Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00387 - J. Murray Speirs Papers

Identity area

Reference code



J. Murray Speirs Papers


  • 1923-2000 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

20 boxes (3.5 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. John Murray Speirs was born in Toronto in 1909. His lifelong fascination with birds first began with the sighting of a ruby-crowned kinglet in his garden at the age of 6. He kept detailed daily bird sighting notebooks from the age of 15 until his death in 2001. He published hundreds of articles, and was editor of many books and journals, including 12 volumes of The Illustrated Natural History of Canada, 6 volumes of Birds of Ontario County, and co-authored A Naturalist's Guide to Ontario.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Rosemary Speirs/Estate of J. Murray Speirs

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of daily bird journals (1923-2000), daily bird records (1922-1949), first and last sightings records (1922-1990), and research records on the American Robin and the Lincoln Sparrow (1930s-1940s).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Name access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

Rules and/or conventions used




Accession area

Finding aid



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