William Brewster

From ‘Shotgun Ornithology’ to Nature Conservation: Scientific Stories and Data from the Field Notes of William Brewster

 

William Brewster (1851-1919) was a renowned American amateur ornithologist, serving as a co-founder of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the first president of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and a curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ). As a part of the CLIR-funded BHL Field Notes Project, MCZ has been digitizing Brewster’s journals, diaries, letters, and photographic prints, which are held in Special Collections at the MCZ’s Ernst Mayr Library.

Most of Brewster’s observations are based in New England, where he split his...

Read more about From ‘Shotgun Ornithology’ to Nature Conservation: Scientific Stories and Data from the Field Notes of William Brewster

Notes from William Brewster: Puzzling out Bird Sounds

This post is part of a series on the collection of ornithologist William Brewster (1851-1919) at the Ernst Mayr Library, written by Elizabeth Meyer, library project assistant.

“The conditions which govern the singing of birds are a constant puzzle to me,” Brewster wrote in his journal after decades of ornithological study. [1] We have some solid information now about how and why birds make certain sounds [2], but Brewster didn’t know the difference between songs and calls; that sounds can serve to attract mates and...

Read more about Notes from William Brewster: Puzzling out Bird Sounds

Notes from William Brewster: The Evolving Field of Zoology

This post is also published on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog.

As a part of the Field Notes Project, the Ernst Mayr Library is digitizing the journals, correspondences and photographs of William Brewster (1851-1919), a self-trained ornithologist and specimen curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the first president of the...

Read more about Notes from William Brewster: The Evolving Field of Zoology

Notes from William Brewster: "The Development of an Ornithologist"

This post is part of a series on the collection of ornithologist William Brewster (1851-1919) at the Ernst Mayr Library, written by Elizabeth Meyer, library project assistant.

In 1890, Wiliam Brewster (age 39) wrote a letter of encouragement to a younger ornithologist, Frank Michler Chapman. Both ornithologists suffered from chronic pain, and Brewster suspected that Chapman was afraid of losing enthusiasm for his work. Brewster’s gesture opened up a closer personal friendship with Chapman, who was then 26 and working at the American...

Read more about Notes from William Brewster: "The Development of an Ornithologist"