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Merlin S. Eltzroth Papers, 1971-2005

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen.

Collection Overview

Title: Merlin S. Eltzroth Papers, 1971-2005

Predominant Dates: 1983-2005

ID: MSS Eltzroth

Primary Creator: Eltzroth, Merlin S.

Extent: 0.4 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Merlin S. Eltzroth Papers consist of field notes compiled by Eltzroth about first and second recorded sightings of birds that are rarely seen in Oregon and a personal history, Here, There and Eltzwhere, written by Eltzroth. Eltzroth earned a BS degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University in 1974.

Scope and Content Notes

The Merlin S. Eltzroth Papers consist of field notes about birds rarely seen in Oregon and an autobiography written by Eltzroth in 2005.

The field notes document the first and second recorded sightings in Oregon of birds that are rarely seen in the state. They are based on Eltzroth's personal observations, published sources, and accounts from other birders. The notes include details on the date and location of the sighting and the observer. Information from these records was developed into a database by the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildife, that was transferred to the Oregon Natural Heritage Program.

Eltzroth's autobiography, Here, There, and Eltzwhere, presents a chronological personal history of Eltzroth's family, education, military service, and life in Corvallis, Oregon. He describes his involvement with the birding community in Corvallis; his experiences as an older student at Oregon State University (OSU) in the 1970s; friendships with OSU faculty; participation in OSU classes as a guest lecturer; highlights of OSU athletics; and bird-related research that he conducted in collaboration with OSU researchers.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Merlin S. Eltzroth moved to Corvallis in 1971 and earned a BS degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University in 1974. He specialized in non-game bird biology and was a volunteer in wild bird rehabilitation and protection, especially of hawks, owls, and other birds of prey. In 1985, he was instrumental in the passage of Oregon laws to protect all native non-game bird species and received honors from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for his work. In early 2005, he received the first Homer Campbell Award for conservation and the environment fromm the Audubon Society of Corvallis. He served as president of the Audubon Society of Corvallis and founded the Oregon Field Ornithologists and published articles and booklets about birds of Oregon.

Eltzroth retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1971 after serving in both World War II and the Vietnam War. He graduated from Ohio University in 1947. Merlin S. and Elsie K. Eltzroth were married in June 1943. Merlin was born in Philadelphia in 1922, grew up in Ohio, and died in Corvallis on October 7, 2005.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: Materials were donated to the Archives in 2008 and 2009.

Related Materials: The Bluebird Habitat Research Records (MSS Bluebird) document the Bluebird Trail project of the Audubon Society in Corvallis which was led by Elsie Eltzroth. Additional information about academic and research programs in fisheries and wildlife at Oregon State University are available in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department Records (RG 190) as well as the Spotted Owl Management, Policy, and Research Collection (MSS SpottedOwl).

Preferred Citation: Merlin S. Eltzroth Papers (MSS Eltzroth), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Eltzroth, Merlin S.

People, Places, and Topics

Adult college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
Bird watching--Oregon.
Corvallis (Or.)
Eltzroth, Elsie K.
Eltzroth, Merlin S.
Eltzroth family.
History of Science
Local History
Oregon State University--Students.
Oregon State University. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
University History

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.