I discovered Chester A. Reed in the fall of 1976. I was looking for information on bird nests and eggs. My first book written by Chester was “North American Birds Eggs,” a revised version edited by “Dover Publications” in 1965.
In January 2009, I wanted to learn about Chester A. Reed’s life. I was preparing a website on bird nests and eggs. At first, I discovered that there wasn’t any information on his life. At that point, in May 2009, I started my research.
Many people contributed to my research. Among these people, I have to highlight Jean Mayo’s generous contribution (New Hampshire). Jean is a genealogy specialist. She agreed to help a stranger by doing a genealogy research, with very little information to start. She is the first person who gave me a glimpse into Chester’s life.
In a only few months, Jean realized the arduous task of tracing the Reed family tree back to 1502.
Most importantly, Jean was able to find one of the last Reed descendants. Without her precious help, Chester A. Reed’s life would probably still be in cardboard boxes.
Thank you very much, Jean!
Gail Berkshire and John A. Gibbins are the last descendants of Chester A. Reed’s family. Here is a summary of their family tree, starting from Carrie, Chester’s mother:
- Carrie B. Reed, 1852- 1942, (Chester’s mother)
- Mona Alma R. King, 1892-1966 (Chester’s sister)
- Doris K. Gibbins 1926-1993 (Mona’s daughter)
- Gail G. Berkshire (Doris’ daughter)
- John A. Gibbins (Doris’ son)
Gail lives in New Jersey. She agreed to meet me twice and allowed me to consult the Reed family archives. She allowed me to scan many documents that I used to analyze Chester’s life and to get the information for this website.
During my research, Gail provided me with missing pieces of information and gave me, on a few occasions, originals of Chester’s books that were kept in the family archives.
Gail gave me access to the family’s archives without restrictions and trusted me fully. I am very grateful for her help. She is the keeper of the Reed family’s history.
Thanks a lot, Gail!
And many others…
I sent over 200 emails for opportunities to find the smallest pieces of information that would help me know more about Chester A. Reed.
Among these people, many have replied and, in their own way, directly contributed to the preparation of this website.
Mark V. Barrow, Jr.
Department of History
Note: Mr. Barrow is the author of the book “A Passion for Birds, American Ornithology after Audubon,” Princeton University Press. He generously agreed to answer my questions. He introduced me to people who played an important role in my research.
American Museum of Natural History
New York, New York
Note: Mrs. LeCroy provided me with communications between Mr. F. M. Chapman and Charles and Chester Reed. This information was crucial to discover an important part of Chester A. Reed’s life.
Bird Division Collection Manager
Museum of Zoology
University of Michigan
Note: Mrs. Hinshaw allowed me to get important information only accessible in the original “American Ornithology for the Home and School” magazines.
Reference & Processing Archivist
Archives & Special Collections
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Note: Mrs. Anderson researched in the Institute’s archives to provide me with information about Chester A. Reed’s years in the electrical engineering program.
Andrew P. Coughlan
Bird Studies Canada
Note: Mr. Caughlan didn’t hesitate to support my efforts with stakeholders in the United States.
The Peregrine Fund
Note: It would have been impossible to analyze Charles K. Reed’s marketing strategy in the magazine “The Oologist” published by Frank H. Lattin without Mr. Rosenberry’s precious help. He helped me determine the precise date of Charles K. Reed’s arrival in his new boutique on 75 Thomas Street, in Worcester.
Research Librarian, Services for Academic Programs
Note: Mr. Burchsted provided me with pieces of information about Carrie B. Reed’s life, Chester A. Reed’s mother.
Manager, Exhibits and Collections
Note: Mrs. Loring designated a volunteer in their organization to help with my research.
Note: Volunteer from the “EcoTarium” museum, previously named the “Worcester Natural History Society.” He searched the museum’s archives for information.
Friends of Hope Cemetery
Note: Mrs. Pajka is a volunteer at the “Hope Cemetery”. She did research on Chester A. Reed’s tombstone and provided me with pictures of his tombstone.
Note: Mrs. Côté did research in the University’s old books.
President of the Forbush Bird Club.
Note: Mr. Marble let me explore the Forbush Bird Club’s archives
Barton D. Kamp
secretary of the Forbush Bird Club.
Note: Mr. Kamp provided me with important information about Chester’s and Charles Reed’s 1932 honors. “Reed Ornithological Library”»
Biodiversity Heritage Library, Collections Coordinator,
Note: Mrs. Lipscomb scanned and put one of Charles K. Reed’s books on their website to help with my research.
Worcester Historical Museum
Note: Mrs. Christensen allowed me to focus my research with people in the Worcester region.
Wayne R. Petersen
Director, Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program
Note: Mr. Peterson allowed me to contact other organizations in ornithology.
Scott W. Gillihan
American Ornithologists’ Union
Note: Mr. Gillihan researched the archives of “The AUK” and provided me with important information on Chester A. Reed’s life.
Local History and Genealogy Librarian
Worcester Public Library
Note: Mrs. Hennig researched the library’s archives about Chester A. Reed’s life in the community of Worcester.
General Society of Mayflower Descendants
Note: Mrs. Conant provided me with archived documents about Carrie B. Reed’s involvement in the “Society of Mayflower Descendants” and in the Reed family history.
Thomas W. Bergstrand
Sunday News Editor/Chief Librarian/Archives Editor
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: Mr. Bergstrand researched the Worcester Sunday Telegram’s archives and allowed me to get the only interview made with Mertice Reed, Chester’s daughter, published in July 1960.
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Note: Mr. Nelson allowed me to get a copy of the copyright page in the first “Bird Guide” written by Chester A. Reed, published in 1905. Mr. Nelson is the curator of Mr. R. Soffer’s ornithology ancient books collection.
Collector of ancient books in ornithology.
Note: Mr. Soffer gave his impressive collection of ancient books in ornithology to the Amherst College. He was introduced to ornithology by Chester A. Reed’s “Bird Guides” in the 1940s. Mr. Soffer read and commented on a large portion of my texts. His help was very important and he created the “For the Most Curious” section on this website. For more information about his collection: The Soffer Ornithology Collection The Soffer Ornithology Collection
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Note: Mrs. Speller researched the Academy of Natural Sciences’ archives in Philadelphia about the photography of bird eggs in “Great AUK,” evaluated at $50,000 at the time. The egg was still kept at the museum, but not accessible to the public.
New Paltz, New York
Note: Mrs. LaChance confirmed with me that the “Mohonk SalesRooms” was the “Mohonk Mountain House” gift shop at the time. The organization didn’t know that they had owned the editing rights of some books published by Chester A. Reed in 1912.
Artist in the art of paper
Note: Mrs. Arcand commented on the cover page of Chester A. Reed’s gift books published in 1912. The book covers seemed to use a glue bath technique, which would result in a different look for each book published.
Jessica Dugal, Jonathan Saba et David Guillemette
Graphisme and programming of Web Site
Translation of the texts
A long work which required much perseverance.
Note : A huge task…
My wife, for all the hours that I dedicated to my project.