Fonds SC559 - Edward Griffin fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Edward Griffin fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1956 - 2006 (Creation)
    Griffin, Edward

Physical description area

Physical description

1.7 linear metres of textual records and other materials.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Edward “Ted” Griffin is the founder and former owner of Seattle Marine Aquarium who launched the orca capture industry in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s. In 1965, Griffin purchased and transported “Namu,” an orca caught in fishing nets in British Columbia, to Seattle Aquarium where Griffin trained the animal to perform and swim with humans. Following Namu’s capture, Griffin and his business partner, Don Goldsberry, went on to pioneer orca capture methods and supply oceanariums around the world with the whales. In 1972, Griffin retired from orca captures but remains heavily involved and interested in various marine mammal research projects.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of documents relating to the career of Edward “Ted” Griffin, covering his work as founder and manager of the Seattle Aquarium, his experience as an orca capturer, and his writing ventures with magazine articles and a full-length book. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence, drafts of publications, documents regarding Washington State’s marine mammal legislation, publications written by Griffin or featuring him, financial reports, research notes and reports, and promotional material surrounding Namu. Major topics covered in these papers include the passage of the marine mammal capture ban in Washington in 1971, the capture and ensuing stardom of Namu, Griffin’s book, Namu: Quest for the Killer Whale, aquarium research and planning, and marine mammal research. Forms of materials include correspondence, reports, publications, manuscripts, clippings, and photographs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Edward Griffin and Freda J. Zimmerman, January 2018.


Collection is arranged into 4 series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Writings
  3. Seattle Aquarium
  4. Other Papers

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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