Archief SC561 - John F. Colby Fonds

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John F. Colby Fonds

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

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0.9 linear metres of textual records and other materials (4 boxes)

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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.

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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.


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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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