Fonds SC 58 - J. B. Williams fonds

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J. B. Williams fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00259 SC 58

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  • 1883-1910 (Creation)

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Physical description

3.6 centimeters of textual records (2 volumes)

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Biographical history

John Bickerton Williams was born in 1858 in Liverpool, England and died May 28, 1916 in Toronto, Ontario. Williams was a professional architect and moved to Canada from England in 1881, primarily living in Toronto, though he spent part of the 1890s in Montreal. Williams joined Toronto's Natural History Society in 1882, and contributed a number of bird specimens to their museum. He was one of two Corresponding Secretaries for the Ornithological Subsection of the Biological Society of the Canadian Institute, for which he published ornithological notes in its proceedings. Eventually, he became Curator of the Biological Section's natural history specimens, and later became the Honorary Curator for the whole Institute. In addition to his interest in ornithology, he was active in Canadian entomology. His contributions to zoology were recognized in 1896, when he was named a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of two volumes of bird observations from 1882-1914. The first volume covers the years from 1882 to 1894, with later additions from 1904 and 1910. The second volume covers the years 1894 to 1914. Williams uses these two year diaries to record information for several years; for example, in the section reserved for January 1st 1884, he recorded notes for that day in 1885 and 1889. The entries consist of the common name (occasionally followed by the Latin name) of the species Williams observed, with information about how many of each species he saw or how many specimens he shot, as well as the occasional note regarding weather conditions. There are also the occasional notes regarding other creatures aside from birds - snakes, some reptiles and amphibians, and insects. There is a sketch of a stick insect near the end of the first volume.

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Associated materials

For Williams's lectures to the Montreal Natural History Society, see SC 45. The ROM holds 28 bird specimens collected by Williams, primarily in Toronto.

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General note

Biographical information from: Cranmer-Byng, Jack, and Martin K. McNicholl. Ornithology in Ontario. Whitby, Ont.: Hawk Owl, 1994. "John Bickerton Williams, F.Z.S." Canadian Entomologist 48 (1916): 248. Herzberg, Louise. A Pocketful of Galls: William Brodie and the Natural History Society of Toronto. Toronto: L. Herzberg, 1996.

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