The fonds documents the career of John F. Colby, covering his work as a collector, curator, consultant, and zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Sealand of the Pacific, Seattle Marine Aquarium, Sea World, and several other animal parks across Canada and the United States. The collection includes personal and professional correspondence; a scrapbook on orca captures; field notes on collection expeditions, information on rearing animals and professional experiences; professional contracts; writings; and newspaper clippings. Major topics in these papers include the 1973 Pedder Bay orca capture, the illness and death of Sealand’s white whale, Chimo, in 1972, and the development and expansion of marine and aviary exhibits at animal parks.
The collection consists of a notebook with birthday wishes, notes from friends/family (1980s), a notebook given from Tessa to Pavelic (1980), spiral bound notebook "Our Trip by Car to California, April 24, 1977" made by Tessa and Myfanwy, a small notebook "Some Silly Stories and Rhymes by Tessa for Mother, April 27th, 1985," a photograph of Pavelic with two dogs titled "The Happy Trio" (1979), unidentified framed photograph.
The collection consists of film reels and videocassettes featuring artists Maxwell Bates, Ricki Ciccimarra, Leon Erickson, Jan and Helga Grove, Elza Mayhew, Myfanwy Pavelic, and Godfrey Stevens. The collection also includes footage from the 1983 film "Ninstints" about the 1957 removal and preservation of totem poles from Anthony Island in the Queen Charlottes.