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Inventory of the Theodore S. Woolsey, Jr., Auxiliary Photograph Collection, circa 1900s - 1910s

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Theodore S. Woolsey, Jr., (1879-1933) was an American forester, researcher, and author of books and articles related to forestry and forest regulation.
The collection includes 230 black-and-white photographs pertaining to the schooling, work experiences, or research activities of American forester Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, Jr. The images were likely either generated or collected by Woolsey during the first and second decades of the twentieth century when he was a student enrolled in Yale University's forestry school or when he was working as a forester for the United States Forest Service. Some of the images were possibly taken during Yale Forestry School field trips; others appear related to Woolsey's work while a U.S. Forest Service employee or to his research studies of forestry practices in Algeria or regions of Europe. The images include depictions of: the impacts of fires, weather events, and timber harvesting on forest health; forest regeneration in the wake of such disturbances; different tree species comprising forest cover in various geographic locales; forest conditions in arid, subtropical, and temperate regions; and lumbering, pullboat logging, and sawmilling activities.
Title: Theodore S. Woolsey, Jr., Auxiliary Photograph Collection, circa 1900s - 1910s
Creator: Woolsey, Theodore S. (Theodore Salisbury), 1879-1933
Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives
Call Number: 7286
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
(1 archival box)

Biographical Note

Theodore S. Woolsey, Jr., (1879-1933) was an American forester, researcher, and author of books and articles related to forestry and forest regulation.

Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, Jr., was born on 2 October 1879 in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended preparatory schools in Southboro, Massachusetts, and Pomfret, Connecticut. Numerous members of his family from several generations dating back to 1720 were Yale University graduates, and he was no exception. After receiving a bachelor's degree in 1901, he enrolled in the university's forestry school and graduated in 1903 with a master's degree in forestry.

Woolsey spent the 1904-1905 year studying forestry and silvicultural techniques in France, Germany, and India. The research he conducted then, supplemented by additional studies done in Algeria, Corsica, Tunisia, and Europe in 1912, 1913, 1917, and 1919, resulted in the publication of his books French Forests and Forestry: Tunisia, Algeria, Corsica, With a Translation of the Algerian Code of 1903 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1917) and Studies in French Forestry (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1920).

He began his career with the United States Forest Service while he was an undergraduate student at Yale in 1900 by doing forestry field work during the summers. After graduating with a master's degree in forestry in 1903 he began working full time for the Forest Service as forest assistant, primarily in New Hampshire. In 1907, he was promoted to the position of forest inspector for District 3, which had its headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in October 1908 he assumed the role of assistant district forester. He held that position, with a brief stint in 1911 as acting chief of silviculture for District 3, until 1915 when he left the agency to serve with the U.S. Army's 10th Engineers in France during World War I. His duties as a major in the Army included purchasing standing timber to be manufactured for the use of the American Expeditionary Forces.

After the war, Woolsey returned to Connecticut and started working as a consulting forester. He was very active in national forestry organizations and conservation groups and taught as a lecturer at Yale's forestry school at various times throughout his career. He devoted much of his time to developing the forests on the campus of Middlebury College in Vermont, of which he was a trustee, and to the conservation work of the Connecticut Forestry and Park Association.

Throughout his career, Woolsey published articles in such professional publications as American Forests and Forest Life, Forestry and Irrigation, Forestry Quarterly, and Indian Forester. He served as an associate editor of Forestry Quarterly and of the Journal of Forestry from 1914 to 1926. Woolsey authored or co-authored a number of books relating to the practice of forestry and forest regulation in the United States and abroad. He was a member of the Society of American Foresters and gave several presentations at annual meetings and served on some of its committees.

Theodore Woolsey, Jr., married Ruby Hilsman Pickett of Dawson, Georgia, on 15 March 1908. They had five daughters, two of whom were born outside the United States in Switzerland and France, respectively. In his later years his family resided in New Haven, Connecticut, where he died on 10 July 1933.

Note: The above biographical information was drawn from several sources, including: (1) an obituary notice authored by Ralph S. Hosmer and published in the October 1933 issue (volume 31, number 6) of the Journal of Forestry (pp. 736-737; includes photograph of Woolsey); (2) a biographical sketch published in the 1913 book Biographical Record of the Graduates and Former Students of the Yale Forest School (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Forest School, pp. 61-63); and (3) Woolsey's reminiscences about his early forestry career, which were published in Riding the Chuck Line: A Forester in Peace and War (New Haven, Conn.: Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Company, 1930).


Collection Overview

The collection includes 230 black-and-white photographs pertaining to the schooling, work experiences, or research activities of American forester Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, Jr. The images were likely either generated or collected by Woolsey during the first and second decades of the twentieth century when he was a student enrolled in Yale University's forestry school or when he was working as a forester for the United States Forest Service. Some of the images were possibly taken during Yale Forestry School field trips; others appear related to Woolsey's work while a U.S. Forest Service employee or to his research studies of forestry practices in Algeria or regions of Europe. The images include depictions of: the impacts of fires, weather events, and timber harvesting on forest health; forest regeneration in the wake of such disturbances; different tree species comprising forest cover in various geographic locales; forest conditions in arid, subtropical, and temperate regions; and lumbering, pullboat logging, and sawmilling activities.

Collection Arrangement

1. Photographs, circa 1900s-1910s



Subject Headings

  • Foresters -- United States
  • Forests and forestry -- Algeria -- Photographs
  • Forests and forestry -- United States -- Photographs
  • United States. Bureau of Forestry
  • United States. Bureau of Forestry -- Officials and employees
  • United States. Forest Service
  • United States. Forest Service -- Officials and employees
  • Woolsey, Theodore Salisbury, 1879 - 1933
  • Woolsey, Theodore Salisbury, 1879 - 1933 -- Photograph collections
  • Yale University. School of Forestry

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Photographs, circa 1900s-1910s.

These photographs are available through the online image gallery for the Theodore S. Woolsey Auxiliary Photograph Collection.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Forest History Society's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Forest History Society claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Theodore S. Woolsey, Jr., Auxiliary Photograph Collection, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Arnold, Michael Crotty, and Michele A. Justice, September 2003

Encoded by Amanda Ross, January 2009

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.