New York Zoological Society. Department of Publications. Office of Curator. William Bridges records
Scope and Content
The collection consists mainly of the work of William Bridges as Curator and Curator Emeritus of Publications at the New York Zoological Society. It includes the correspondence and publication materials of the Department of Publications while headed by Elwin R. Sanborn (1901-1935) and William Bridges (1935-1966). Bridges's records while Curator of Publications include correspondence, typescripts, research notes, and requisition forms. After his retirement in 1966, Bridges continued to write about the Zoo; his records from that era contain correspondence, notes, research articles, typescripts, revisions, production notes, and page proofs. There are also two scrapbooks: one is newspaper clippings compiled by Bridges while working at the New York Sun, and the other was made for Bridges's retirement in 1966, containing writing, photographs, and illustrations compiled by his colleagues at the Zoo.
- Bridges, William, 1901- (Person)
Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible access restrictions.
Please contact the WCS Archives regarding possible usage restrictions.
William Andrew Bridges (January 27, 1901-March 28, 1984) was the Editor and Curator of Publications for the New York Zoological Society from 1935 until his retirement in 1966. He wrote many books on animals both during and after his tenure at the Zoo, including Gathering of Animals: An Unconventional History of the New York Zoological Society, published in 1974 for the Zoo's 75th anniversary. He also wrote articles regularly for the Zoological Society Bulletin (1935-1941) and Animal Kingdom (1942-1974).
Born in Franklin, Indiana, Bridges’s earliest job was as a paperboy for The Franklin Star. At thirteen, he began working in the Star's print shop, learning skills such as setting linotype. In 1919, he began attending Franklin College, where he edited the yearbook; by his senior year he also edited and reported for the college's newspaper. After graduating in 1923, he moved to Paris to work as a rewrite man at the American edition of the Chicago Tribune. Bridges returned to Franklin for a year in 1925 to work at the Star before heading back to Paris to work at the Paris Times.
He moved back to the United States for good in 1928, first living in Greenwich Village and later in Pleasantville, NY. He joined the rewrite staff of The New York Sun in 1929. In 1934 he traveled to Trinidad and British Guinea to report on Dr. Raymond L. Ditmars's search for the venomous bushmaster snake; Ditmars was a herpetologist at the New York Zoological Society. This began Bridges's career of writing about animals. He wrote human interest stories about the Bronx Zoo for the Sun up until the retirement of Elwin R. Sanborn, whereupon Bridges was hired on December 31, 1934 as its Curator of Publications. He was chosen to travel to the Belgian Congo on a Zoological Society expedition to find the rare Congo Peacock because of his knowledge of the French language and continued to travel extensively, mainly in Central America and Africa. He wrote countless articles for both the Zoo and for outside publications. Bridges was the author of 19 books on animals, 15 of which were written during his tenure at the Zoo. After retiring, he wrote The Bronx Zoo Book of Wild Animals (1968), New York Aquarium Book of the Water World (1970), Zoo Careers (1971), and Gathering of Animals.
Bridges was married three times. Lynn Vandivier attended Frankiln College with Bridges and was married to him in Paris in 1924. She passed away in 1949. His second marriage was to Lucille Hedges in 1962. After her passing in 1968, he married Nana Hedges Marts in 1969.
3.75 Linear Feet (3 cartons)
1.52 Cubic Feet (3 flat boxes)
Language of Materials
William Bridges (1901-1984) was appointed Editor and Curator of Publications of the New York Zoological Society in 1935 and Curator of Publications Emeritus in 1966. This collection consists of papers relating to the Department of Publications while headed by Elwin R. Sanborn (1901-1935) and William Bridges (1935-1966). The collection also contains correspondence, notes, research articles, typescripts, revisions, production notes, and page proofs pertaining to articles and books written by Bridges for the New York Zoological Society, including New York Aquarium Book of the Water World (1970) and Gathering of Animals: An Unconventional History of the New York Zoological Society (1974).
The collection is arranged in four series, with additional subseries divisions:
- Series 1
- Office of Curator. Elwin R. Sanborn and William Bridges records, 1915-1967 Subseries 1A: Correspondence Subseries 1B: Publication materials
- Series 2
- Curator of Publications. William Bridges records, 1935-1966 Subseries 2A: Correspondence Subseries 2B: Publication materials Subseries 2C: Requisitions
- Series 3
- Curator Emeritus of Publications. William Bridges records, 1967-1975, chronological by publication date Subseries 3A: The Bronx Zoo Book of Wild Animals, 1968 Subseries 3B: New York Aquarium Book of the Water World, 1970 Subseries 3C: Zoo Careers, 1971 Subseries 3D: Gathering of Animals, 1974
- Series 4
- Scrapbooks, 1933-1966
Finding aid created and collection processed by Shayna Marchese, Queens College intern, October 2011.
- Guide to the Records of the New York Zoological Society Department of Publications Curator, William Bridges, 1933-1977
- Finding aid prepared by Finding aid created and collection processed by Shayna Marchese, Queens College Intern.
- November 2012
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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