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Austin Cary Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0086

Scope and Contents of the Records

This small collection reflects the life-long involvement of Austin Cary in the areas of forestry and forest management.

The collection contains correspondence, mostly incoming, 1893-1936, from professional colleagues writing to Cary about areas of common interest. It also contains a file of memos and letters Cary prepared for presentation to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.

The collection continues with drafts and prints of articles by Cary, reflecting his work with the New York Department of Forestry and the United States Forest Service. Diaries and field notes, 1897-1910, contain Cary's observations on his numerous travels in forest regions prior to his employment with the Forest Service. A series of files, 1911-1931, contain reports written by Cary for various companies for which he did consulting. A few subject files and pamphlets on forestry are also included in the collection.

The collection ends with biographical information about Cary and documents concerning his estate.

The user should note that the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, also holds papers of Austin Cary, as well as an extensive collection of his published writings.


  • 1893-1953
  • Majority of material found within 1909-1935


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.

Restrictions on Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. No known restrictions.


The collection contains papers of Austin Cary, a noted forester with a forty-five year career in forestry research and administration.

Austin Cary was born in 1865 in East Machias, Maine. He received an A.B. degree from Bowdoin College in 1887, an A.M. degree in 1890, and an honorary Sc.D. in 1922. He also studied biology at Johns Hopkins and Princeton. He was an instructor in the Department of Geology and Biology at Bowdoin in 1887 and 1888, taught at the Yale Forest School in 1904 and 1905, and was an assistant professor of forestry at Harvard from 1905 to 1909.

Cary was one of the first people to enter the new profession of forestry. He was first employed as a surveyor and investigator, working in Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin. In 1895 he spent a season in the woods near the Androscoggin River gathering information for the state land agent's report. In 1898 he became a forester at the Berlin Mills Company, later the Brown Company, the first person to hold such a position in an American business. He worked for the company for six years, surveying, mapping and cruising the company lands in Maine.

He was appointed Superintendent of State Parks for New York State in 1909, resigning a year later. In 1910 he was appointed as Logging Engineer for the United States Forest Service, and his interests and influence broadened to include every forest region in the country. In 1917 he made his first trip to the South; he became increasingly interested in this region as a timber growing area. He also became interested in the naval stores industry in the South after making a trip to Spain and France in 1924 with representatives of the American Naval Stores Commission.

Cary was a prolific author, publishing technical papers and articles of interest to workers in various lumber and woodworking industries. He also published five editions of his "Manual for Northern Woodsmen." He prepared management plans for many private owners in the South and Northeast and became an authority on turpentining timber.

Cary retired from the Forest Service in 1935, settling in Lake City, Florida. Ever active in the forestry field, he then worked as a consulting forester for various private companies, mostly in the South. He also was himself a forest land owner with several thousand acres in Florida.

Austin Cary died in 1936 while on a visit to the Forestry Department at the University of Florida.


1.8 linear feet (3 boxes)


Papers of Austin Cary, a noted forester with a forty-five year career in forestry research and administration.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed. Prior to their arrival at the Library, many items were water damaged.



Immediate Source of Acquisition

"Text of talk prepared for Bangor Board of Trade, November 30, 1896" (box 3, folder 6) was donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum by Sherry Davies of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum and transferred to Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department on March 12, 2021.

Guide to the Austin Cary Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Guide prepared by Brenda Howitson Steeves
March 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States