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Special Collections: Guide to the Ralph S. Palmer Collection

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
September 2005; revised January 2010
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Ralph S. Palmer Collection.
Dates of the Collection: 1842-2002 (inclusive); 1880-1950 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift from Ralph S. Palmer in 2000, 2002 and 2003; additional materials given by the Palmer family in 2004.
Collection Number: MS 1063.
Box Numbers: 1-5 (formerly new accessions 2003-0210a, 2003-0210b, 2003-0210c, 2003-0212a, 2004-0518f, 2004-0518g and unnumbered accession).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of three archival record cartons and two document boxes of material (4 cubic feet) + 170 linear feet of reprints.
Conservation Note: Parts of the collection have been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.
Preferred Citation: Ralph S. Palmer Collection, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.

The collection contains research material and writings of Ralph S. Palmer, a professor and naturalist. It includes material related to Manly Hardy and his daughter Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, as well as an extensive reprint collection of publications in natural history and zoology.
Ralph Simon Palmer was born in Richmond, Maine, on June 13, 1914, the son of George Luther Palmer and Marion Brown Holmes Palmer. The Palmer family later moved to Brunswick, Maine, where Ralph attended school, graduating from high school there in 1932. He entered the University of Maine in 1933, where he majored in zoology and graduated in 1937. His B.A. honors thesis was entitled “The Mammals of Maine.” He entered Cornell University in 1937, completing a dissertation entitled “A Behavior Study of the Common Tern,” and receiving a Ph.D. in 1940. He went to Vassar College in 1942 as an instructor in zoology, becoming an assistant professor in 1947. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1943, serving overseas in the Navy’s amphibious forces and returning to the U.S. in 1945. In 1949 he was appointed a senior scientist on the staff of the New York State Museum and State Science Service. There he did zoological research for the Science Service and acted as a clearinghouse for questions on zoology for schools, colleges and other organizations. He also served as zoologist for the State Museum.
Dr. Palmer was the author of A Behavior Study of the Common Tern, 1940, Maine Birds, 1949, and The Mammal Guide, 1954, as well as numerous papers and articles on ornithology and mammalogy. He was also the author and editor of the five-volume Handbook of North American Birds series, the first volume of which was published in 1962.
In 1978, Dr. Palmer was appointed a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution. After his retirement, he moved to Tenants Harbor, Maine, where he continued to work for the Smithsonian part-time. In 1981, he was appointed a faculty associate in zoology and forest resources at the University of Maine in Orono. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maine at Machias in 1994.
Dr. Palmer was known for the extent and depth of his knowledge and interests, which included birds, mammals, Native Americans, geology, natural history, art and photography. He maintained and indexed a large group of articles on natural history, as well as a collection of rare books on the Maine woods, Native Americans, and 19th century exploring. He also had a meticulously documented mammal collection of approximately 1,700 specimens.
Ralph Palmer was married twice: to Eunice Nelson Palmer and to Nancy R. Palmer. He had three children, sons Keith and Douglas and daughter Shirley Palmer Richardson. Ralph Palmer died on July 21, 2003.
In 1942 Dr. Palmer began a correspondence with Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, expressing in his first letter to her his interest in the natural history of Maine in general and in her father Manly Hardy in particular. He continued to do research and collect material on Manly Hardy for most of the rest of his life, intending to publish a biography of Hardy as a result. In a letter written in November, 1962, he notes that he has assembled most of the material for the projected work but goes on to say that “Other commitments seem to keep me from making progress just now on this project—one which has long interested me greatly.” Although a draft of the biography appears in the collection, it was never published.
Manly Hardy was born on November 11, 1832, in Hampden, Maine, the only child of Jonathan Titcomb Hardy and Catherine Sears Atwood Hardy. Jonathan Hardy was a businessman involved in shipping, lumbering, timberlands, and the fur business. The Hardy family moved to Brewer, Maine, when Manly was four, and he remained there for the rest of his life. As a young man he had intended to go to Africa as a missionary but ill health prevented him from doing so. Instead Manly Hardy became a fur buyer and dealer, maintaining one of the most extensive fur businesses in Maine and regularly shipping furs to C.M. Lampson & Co. in London. He also spent much time in the woods of Maine, acquiring great knowledge of woods lore and spending time with other men familiar with the wilderness. Hardy reportedly took one to three trips to the woods or the coast each year from 1852 until 1898. On these trips he hunted, trapped and studied birds, especially the ruffed grouse on which he became an authority. In 1861 he was the assistant naturalist on the Maine State Scientific Survey. He began to mount birds and went on to attempt to collect all birds in the U.S. and then in North America, assembling a collection of some 3,300 U.S. birds. He also wrote extensively about the Maine woods, Indians, and mammals. His first published writing seems to have been on the “Nesting Habits of the Red-Bellied Nuthatch,” which appeared in the Nuttall Bulletin in 1878. Most of his writing was done for the magazines Forest and Stream and Shooting and Fishing. In 1890 he retired from business but continued to spend time on his bird collection and his writing and correspondence with other naturalists.
Manly Hardy married Emmeline Freeman Wheeler on December 24, 1862. They had six children: Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Catherine Atwood Hardy Bates, Annie Eliza Hardy Eckstorm, Manly Willis Hardy, who lived less than two years, and twins Charlotte W. Hardy and Walter M. Hardy. Manly Hardy died on December 9, 1910.
The collection also contains correspondence and other material from Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, also a naturalist, historian, folklorist and writer. She was born on June 18, 1865, in Brewer, Maine. She attended Bangor High School, Abbott Academy in Andover, Mass., and graduated from Smith College in 1888.
In 1893 she married Rev. Jacob A. Eckstorm of Chicago. They lived in Oregon for a short time and then moved to Providence, R.I., staying there until Jacob Eckstorm’s death in 1899. In 1900 Fannie returned to Brewer with her two children and lived there for the rest of her life. Fannie had made many trips to the woods with her father before her marriage, learning from him, meeting lumbermen, hunters and Indians, and keeping journals of her observations. Her interests included Indians and their crafts and language, birds, Maine ballads and folklore. She wrote extensively, publishing The Woodpeckers in 1900 and The Bird Book in 1901. Other books include Penobscot Man, 1904; David Libbey: Penobscot Woodman and River-Driver, 1907; Minstrelsy of Maine, 1927; Indian Place-Names of the Penobscot Valley and the Maine Coast, 1941; and Old John Neptune and Other Maine Indian Shamans, 1945.
Fannie Hardy Eckstorm died on December 31, 1946. She had two children, Katharine Hardy Eckstorm, who died in 1901, and Paul Eckstorm, who died in 1943.
Papers of Manly Hardy’s son Walter Hardy are also included in this collection. Walter Hardy was an artist, writer, and apple grower. He was born in Brewer on February 9, 1877. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1896 and spent a year at the University of Maine before transferring to the Art Students League in New York City. After completing courses there, he also studied in Paris, England and Italy. He was interested in birds and other wildlife and after his return to the U.S. did illustrations of birds and animals for various publications. He also illustrated some of the articles written by his father.
In 1911 he bought a farm in Holden, Maine, where he planted a large apple orchard. He raised and sold apples there until his death on September 17, 1933.
Researchers interested in the Hardy family may also want to consult the Fannie Hardy Eckstorm Papers (MS 158) owned by Fogler Library, as well as Manly Hardy (1832-1910): The Life and Writing of a Maine Fur-Buyer, Hunter, and Naturalist, compiled and introduced by William B. Krohn and published by the Maine Folklife Center in 2005.

Scope and Content Note
The collection is arranged in four series: I. Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy, II. Reprint collection, III. Miscellaneous photographs, and IV. Materials on Arthur Norton. Series I is further divided into six sub-series.
Series I contains material gathered by Ralph S. Palmer (RSP) for a planned biography of Manly Hardy and is made up of both original material and typescripts of original material made by both Fannie Hardy Eckstorm and Ralph Palmer. The material had been re-foldered at an earlier date by Fogler Library staff and most of the folder headings assigned by them have been retained.
Sub-series 1, Palmer correspondence, notes, etc., contains correspondence between Palmer and Fannie Hardy Eckstorm (FHE), 1942-1946, and between Palmer and Charlotte W. Hardy, 1946-1963. The letters discuss the life and writings of Manly Hardy and detail Palmer’s visits to FHE’s home in Brewer as well as materials he received from both sisters over their long acquaintance. Also included is general correspondence about the planned biography as well as notes, articles, clippings and photographs about the Hardy family. Bibliographies of the writings of Manly Hardy and Fannie Hardy Eckstorm compiled by RSP, as well as a draft of the planned Hardy biography are also included. In addition index cards compiled by RSP of Manly Hardy’s writings and his activities are found in this sub-series.
During Ralph Palmer’s long association with Fannie Hardy Eckstorm and after her death in 1946, he received various original material concerning Jonathan Titcomb Hardy, Manly Hardy, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, and Walter M. Hardy. These materials make up sub-series 2-5. The papers of Jonathan Titcomb Hardy include a business ledger and journal, as well as letters between Jonathan and Manly Hardy and letters to Jonathan from Rufus Philbrook, a trapper and hunter and long-time associate of the Hardy family.
Sub-series 3, the papers of Manly Hardy, is comprised in large part of correspondence to Hardy from other naturalists, writers and ornithologists. It is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and includes letters from Charles Bendire, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, George Bird Grinnell, Rufus Philbrook, and Charles K. Worthen. This sub-series also contains a business ledger, 1864-1895, as well as typescript copies of the writings of Manly Hardy, 1870-1913. Ralph Palmer also received a portrait of Manly Hardy painted by Bangor artist Annie E. Hardy as a bequest from Charlotte Hardy, and it accompanies this collection.
Sub-series 4 contains papers of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm consisting mostly of letters to her. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, they include materials from E. Tappan Adney, Charles Bendire, George Bird Grinnell, Manly Hardy, and Cordelia Stanwood, among others. A few invoices and receipts as well as some notes on animal names complete this sub-series.
Sub-series 5 includes a small amount of papers of Walter M. Hardy, including letters from Manly Hardy and original illustrations done by Walter Hardy for his father’s article, “A Fall Fur Hunt in Maine,” published in Forest and Stream in 1910.
Sub-series 6, Miscellaneous, includes a few items not clearly identified with any particular Hardy family member as well as letters written in 1863 by John A. Miller at the state prison in Thomaston to his mother. Their relation to the rest of the collection is unclear.
Series II is made up of Ralph Palmer’s extensive reprint collection and its indexes. Dr. Palmer began collecting this material around 1938, although the publications date from the late 19th century to the 1990’s. Arranged by author and comprising 440 pamphlet boxes of material (ca. 170 linear feet), the collection includes articles from a wide variety of publications, annual reports, transactions of conferences, etc. It covers the field of natural history in its widest sense and includes articles on ornithology, zoology, mammalogy, plant life, forests, geology, science and art.
Dr. Palmer prepared very detailed card indexes to accompany his reprint collection. One index is arranged by author and gives brief citations to each item in the collection. Information from Keith Palmer, RSP’s son, indicates that index cards were also included in this file for RSP’s extensive library of books. However, the books were not given to Fogler Library after his death.
An additional index contains information about selected authors represented in the collection. This index contains biographical information and Palmer’s comments on the authors and their writings. In some cases it includes photographs and newspaper clippings pertinent to the authors.
The final index is arranged by species and cross-references many of the articles according to their content. Included on many of these cards are reviews of various publications, newspaper clippings, and Palmer’s comments on the articles.
Series III contains miscellaneous photographs taken by Ralph Palmer in the 1930’s. Most of them are of scenes on the University of Maine campus in Orono, including aerial views taken in 1935. The series also contains several photographs taken at Mount Katahdin in 1937.
Series IV contains material concerning Arthur Norton including correspondence between Norton and Palmer, 1930-1943, in which they exchange information about ornithology, natural history and other mutual interests. The series also contains biographical and bibliographical information gathered by Palmer about Norton as well as note cards made by Palmer about articles written by Norton.

Box List
Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy
Sub-series 1: Palmer correspondence, notes, etc.
Box 1
1-2 Correspondence between F.H.E. and Ralph Palmer, 1942-Dec. 19, 1946
3 Inventory and synopsis of F.H.E-Palmer correspondence prepared by Maine Folklife Center, 2002(?)
4-5 Correspondence between Charlotte W. Hardy and RSP, Dec. 20, 1946-Nov. 29, 1957
6 Inventory and synopsis of Charlotte Hardy-Palmer correspondence prepared by Maine Folklife Center, 2002?
7 Correspondence, RSP-Charlotte Hardy, 1953-1963; death announcement, 1964
8 RSP correspondence re Manly Hardy article, 1945
9 Correspondence from Mrs. C.A. Eckstorm, 1950
10 General correspondence, 1946-1947, 1962-1987
11 Correspondence with Jeanne Patten Whitten, 1964 + copy of thesis
12 Correspondence with Maine State Museum, 1980
13 Manly Hardy portrait examination report, 1980
14 Manly Hardy & relatives: partial bibliography [by RSP]
15 Fannie Hardy Eckstorm bibliography [by RSP]
16 Hardy family biographical information
17 Biographical notes on Manly Hardy by RSP
18 RSP notes
19-20 Articles, clippings, etc. re Hardy family
21 Clippings from Forest and Stream
22 Paul F. Eckstorm bird collection
23 Exhibit catalog, 1966, Colby College Art Museum: Jeremiah Pearson Hardy: Maine Portraitist
24 Exhibit catalog, 1977, Farnsworth Art Museum: Versatility Yankee Style
25 Correspondence, notes, etc., 1993-1994 re RSP’s article “Titian Ramsey Peale in Maine in October 1829”
26 Draft of Manly Hardy biography by RSP with notes by Charlotte Hardy, 1950
27-28 Photographs relating to Manly Hardy [taken by RSP between 1932-1964]
29 Hardy family photographs

Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy cont.
Sub-series 1: Palmer correspondence, notes, etc. cont.
Box 1 cont.
30 Miscellaneous Hardy family photographs
31 Photographs of artifacts
32 Miscellaneous photographs
33 RSP index cards re Manly Hardy [located physically in Box 4]
Sub-series 2: Papers of Jonathan Titcomb Hardy
Ledger Ledger, 1842-1867
34-35 Transcription of ledger, 1842-1867 [transcribed by RSP, 1980]
Ledger Journal, 1848-1862
36-37 Transcription of journal, 1848-1862 [transcribed by RSP, 1980]
38 Letter to Catherine Sears Atwood Hardy from Jonathan Hardy, June 25, 1838
39 Letters to Jonathan Titcomb Hardy, 1844-1862
40 Letters between Jonathan Titcomb Hardy and Manly Hardy, 1850, 1859-1861
41 Letters from Rufus Philbrook, 1860-1861
42 Miscellaneous documents
43 Stencil used by Jonathan T. Hardy when shipping bales of furs to London
Sub-series 3: Papers of Manly Hardy
44 Letters from S.G. Abbee, 1881, 1888
45 Letters from Charles A. Allen, 1883-1900
46 Letters from J.A. Allen, 1886
47 Letters from A.W. Anthony, 1891-1900
48 Letters from James P. Babbitt, 1892
49 Letters from W.W. Babcock, 1895, 1898
50 Letters from Charles F. Batchelder, 1897-1898
Box 2
1-2 Letters from Charles Bendire, 1882-1896
3-4 Letters from William Brewster, 1880-1910
5 Letter from Manly Hardy to William Brewster, 1889 [typescript copy]
6 Letters from Herbert Brown, 1886-1888
7 Letters from W.E. Bryant, 1883-1884, 1887
8 Letters from George G. Cantwell, 1897

Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy cont.
Sub-series 3: Papers of Manly Hardy cont.
Box 2 cont.
9 Letters from John Lewis Childs, 1906-1907
10 Letters from Henry Clapp, 1850-1871
11 Letters from Sabattis Dana, 1879-1886; postcard from Hardy to Dana, 1885?
12 Letters from J. Darling, 1879, 1891
13 Letters from Greenleaf Davis, 1870-1893
14 Letters from Walter Deane, 1900
15 Letters from G.F. Dippie, 1890-1900
16 Letters from Charles E. Doe, 1900
17 Letters from Jack Dunbar, 1888-1889
18 Letters from Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, 1886, 1891-1892
19 Letters from John A. Eldredge, 1892-1893, 1899
20 Letter from F. Fairbanks, undated
21 Letters from Joseph Francis, 1883, 1888
22 Letters from W.G. Fuller, 1882, 1887
23 Letters from George Bird Grinnell, 1907-1910
24 Letter to Catherine Sears Atwood Hardy from Manly Hardy, 1859? [typescript copy]
25 Letters from Jonathan Titcomb Hardy, 1861-1862, undated
26 Letters from S.C. Hemenway, 1866
27 Letters from H.W. Henshaw, 1880, 1900
28 Letters from Lewis Ketchum, 1865-1870
29 Letters from Frank Kittridge, 1879-1880, undated
30 Letters from Charles H. Marsh, 1882, 1885
31 Letters from Thomas McIlwraith, 1884-1892
32 Letters from Silas McPheters, 1869, undated
33 Letters from Adam Moore, 1902, 1904
34 Letters from Francis Neptune, 1884, 1888
35 Letters from Rufus Philbrook, 1859-1887
36 Letters from Charles B. Reynolds, Forest and Stream Publishing Co., 1891-1906
37 Letters from James M. Southwick, 1889
38 Letters from Southwick and Jencks, 1882-1898
39 Letters from William Staples, 1857-1875, undated

Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy cont.
Sub-series 3: Papers of Manly Hardy cont.
Box 2 cont.
40 Letters from F. Stephens, 1884-1900, undated
41 Letters from John E. Thayer, 1910
42 Letters from Calvin Turner, 1869-1870, 1879
43 Letters from Jos. M. Wade, 1897, undated
44 Letters from Frank A. Ward, 1884-1900
45 Letters from Arthur T. Wayne, 1896-1897
46 Letters from Frank B. Webster, 1900, undated
47 Letters from Stark Webster, 1892
48 Letters from Wilbur Webster, 1891
49 Letters from H. Wilson, 1871-1872
50 Letters from Chas. K. Worthen, 1881-1895
51 Letters from miscellaneous correspondents
52 Unidentified fragments
53 Bills, receipts, etc., 1880’s
54-55 Typescript copies of letters, notes, etc. of Hardy family members [by RSP?]
56 Notes and typescript copies, journals, etc. of Hardy family members [by RSP?]
Ledger Ledger, 1864-1895
57-58 Transcription of ledger, 1864-1895 [transcribed by RSP]
59 Transcriptions of journal of Manly Hardy, 1872-1882
60-64 Writings of Manly Hardy [typescripts], 1870-1913, undated
Box 3
1-5 Writings of Manly Hardy, 1870-1913 [second copy with RSP notes and corrections]
6 Original of M.H.’s article defending Major Bendire, published in The Nidiologist, 4, no. 9, May 1897
7 Issues of Forest and Stream, May 7-June 11, 1910 containing “A Fall Fur Hunt in Maine,” by M.H.
Oversized Portrait of Manly Hardy by Annie E. Hardy, 1904

Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy cont.
Sub-series 4: Papers of Fannie Hardy Eckstorm
Box 3 cont.
8-9 Correspondence with E. Tappan Adney, 1945-1946
10 Letters from C.F. Amery, 1889-1890
11 Letters from Charles Bendire, 1883-1888
12 Letters from William Brewster, 1897-1918
13 Letters from Fannie S. Chase, 1933-1936
14 Letters from Greenleaf Davis, 1883-1891
15 Letters from Paul Eckstorm, 1915
16 Letters from L.J. Flower, 1890-1903
17 Letters from George Bird Grinnell, 1910-1921
18 Letters from Manly Hardy, 1883-1899
19 Letters from R.G. Leonard, 1813; to R.G. Leonard, 1937
20 Letters from David S. Libbey, 1904
21 Letters from Charles B. Reynolds, 1890-1891
22 Letters from Sisters of Mercy, Indian Island, 1891, 1904
23 Letter from Cordelia Stanwood, 1912
24 Letters from John E. Thayer, 1912
25 Letters from Edward A. Weatherbee, 1904-1906
26 Letters from Stark Webster, 1892-1893, 1904
27 Letters from miscellaneous correspondents, 1890-1946, undated; outgoing from F.H.E., 1946
28 Invoices and receipts, etc.
29 Notes for Indians on Penobscot animal names [by FHE?]
Sub-series 5: Papers of Walter M. Hardy
30 Letters from Manly Hardy, 1898-1899 [typescript excerpts]
31 Correspondence, etc.
32-33 W. Hardy’s notes, 1911-1917 [typescripts]
34 Illustrations, etc.
35 Illustrations for “A Fall Fur Hunt in Maine,” Forest and Stream, May-June, 1910
36 Obituaries of Walter Hardy, 1933

Series I: Materials for a biography of Manly Hardy cont.
Sub-series 5: Miscellaneous
Box 3 cont.
37 Letter to Charlotte Hardy from R.G. Leonard, 1950
38 Flyer for Dr. Manly Hardy’s genuine jaundice bitters, 1835?
39 Miscellaneous notes, etc.
40 Four metal canisters labeled: Printed, typed Hardy, 1895, 1904; Done, 1910; Printed, typed W.M. Hardy, 1913
41 Letters from John A. Miller to his mother, 1863 [from State Prison, Thomaston]
Series II: Reprint Collection
440 pamphlet boxes of reprints
Card index file to reprints arranged by author
Card index file with information on authors and species
Box 3 cont.
42 Miscellaneous photographs, correspondence, etc. re animals
Series III: Miscellaneous Photographs
43 Walker Art Museum, Bowdoin College, 1932
44 University of Maine campus, 1934, including fire at Oak Hall
45 Aerial views of U. of Maine campus, March 4, 1935
46 U. of Maine campus, June 11, 1935
47 U. of Maine and town of Orono, 1937
48 Mt. Katahdin, 1937
Box 4
Index cards, etc.
Series IV: Materials on Arthur H. Norton
Box 5
1 Letters from Arthur Norton, 1930-1942
2 Letters (copies) to Arthur Norton, 1921-1943
3 Letters, Palmer and T. Gilbert Pearson, Jan. 28-29, 1943, re biographical note about Norton
4 Norton biographical material
5 Bibliography of Arthur Norton
6 Newspaper clippings re Norton and Maine Naturalist
7 Newspaper clippings re talks by Arthur Norton
8-10 Palmer note cards re Arthur Norton
11 Portland Society of Natural History
12 Shell middens/oysters

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
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