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Karl Onthank conservation papers

 Collection
Identifier: Ax 356

Scope and Contents

The Karl Onthank collection consists of files assembled by Karl Onthank during his years of active conservation work. It includes correspondence, organizational documents, reports, newsletters, projects, plans, and other material generated by and concerning conservation organizations in which Onthank was a member or for which he acted in an advisory capacity. Collection is organized into four series: the projects in which Onthank engaged directly, the major and minor associations and committees which drew upon Onthank’s expertise, and the general correspondence files.

The Projects series includes papers relating to the proposed Beaver Marsh hydroelectric project, the Oregon Dunes National Seashore proposal, the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and Waldo Lake.

The Major Associations and Committees series includes documents relating to the Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, the Izaak Walton League of America, the Lane County Parks and Recreation Commission, the Nature Conservancy, the Oregon County Parks Association, the Oregon State Water Resources Board, and the Sierra Club.

The Minor Associations and Committees series includes smaller collections of documents relating to over 200 other outdoor and wildlife associations.

The Correspondence series records in depth the plans, opinions, and projects in which Onthank participated, and the letters received reflect the thoughts of the writers or their associations. Incoming letters are arranged throughout the collection alphabetically by sender; outgoing letters are arranged chronologically. This arrangement provides a useful index to the various conservationists as well as a chronological record of the Onthank’s work. The collection includes approximately 3,300 incoming and 3,700 outgoing letters.

Dates

  • 1950-1967

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Karl William Onthank was born in 1890 in Vineland, New Jersey, and moved to Hood River, Oregon with his family when he was thirteen. Onthank graduated from the University of Oregon in 1913 and married Ruth McLaren in 1915. In 1916 he joined the University of Oregon staff as executive secretary to President Prince Lucian Campbell. From 1924 to 1926 he was one of three members of an administrative team which took over during President Campbell's illness and the search for his successor. In 1930 Onthank was named dean of personnel administration for the university. In l948 he became associate dean of students in charge of job placement, a position he held until his retirement in l957. Onthank died in 1968.

In 1954 Karl and Ruth Onthank, together with other outdoor and conservation activists, formed the Friends of the Three Sisters Wilderness (F3S), dedicated to preserving the Three Sisters Primitive area of the Willamette and Deschutes national forests. He served as president of the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs from 1955 to 1957. Onthank helped organize the Save the McKenzie River Association and served as its vice-president. Some of the other groups to which Onthank belonged are: the Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, Eugene Park and Recreation Commission, Izaak Walton League of America, Lane County Park and Recreation Commission, Obsidians, Oregon Outdoor Recreation Advisory, Oregon Roadside Council, Oregon State Water Resources Board, Sierra Club, Trustees for Conservation, and Waldo Lake Advisory Council.

Extent

24 linear feet (16 containers)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Karl William Onthank (1890-1968) joined the University of Oregon staff in 1916 and held various posts until he became associate dean of students in charge of job placement in 1948, a position he held until his retirement in l957. In 1954 Karl and Ruth Onthank, together with other outdoor and conservation activists, formed the Friends of the Three Sisters Wilderness (F3S). He served as president of the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs from 1955 to 1957, and helped organize the Save the McKenzie River Association and served as its vice-president. The Karl Onthank Conservation Papers include materials relating to the proposed Beaver Marsh hydroelectric project, the Oregon Dunes National Seashore proposal, the Three Sisters Wilderness Area, and Waldo Lake. The collection also includes documents relating to a number of associations and committees with which Onthank was involved, and correspondence that records in depth the plans and projects in which Onthank participated.

Arrangement

Collection is organized into the following series: Series I. Projects; Series II. Major associations and committees; Series III. Minor associations and committees; and Series IV. Correspondence.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Title
Guide to the Karl Onthank Conservation Papers
Status
Complete Description
Author
Finding aid prepared by Rose Smith
Date
2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA