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F. John Ward papers

Identifier: ua-00227

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence with a broad range of people interested in woodcocks, including academic and government biologists and foreign and domestic sportsmen. A portion of the correspondence is in French.


  • Creation: 1953-1976


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English and French

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of F. John Ward (1903-1976)

F. John Ward, noted hunter and outdoorsman, and researcher on the woodcock bird.

F. John Ward was born in Minneapolis in 1903. He was well traveled as a young man and after trips to Europe, Asia, the Arctic and Australia, Ward settled in St. Paul and opened a consulting business. Ward was an active hunter and outdoorsman, with memberships in both the local and national levels of Ducks Unlimited. During the 1950s, Ward became interested in the woodcock bird and pushed for research on the species. During this period he worked closely with the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the bird's habits and needs.

During his research on the woodcock, he began to write to scientists and sportsmen in Great Britain and France. The Old World Woodcock, a larger bird than the New World species, had been the subject of many articles and books in Europe. Ward was introduced to many experts in woodcocks in Europe after writing to the president of the Club National de Becassiers, Louis Guizard, which published a magazine devoted to the woodcock, La Mordoree.

Ward's work on the woodcock was in promoting the bird. The woodcock has never been a popular bird in the United States as a game bird, and little funding was to be had for research. During 1966-1967, Ward campaigned for the inclusion of "lesser" or "webless footed" game birds on the Migratory Bird Stamp to provide funds for woodcock research and he attempted to boost interest in forming a national woodcock club organized along the lines of Ducks Unlimited. In 1968 Ward retired to Pebble Beach, California, but continued his work on the woodcock. He organized the European section of the 5th Woodcock Seminar in 1974. F. John Ward died on March 30, 1976.


1.25 Cubic Feet (1 box)


Collection contains the papers of F. John Ward, researcher and expert on the woodcock bird.


The collection is arranged in alphabetical order, by correspondent or general topic, except the first two folders in the collection are general and miscellaneous correspondence.

Source of acquisition

The collection was deposited in University Archives by Professor William H. Marshall on September 7, 1976.

Related Materials in University Archives

William H. Marshall papers

Other Related Materials

F. John Ward amassed a large library on woodcocks and birds in general, with the library containing many rare volumes. Professor William H. Marshall of the University of Minnesota's department of entomology, fisheries and wildlife acquired Ward's collection in the late 1960s. Dr. Marshall deposited the collection of books in the Entomology, Fisheries and Wildlife library on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. Please refer to the EFW's card catalog for titles belonging to F. John Ward.

F. John WardpPapers, 1953-1976
Penelope Krosch; updated by Karen Spilman
June 1977; updated April 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area