Celebration of Muir-Hanna family's gift of John Muir Papers

University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA,
April 13, 2019

University of the Pacific celebrates Muir-Hanna family's gift of John Muir Papers
Largest collection of Muir papers makes university a global center for Muir, environmental research

University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, on April 13, 2019, celebrated receiving official ownership of the largest collection of letters, journals and other materials written or owned by famed naturalist, author and environmental philosopher John Muir.

"This is simply a wonderful collection, and we are so very grateful to the Muir-Hanna family for their generous gift."
- Pamela A. Eibeck, President, University of the Pacific, in Sierra Sun Times, April 11, 2019

The university has curated the collection since 1970, when John Muir's descendants, several of whom are Pacific alumni, brought the collection to the Stockton campus. Since then, the collection in the university's Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives has grown to include 7,000 correspondences, 100 journals and notebooks, 400 drawings, thousands of photographs, and hundreds of his manuscripts for books and articles. Much of the materials are made available online, and the public is welcome to help transcribe his writings.

Pacific students and researchers from around the world can look at Muir's journals, notebooks, sketches and books from his personal library; see his handwritten notes; and get a glimpse into how his thoughts on nature developed.

"The Muir collections at University of the Pacific have played a key role in making John Muir well known to a much broader audience," said William Swagerty, director of the John Muir Center and history professor. "Students and researchers who are serious about studying and writing about Muir must find their way to Stockton to study the papers for their work to be original, comprehensive and well received."

Swagerty said the collection puts Pacific firmly on the "John Muir trail," which includes Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez and Yosemite National Park.

Being able to share the John Muir Papers is a highlight of having the collection here.

"We're really solidifying ourselves in the spectrum of John Muir history, environmental history, California history. We can use this collection to gain a deeper understanding of him in the context of those areas and, world history, biology and geology," said Mike Wurtz, head of the Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives.

The overall collection includes Muir's writing desk, two bookcases containing 1,000 books from his personal library in his Martinez home and other assorted items. A William Keith oil painting of Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park that once hung in his Martinez home now hangs between the bookcases. In all, nine Muir family members have graduated from Pacific, and the family received the 2009 Pacific Alumni Association Outstanding Family Award.

The 2019 celebration included three events that were open and free to the public.

Schedule

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2019
Saturday, April 13th
12:00 PM

Documentary film - "The Unruly Mystic, John Muir"

Michael M. Conti

University of the Pacific, Janet Leigh Theatre, Stockton, CA

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Related media and News media on event

Muir Symposium

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

12:00 PM - 4:30 AM

2:30 PM

John Muir Legacy Fair

University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

3:30 PM

Celebration - Performance by Lee Stetson, as John Muir

Lee Stetson

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Celebration - Remarks by Loren Blackford, national Sierra Club President

Loren Blackford, Sierra Club

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Celebration - Remarks by Pamela Eibeck, University of the Pacific President

Pamela Eibeck, University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Celebration: The Gift of the Muir Papers

University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific, Knoles Lawn, Stockton, CA

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM