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Dorothy E. Snyder (1894-1984) Papers

Dorothy E. Snyder (1894-1984) Papers

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DOROTHY E. SNYDER (1894-1984) PAPERS, 1854, 1921-1979

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Snyder, Dorothy E. (Dorothy Eastman), 1894-1984
Title:Dorothy E. Snyder (1894-1984) Papers
Dates:1854, 1921/1979
Quantity:6 linear feet (13 boxes)
Abstract:The Dorothy E. Snyder papers consist primarily of correspondence, manuscripts, travel journals, and notes.
Collection Number:NH 2

Series List

SERIES I. Correspondence
A. Outgoing
B. Incoming
SERIES II. Field Journals
SERIES III. Publications
SERIES IV. Scrapbook
SERIES V. Marblehead Neck Sanctuary
SERIES VII. Miscellaneous Personal and Professional Activities

Scope and Content Note

The Dorothy E. Snyder papers consist primarily of correspondence, manuscripts, travel journals, and notes. There is very little about Snyder's personal life in these papers; most material relates to books or articles in progress or to the Peabody Museum of Salem. Except for a few bird "roll-call" notebooks (1921-1924), there is little in this collection about Snyder's life and work prior to 1943. The collection has been organized into seven series.

Series I. Correspondence has been divided into two subseries, Outgoing and Incoming. Most of Snyder's correspondence appears to have been generated by Snyder to obtain information and consult with other experts in her field while she was writing various books and articles. There is very little personal correspondence. All correspondence has been place in alphabetical order by correspondent. Each correspondent's letters are arranged chronologically. Major correspondents by volume include Richard J. Eaton, Eugene Eisenmann, Richard French, Noel Howe, James P. Pool, ad Alexander Wetmore.

Series II. Field Journals contains notebooks and journals kept while Snyder traveled the world, birdwatching.

Series III. Publications consists of material about articles and books written by Snyder such as reviews, notes, proofs, sales reports, and typed copies of manuscripts.

Series IV. Scrapbook consists of the contents of a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the years 1943 through 1959.

Series V. Marblehead Neck Sanctuary contains notes, articles, bird sightings, plant notes, and bird checklists from the Marblehead Neck Sanctuary.

Series VI. Notes contains files of various bird watching activities as well as three boxes of index cards recording birds sighted.

Series VII. Miscellaneous Personal and Professional Activities contains biographical information, news clippings, programs from ornithological conferences, and material from other professional activities.

Biographical Sketch

Dorothy Eastman Snyder, daughter of George T. and Mary L. (Eastman) Snyder, was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1894 and spent her childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. She was educated at home by private tutors. Little is known of her education or early professional career. Snyder taught natural history for the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, from 1941 to 1947 and in Essex County from 1947 to 1951.

In 1947 Snyder joined the staff of the Peabody Museum of Salem as assistant curator of Natural History. In 1951 she was appointed curator, a position she held until her retirement in 1969. She remained at the museum as a consultant for an additional five years during which time she edited Stuart K. Harris' The Flora of Essex County.

Snyder's primary interest was in ornithology. She wrote numerous articles about birds and co-authored The Birds of Massachusetts with Ludlow Griscom. Snyder spent her vacations birding in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, and in 1966, she published her major work, Birds of Guyana.

Snyder was the first woman elected to the American Ornithological Union and the "600 Club." She was also a member of the Cooper Ornithological Club and the Nuttall Club of Cambridge. She died in Needham, Massachusetts, on November 23, 1984.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Eaton, Richard J.
Eisenmann, Eugene, 1906-1981
French, Richard
Griscom, Ludlow, 1890-1959
Harris, Stuart Kimball, 1906-1969
Howe, Noel
Pool, James P.
Snyder, Dorothy E. (Dorothy Eastman), 1894-1984
Wetmore, Alexander, 1886-1978
Marblehead Neck Sanctuary
Peabody Museum of Salem
Bird watching
Natural history
Passenger pigeon
Ross's gull
Plum Island (Newburyport, Mass.)


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Dorothy E. Snyder (1894-1984) Papers, NH 2, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


Most of this material was donated by Jean S. Patterson, Snyder's sister (acc #24, 325). The provenance of the rest of the collection is unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Linda L. Doll, July 1987. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, April 2016.

Related Material

Ludlow Griscom Papers, 1907-1959, NH 1

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