Fonds SC561 - John F. Colby fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John F. Colby fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1965-1993 (Creation)
    Colby, John F.

Physical description area

Physical description

0.9 linear metres of textual records and other materials.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John F. Colby was born in 1947 and raised in the Puget Sound. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology from the University of Puget Sound in 1969. The same year, he gained employment as a zookeeper at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, where he developed collection and care techniques for a variety of birds. In 1972, Colby was hired as Sealand of the Pacific’s curator and was responsible for marine animal collection, training, and care. In 1973, Colby led a crew from Sealand for the capture of 4 orcas in Pedder Bay. In 1974, Colby left Sealand and pursued work with Sea World Inc., collecting and caring for orcas, developing husbandry techniques for mammals and birds, and working as a biologist at Seattle Marine Aquarium. Beginning in 1977, Colby worked as a consultant and animal collector for animal parks across Canada and the United States.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of documents relating to 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.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Collection is arranged into 6 series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
  3. Sealand of the Pacific
  4. SeaWorld
  5. Consulting & Contracts
  6. Other Papers

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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