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Kishwaukee Audubon Society Records (DeKalb)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Addendum I

Addendum II.

Addendum III.

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Kishwaukee Audubon Society Records (DeKalb), 1960-1989 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Records (DeKalb), 1960-1989

ID: RHC/RC/107

Extent: 2.25 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 09/29/1980. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Audubon Society, Audubon Society of Kishwaukee, Birds, DeKalb County, National Audubon Society, Wildlife conservation

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Kishwaukee Audubon Society Collection documents the establishment and history of a local environmental organization from 1960-1989.  The society minutes (1960-1974) comprise a major series of the collection detailing business concerns such as treasurer's reports, membership data, publicity strategy, and plans for nature projects and field trips.  The minutes also describe the club's educational presentations designed to familiarize members with environmental and conservation topics.  Financial reports, membership lists, and committee reports supplement the data contained in the minutes.  Club correspondence (1961-1974) contains additional information on meeting programs and the issues of conservation and pollution in DeKalb County. 

A second major series of the collection is a nearly complete set of monthly newsletters (1961-1989) comprehensively describing society projects including field trips, wildlife film series, environmental preservation programs, and nature lectures.  A separate file of program announcements contains more detailed portrayals of society activities, particularly the seasonal wildlife film series.  Researchers should note that by-laws and brief society histories, along with the photographs, provide helpful background data on the organization's origins and goals.  The collection also includes general ecological education information supplied by local and state organizations as well as national public and private environmental agencies.

The Kishwaukee Audubon Society Records provide a comprehensive illustration of a group of local people not only dedicated to learning more about nature, but also intensely concerned with preserving their surrounding natural environment.

Collection Historical Note

Thirty-six members organized the Kishwaukee Audubon Society of DeKalb County on March 18, 1960 at Northern Illinois University.  The group elected Mrs. Merle Minor, Mrs. William Southern, and Mrs. Verna Gogley as president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.  At its next meeting on April 4, 1960 the members adopted the society's by-laws declaring the goals as protection of wildlife, preservation of natural resources, and environmental education for both members and public.  The society became a branch organization in 1966 allowing members to belong to the National Audubon Society as well as the Kishwaukee Society.  

During its history, the Kishwaukee Audubon Society pursued its goals by sponsoring various conservation and educational programs.  In 1963, the group leased ninety acres of land north of DeKalb as a bird sanctuary.  Until it was sold in 1972, the organization used the wildlife reserve for field trips and migration studies of more than sixty species of birds.  A second major program was the seasonal wildlife film series featuring prominent guest speakers in conjunction with National Audubon Society nature films.  This educational series, given twice a year, acted as a fund-raiser for the society.  The Audubon group also provided a vital service to the surrounding agricultural community with its annual bird counts.  The yearly bird tallies not only benefited members but also helped farmers recognize those predators controlling the rodent population on their farms.  

Since its organization, the Kishwaukee Audubon Society dealt with various environmental issues such as air and water pollution, recycling used materials, waste disposal, the use of DDT in local agriculture, and the energy crisis.  Although interest in ecology and nature dwindled in the mid-1970's, the Kishwaukee Audubon Society still promotes interest in conservation and environmental control in DeKalb County.

Subject/Index Terms

Audubon Society
Audubon Society of Kishwaukee
Birds, DeKalb County
National Audubon Society
Wildlife conservation

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Elaine Rast, as well as other members of the Society donated additional records at a later date.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection are held by the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Linda K. Southern

Acquisition Method: Linda K. Southern, President, donated the Kishwaukee Audubon Society Records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on September 29, 1980.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Addendum I],
[Addendum II.],
[Addendum III.],

Box 1
Folder 1: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Charter, 1966-1968
Folder 2: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Constitution and By-laws, 1960-1964
Folder 3: Society Histories, 1960-1978
Folder 4: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Historical Material, 1915-1973
Folder 5-6: Membership Lists, 1969-1982
Folder 7: Minute Book, 1960-1964
Folder 8-9: Minutes, 1964-1974
Folder 10: Correspondence, 1961-1981
Folder 11: Correspondence from other Conservation Groups, 1979-1982
Folder 12: Financial Reports, 1964-1970
Folder 13: Local Affairs, 1965-1980
Folder 14: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Agenda, 1960-1981
Folder 15: Program Announcements, 1960-1978
Folder 16: Programs-Past, 1974-1980
Folder 17: Programs-Pending, 1979
Folder 18: Education
Folder 19: Film Series, 1962-1968
Folder 20: Committee Reports, 1965-1974
Folder 21-23: Newsletters, 1961-1983
Folder 24: Wayne Short Lecture Management, 1965
Folder 25: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Nature Trail, 1982
Folder 26: Afton Forest Preserve Project, 1979
Folder 27: Shabbona Lake Projects, 1979
Folder 28: Bluebird Trail
Folder 29: Sanctuary, 1963-1969
Folder 30: Christmas Bird Count, 1960-1976
Folder 31: Kingfisher Report, 1966-1968
Folder 32: Survey, 1968
Folder 33: Questionnaire, 1980
Folder 34: Photographs (11), no date
Folder 35: Kishwaukee Audubon Society Space Requisition Forms, 1963-1964
Folder 36: Dart, 1982
Folder 37: Directory of DeKalb Organizations, 1969, 1973
Folder 38: Rockford Public Library 16mm film catalog
Folder 39: Audubon Council of Illinois, 1973-1983
Folder 40: Illinois Audubon Newsletter, 1964-1979
Folder 41: Illinois Department of Conservation Newsletter, 1979
Folder 42: Illinois Environmental Council News, 1979-1983
Folder 43: Illinois Environmental Information, 1970's
Folder 44: Audubon Society, 1964, 1967
Folder 45: National Audubon Society, 1973-1981

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Addendum I],
[Addendum II.],
[Addendum III.],

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