Bailey, Florence Merriam, 1863-1948

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Florence Merriam Bailey (1863-1948) was born in Locust Grove, New York during the Civil War. She devoted her life to the study and protection of birds. From her work in ornithology she authored over ten books, including several field guides to birds, and close to one hundred articles. Though interested in birds as a child, she gained recognition as a naturalist while at Smith College. Disgusted by the use of feathers and whole birds in fashion, she started the Smith College Audubon Society. Her later accomplishments include establishing the Washington, D.C., Audubon Society and becoming the first female associate member of the Ornithologists Union (1885). Within that organization she was the both the first female fellow (1929) and the first female recipient of the Brewster Medal (1931).

In 1908 a kind of California Mountain Chickadee was named Parus gambeli baileyae in her honor. Bailey's relations with prominent scientists augmented her own distinguished career. C. Hart Merriam, her brother, was the first chief of the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey, as well as a co-founder of the National Geographic Society. His work also led to Florence's introduction, and subsequent marriage, to fellow Bureau naturalist, Vernon Bailey. From their travels to the Western United States the Bailey's produced several works on the distinctive, and largely unexplored, flora and fauna in that region. As an amateur ornithologist Florence Bailey was at the forefront of the movement to use binoculars, rather than shotguns, to observe birds. She died in Washington, D.C., on September 22, 1948.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harriet Kofalk papers, 1860-1989 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Merriam, C. Hart (Clinton Hart), 1855-1942. C. Hart Merriam papers : including correspondence, papers relating to career with the United States Biological Survey, 1798-1972 (bulk 1871-1942) UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Harry C. OberholserPapers, 1883-1960, (bulk 1920-1945) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Women in New Mexico Collection, 1976-ongoing University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
referencedIn Williamson, M. B. (Martha Burton). M. B. Williamson papers, 1887-1927. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Kofalk, Harriet, 1937-. Harriet Kofalk papers, 1860-1989. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Rosenstock autograph collection, 1800-1950 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Oberholser, Harry C. (Harry Church), 1870-1963. Papers of Harry C. Oberholser, 1883-1960 (bulk 1920-1945). Library of Congress
creatorOf Bailey, Florence Merriam, b. 1863. Letter, 1901. American Primers
creatorOf Florence Merriam Bailey papers, 1887-1940 Bancroft Library
Florence Merriam Bailey Papers, 1865-1942
referencedIn Vernon Bailey papers, 1828-1958, 1884-1942 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Kolfalk, Harriet, 1937-. Papers, 1860-1989. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Bailey, Vernon, 1864-1942. Vernon Bailey papers, 1828-1948 (bulk 1884-1942). University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Bailey, Florence Merriam, 1863-1948. Florence Merriam Bailey papers, 1887-1940. UC Berkeley Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bailey, Florence M. Chaco Research Archive
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Aylesworth, Barton O. (Barton Orville), 1860-1933 person
associatedWith Aylesworth, Barton Orville, 1860-1933. person
spouseOf Bailey, Vernon, 1864-1942. person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Kofalk, Harriet, 1937- person
associatedWith Kolfalk, Harriet, 1937- person
associatedWith Merriam, C. Hart (Clinton Hart), 1855-1942. person
associatedWith Merriam, Clinton Levi, 1824-1900. person
correspondedWith Oberholser, Harry C. (Harry Church), 1870-1963. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Rosenstock, Fred A., b. 1895 person
associatedWith Williamson, M. B. (Martha Burton) person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State) NY US
Bird watching
Women scientists--Correspondence
Wildlife refuges
Women authors--Correspondence


Birth 1863-08-08

Death 1948-09-22






Ark ID: w6hz22rk

SNAC ID: 83618377