temporary butterfly exhibits get their mentions in the correspondence, as do the World of Darkness, the Himalayan Highlands, and the Baboon Reserve. Conway’s correspondence also documents the ongoing maintenance of existing facilities and care for the animals within. These materials also cover the Society’s other institutions: the New York Aquarium, the Wildlife Survival Center on Saint Catherines Island, and the three City Zoos.

NYZS / WCS staff and associates: Conway’s correspondence showcases the relationships among those involved with the Society, with memos and reports from staff supplemented with materials from trustees and friends, from former staff, and from people who would eventually join the Society. The series also contains correspondence, which Conway was copied on, between trustees and field scientists. Another facet of the relationships fostered at NYZS is seen in the correspondence concerning memorials for deceased staff and friends of the Society.

NYZS/WCS and the world: In addition to the materials of the Society’s New York facilities and people, Conway’s correspondence also contains ample documentation of its international programs and staff, as well as of prevailing conditions in the far-flung locations where it conducted its work. Conway corresponded in the 1960s with some of the scientists conducting fieldwork under the auspices of the Institute for Research in Animal Behavior, especially George Schaller, Roger Payne, and Thomas Struhsaker. These three would go on to form the core of the Society’s Center for Field Biology & Conservation. Other facets of the Society’s international work during Conway’s first couple of decades can be seen in his correspondence with members of the Conservation Committee and with Conservation Department Chair F. Wayne King. Starting with the creation of the Animal Research and Conservation Center in 1980, the Society’s international conservation work became more regionalized as it formed country and continent-specific programs. As may be expected given Conway’s own research, the correspondence includes quite a bit of material from Society staff, government officials, and others involved with the work of the Argentina program, and more generally, the rest of the Latin America program.  Similarly, the Mesoamerican and Caribbean, Africa, and Asia programs are also reflected in the correspondence. Highlights of this later period include early discussions of acquisition of property in Glover's Reef, Belize; John and Terese Hart's studies of okapi and other wildlife in what was then Zaire; and efforts to save the Sumatran rhinoceros.

Correspondence from the Society’s international programs also reflects the political and social context of the times: the revolutions and upheavals of decolonization in the developing world, and various coups and civil wars. Closer to home, the domestic turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s also appears in the series. While the economic decline of New York City in general and the South Bronx in particular was of special concern to the Society, the correspondence also documents larger societal changes of the times, for example the rising counterculture, environmentalism, and animal rights movements. The equal rights movements of the era also affected the zoo; the most visible of these in the correspondence is the struggle for women’s rights. From the early 1980s through the 1990s, as Equal Employment regulations came into effect and mandated workplace rights required institutional oversight, the Personnel / Human Resource department became increasingly formalized. At the same time, other departments were also expanding and becoming more professionalized. In some cases this led to a gradual lessening of correspondence to Conway, as issues that would have been reported to him were sent instead to the relevant director.

Conservation and zoo profession trends: Conway’s annual correspondence may lack the institutional framework of the materials in the Organizations files, but all of the major themes and issues in those documents appear here as well. The correspondence traces the increased focus of U.S. zoos on captive breeding and international conservation, drastic declines in wild populations and habitats, the increasingly collaborative nature of wildlife conservation, and the rise of the conservation biology field. This begins in the 1960s and 1970s with the pressing concern caused by steeply falling populations of iconic wildlife species. During that era poaching and encroaching human habitation were seen as major causes of species loss, and the conservation community reacted by pushing for protected areas and reserves on the one hand and national and international laws and treaties criminalizing trade in endangered animals on the other. Over time, the correspondence documents a gradual shift in focus in international conservation away from individual luminaries towards coalition work undertaken by large conservation organizations.

Subseries b: Mixed John Tee-Van and William Conway correspondence, 1951-1967

Scope and Contents note

These files contain materials from both John Tee-Van and William Conway that had been kept separate from the rest of the correspondence and designated as restricted when they were originally transferred to the archives. They mostly contain correspondence with and reports from animal dealers and NYZS-sponsored researchers (as well as with Caroline Jarvis of the International Zoo Yearbook and with Robert Goelet).

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Series 2: Topical files, 1907-1999  (Bulk, 1950-1999)

Subseries a: Administrative files, 1907-1999  (Bulk, 1950-1999) 

Scope and Contents note

The Administrative files contain Conway’s records of Society business. As noted above, there is significant overlap between this series and the Annual Correspondence and the Senior Conservationist series. There are also significant overlaps with the Organizations files where the Society worked closely with outside groups, such as in its relationships with foundations and similar funding organizations. While organized alphabetically, the files in this series generally pertain to one of the following categories:

The Society as a whole: With Conway’s long tenure as Director of the Bronx Zoo and General Director of the Society, these materials provide a sustained record of many functions that other collections touch on only briefly or partially. They document ongoing activities such as the Society’s annual meetings and annual reports; evolving issues like the changes in the Society’s budgeting process over the decades and unique events such as the name change from the New York Zoological Society to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the centennials of the Society and of the Bronx Zoo. Additionally, there are records on departments and projects whose work applied to multiple aspects of the Society, such as its film and television programs, fundraising campaigns, and publications. The Society’s periodic strategic planning initiatives are also well documented.

The Zoos and Aquarium: These records pertain to the administration of the Society’s animal facilities, including the Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos, the New York Aquarium, and the Wildlife Survival Center on Saint Catherines Island. They cover curatorial, Exhibitions and Graphic Arts Department (EGAD), education, and other departmental records, the first decade of the Friends of the Zoo, the conditions that led to the acquisition of the City Zoos and the Wildlife Survival Center, and the development of the Bronx Zoo’s energy co-generation system. Documents relating to the exhibits and other animal installations at the Bronx Zoo comprise a significant subsection of the records. They include the design, planning, and construction of new exhibits, ongoing renovation and maintenance of existing areas, and temporary exhibits. The animals themselves also show up frequently, with files on the captive management of numerous species, as well as on several animal dealers from whom the Zoo acquired specimens.

Conservation: Conway’s conservation files document the Society’s longstanding involvement in studying and saving wild animals in their native habitats, from its sponsorship of the Department of Tropical Research and its affiliation with the Jackson Hole Research Station to the recent activities of its International Conservation division. Included are records pertaining to the Society’s successive conservation-related departments over the years: the Institute for Research in Animal Behavior, the Center for Field Conservation and Biology, the Center for Conservation and Wildlife Research, the Animal Research and Conservation Center, Wildlife Conservation International, and International Conservation, as well as the Department of Conservation that ran parallel to the Centers and Institutes in the 1960s and 1970s. International programs comprised the vast majority of the Society’s conservation work, and the South American, African, and Asian programs of the mid 1960s through the mid 1990s are well-covered. The Society’s work in South America is most extensively documented, with materials from conservationists, government officials, and many others involved in preserving that continent’s wildlife and wild lands. The documentation of the Society’s interests in African conservation starts with the work of John Emlen (and his graduate student, George Schaller) with gorillas in Uganda and the Belgian Congo. In addition to Schaller, David (Jonah) Western had a long career in Africa; highlights include studies of and efforts to save rhinoceros and other fauna in Amboseli, similar work on gorillas and elephants in the Congo, and extensive research in Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan. Documentation is less robust for the Society’s conservation programs in the rest of the world, but records on work in Asia include files on Andrew Laurie and Alan Rabinowitz, as well as on efforts to save the Pere David deer and the kouprey. Work in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean is represented by files on Belize as well as on the Simla research station in Trinidad.  The Belize records include documentation of the Society's acquisition of land on Middle Caye, Glover's Reef for a new research station there; the Trinidad records document William Beebe's last years at the Simla station and its transfer to the Asa Wright Nature Center.

Subseries b: Organization files, 1950-1999 

Scope and Contents note

The records in this series document the rise of the conservation field, the changing role of zoos, the place of the Society among other New York cultural institutions, and Conway’s own role as a leading voice among conservation advocates. They pertain to Conway’s involvement in and dealings with national and international zoo and conservation organizations, individual zoos and aquariums, New York City and New York State governmental and cultural institutions, animal rights organizations, foundations and other funders, and various corporate bodies.

Zoos and Zoo Associations: The records include a fair amount of material from the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens, but the largest quantity of materials in this category pertain to the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums [AAZPA]. (In 1994 it renamed itself the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and later became the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.) Conway was highly involved in the AAZPA throughout his career at the Society, chairing numerous committees over the years, serving on the board of directors, and holding the position of President in 1967. The AAZPA files document these contributions as well as AAZPA’s own history, and include material from many of the major names in US zoos of the second half of the 20th century. Also documented are several AAZPA committees, programs and subsidiary organizations that have held significant influence in their own rights.

Conservation Organizations: The series includes materials documenting Conway’s ties to numerous conservation groups, including large global organizations like the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN], regional and/or ornithology-specific associations such as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and the National Audubon Society, and academic centers and research stations like the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. These records feature lobbying efforts on behalf of conventions, laws, and other regulations concerning the trade in endangered species, the growth of both in-situ and ex-situ conservation, and the rise of captive breeding as a conservation strategy. Additionally, the materials document the alliances and occasional tensions between various organizations as they worked on similar projects and competed for funds.

Labor Relations: In addition to the more direct records found in the Personnel files in the Administrative series and in the Annual Correspondence files for John McKew, the materials here also document labor unrest in US zoos and NYC cultural institutions during the 1950s through the early 1970s.

Animal Rights Organizations: Starting in the 1970s, when the city-run Central Park Zoo went into steep and shocking decline, groups in the newly-politicized animal rights movement began to target New York City zoos. The Society for Animal Rights [SAR], United Action for Animals, and Friends of Animals, picketed the Bronx Zoo, started letter-writing campaigns, lobbied public officials, and engaged in other efforts against the zoos. The best-documented of these efforts is a 1975 suit filed by SAR against the city, its elected and appointed officials, NYZS, its officers and trustees, the Humane Society of the United States, and several other organizations and individuals. The suit accused the City of violations of various city, state, and federal environmental, animal cruelty, and health laws, and sought to halt the City’s operation of its three zoos, to force the Society to take over those zoos and transfer their animals to the Bronx Zoo, and to forbid the City from contributing any funding to the Wild Asia project.

New York City and New York State institutions: These files document the place of the Society among other major local cultural institutions and the institutions’ collective efforts to lobby the City and State via umbrella organizations such as the Cultural Institutions Group and the New York State Museums Association. The files of these organizations, as well as those of local Bronx organizations like the Bronx Council on the Arts and Bronx River Restoration, also document the economic crises and decline of the city in general and the South Bronx in particular over the 1960s and 1970s.

Subseries c: Subject files, 1921-1999  (Bulk, 1950-1999)

Scope and Contents note

The topics in this series largely reflect the interests of the Society and of the correspondents and organizations in the previous series. Major subjects include giant pandas, efforts towards passing and then enforcing animal welfare and endangered species legislation in the 1960s and 1970s, the ecological and economic well-being of the Society’s New York City home, with a particular focus on the Bronx River and communities of the South Bronx, and the San Jose Mercury News files contesting reporter Linda Goldston’s exposé on the final disposition of surplus zoo animals.

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Series 3: Writings and research, 1950s-2004 

Subseries a: Writings, 1950s-2004

Scope and Contents note

Consists primarily of reprints, manuscripts, and revised versions of Conway’s popular and scholarly articles, book chapters, AAZPA conference talks, and similar presentations. Topics include the management and exhibition of the Bronx Zoo’s birds, South American wildlife, the extinction crisis, the philosophy of zoo education and exhibition as practiced at the Bronx Zoo, zoos’ role in in-situ and ex-situ wildlife conservation, the changing role of zoos in society, and zoo ethics.

Subseries b: Research index card files, 1950s-1961  

Scope and Contents note

The card files, from Conway’s early time as Curator of Ornithology and his first year as Director of the Bronx Zoo, consist primarily of his research notes, including bibliographic information on subjects of interest, newspaper clippings, data on sightings of birds at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, research ideas, and information on individual birds at the Bronx Zoo.

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Series 4: Senior Conservationist Records, 1900-2004  (Bulk, 1990-2004)

Subseries a: Correspondence, 1997-2004  

Scope and Contents note

For the most part, this series picks up where the earlier Annual Correspondence leaves off. It covers many of the same topics and people as the last few years of that series, featuring correspondence from WCS staff, trustees and major donors, and national and international zoo leaders. As noted, there is significant overlap between it and the topical files in Conway’s office closeout material; it also overlaps with the most recent materials of the Topical Files.

Subseries b: Administrative, organization, and subject files, 1900-2004  (Bulk, 1990-2004) 

Scope and Contents note

These files continue--but also overlap chronologically with--the main Topical series. The issues documented in those records show themselves here as well, in files pertaining to zoo and conservation organizations, the Society’s project and program administration, history and people, and other subjects of interest. Much of the material on outside groups pertains to the AZA, International Crane Foundation, International Species Inventory System, IUCN’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the National Audubon Society, and the World Zoo Organization / World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (IUDZG changed its name in 1991 to WZO, and then to WAZA in 2000). The majority of the material on the Society’s projects and programs documents International Conservation programs, Saint Catherines Island, and the Society’s strategic planning efforts. Moreover, the International Conservation material nearly exclusively pertains to the southern cone of South America, especially Patagonia and the Falkland Islands.  It includes extensive documentation of the Society’s acquisition of Grand Jason and Steeple Jason Islands in the Falklands, of Dee Boersma and others’ penguin research at Punta Tombo, and of Graham Harris’s work on the GEF-sponsored Patagonian Coastal Zone Management Plan. The series also contains files on the proposed Great Biosphere, on the Lakeside Project--what would become the Dancing Crane and surrounding pavilions--and on the renovation of the old Lionhouse. Finally, there is quite a bit of material that Conway kept not as working files but as collections of historical material on the Society and its people, especially William Hornaday, William Beebe, and John Tee-Van.

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Series 5: Objects and artifacts, circa 1980s 

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


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