Exploring John Muir letters on Calisphere


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Presentation at the California Council for the Social Studies annual conference 2012. By Sherri Berger, California Digital Library, and Nicole Gilbertson, UC Irvine History Project.

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  • DanielWorster, p. 190
  • Worster p 192-3
  • http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt438nf19h/?order=2&brand=calisphere
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendentalismtranscendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both man and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions - particularly organized religion and political parties - ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that man is at his best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.Quote in Worster p. 208
  • http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt9h4nf342/?order=2&brand=calisphere
  • Preservationists like Muir argued for the protection of nature—part of the National Park Movement and the National Park Service established in 1916Conservationists interested in managing the environment, regulation was needed to control industry’s use of landRoosevelt supported both sides with the establishment of the Public Lands Commission 1903 created to regulate landsLiberty, Equality, Power p.798Robert Underwood Johnson met Muir in 1889 editor of NYC magazine The Century million readers and high-profile magazine, in 1889 Muir and Johnson explored Yosemite and Muir highlighted the destruction of the sheep grazing, tourists. Johnson suggested Muir write for magazine and outline the proposal of Yosemite as a national park, which was included in the legislation passed in 1890 under President Harrison (third national park after Yellowstone and Sequoia National Park in Sierra)
  • http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt3t1nf0r1/?__utma=209367296.59753803.1324003771.1330276872.1330282241.21&__utmb=209367296.0.10.1330282241&__utmc=209367296&__utmx=-&__utmz=209367296.1330282241.21.6.utmcsr=content.cdlib.org|utmccn=%28referral%29|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/ark:/13030/kt9h4nf342/&__utmv=-&__utmk=232856733
  • Muir 1879 Glacier Bay excerptWith Roosevelt camping trip 1903
  • Exploring John Muir letters on Calisphere

    1. 1. Scientist, Writer, Activist:Exploring John Muir’s LettersSherri Berger, California Digital Library - Calisphere Nicole Gilbertson, UC Irvine History Project California Council for the Social Studies, March 2, 2012
    2. 2. OverviewAbout CalisphereJohn Muir correspondence Scope of collection How to find letters Selections: Scientist, Writer, ActivistAnalyzing primary sources Your turn!
    3. 3. About CalisphereOver 220,000 digital items Images: photos, drawings, paintings, murals, posters… Texts: letters, oral histories, reports…From more than 100 CA institutionsCollection strength: CA history …but much more
    4. 4. searchbrowse
    5. 5. Images in context
    6. 6. Tools + definitions
    7. 7. content standards
    8. 8. eras
    9. 9. Themed Collection Eras1780-1880: California in Transition1848-1865: Gold Rush Era1870-1900: Closing of the Frontier1900-1940s: Emerging Industrial Order1929-1939: The Great Depression1939-1945: World War II1950s-1970s: Social Reform
    10. 10. Closing of the Frontier
    11. 11. people
    12. 12. JARDA
    13. 13. Images on maps
    14. 14. Who was John Muir?Born 1838Writer and naturalist5 years in YosemiteFounded Sierra Club,National Park advocateTraveler, explorer
    15. 15. John Muir CorrespondenceMore than 6,000 lettersBoth to and from MuirSpan much of his life: 1856-1914 Scanned – see the handwriting Transcribed – easier reading, searchingDocument travels, activism, family, etc.Themed Collection Topic
    16. 16. America’s interest in science grows8.12 Students analyze the transformation of the American economyand the changing social and political conditions in the United States inresponse to the Industrial Revolution.1. Trace patterns of agricultural and industrial development as theyrelate to climate, use of natural resources, markets, and trade andlocate such development on a map.• Professionalization of science and growing relevance in American life – Mapping of the mountain ranges, identification of glaciers, description of natural world in 1860s and 70s – California State Geological Survey mandate to find useful minerals, catalog plants, assess agriculture, and describe topography
    17. 17. John Muir: Scientist• 1871 Smithsonian requested that Muir send reports on his mountain explorations• Extensive experience as botanist• Explorations in Alaska studying glaciers – Muir Glacier
    18. 18. John Muir and Joseph LeConte• Le Conte University of California Professor – Studied glaciers and ice age – Credited his knowledge of CA glaciers to Muir• Muir argued that a glacier once existed in Sierra Nevada – “Yosemite Glaciers”• Muir’s study was validated by U.S. Geological Survey in late 19th century
    19. 19. John Muir and Joseph LeConte December 17, 1871
    20. 20. John Muir: Writer8.6 Students analyze the divergent paths of the Americanpeople from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challengesthey faced, with emphasis on the Northeast.7. Identify common themes in American art as well astranscendentalism and individualism (e.g., writings aboutand by Ralph Waldo Emerson...)• Trancendentalist?• Ralph Waldo Emerson considered Muir “one of his men.”
    21. 21. Muir to Emerson March 26, 1872
    22. 22. John Muir: Activist 8.12.5. Examine the location and effects of urbanization,renewed immigration, and industrialization (e.g., the effects onsocial fabric of cities, wealth and economic opportunity, theconservation movement).• Robert Underwood Johnson provided Muir with a national audience led to Yosemite as national park in 1890 – The Century• Preservationists vs. Conservationists• Muir helped establish the Sierra Club in 1892 and was President
    23. 23. Muir to Johnson March 4, 1890
    24. 24. Scientist, Writer, Activist: Exploring John Muir’s Letters• What kinds of arguments did Muir use in favor of the preservation of the natural world?• How did Muir emphasize different aspects of nature for different audiences?• What themes does Muir use to depict nature?
    25. 25. Supporting Lessons• Education in the Environment Initiative – EEI 8.12.5 http://www.calepa.ca.gov/education/eei/curriculum /• PBS Series National Parks: America’s Best Idea – Interactive Timeline http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/history/timeline/