Three John Muir manuscripts from the Donohue Rare Book Room have been added to the Gleeson Library Digital Collections. John Muir (1938-1914) was a naturalist and key advocate of preserving wilderness areas in the western United States. His writings inspired the U.S. Congress to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park. Muir also founded the Sierra Club and is considered by many to be the “father of the National Parks.”
The Donohue Rare Book Room holds in its collections three complete Muir manuscripts, written in Muir’s hand, showing his corrections and marginal notations. The manuscripts are: A Rival of the Yosemite: the Cañon of the South Fork of King’s River, California (1891); The Alaska Trip (1897); and The Endangered Valley (1909). Muir manuscripts are extremely rare. Most surviving examples remained in the author’s family until they were later given to the University of the Pacific. The Gleeson Library manuscripts have the additional distinction of being bound in crushed red morocco with gold tooling by the British bindery, Rivière & Son.
Now that these important and historic manuscripts have been digitized and made available in the Rare Book Collection in the Digital Collections website, they may be accessed online 24/7. Moreover, the high-resolution files allow one to zoom-in to see the smallest details of the page. The thumbnail in the lower left of the screen will indicate the zoom area with a red square that one can use to pan the image. To download a PDF of the complete manuscript, use the pull-down view menu on top of the left navigation area and select “complete print version.”
The Muir manuscripts were presented to the Gleeson Library in 1995 by benefactors Dr. Alan B. Coleman and Janet M. Coleman. The University of San Francisco is truly fortunate to have these treasures that are permanently housed in the Donohue Rare Book Room.
Head Librarian, Donohue Rare Book Room
Digital Collections Librarian