Guide to the Daisy Dill Norton papers, 1893-1955, n.d. | MC057

Summary Information

Repository
Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Creator
Norton, Daisy Dill, 1872-1959
Title
Daisy Dill Norton papers
ID
MC057
Date
1893-1955, undated
Extent
8.5 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
The collection contains correspondence, photographs, diaries, and scrapbooks that document the personal life and ornithological, horticultural, and cultural interests of Daisy Dill Norton. Norton was the long-time secretary of the Stanton Bird Club; a close friend of Alfred Williams Anthony, who gifted to the Club the initial and most significant tract of land that became the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary; and a frequent contributor to the Lewiston Evening Journal newspaper on birding topics. She also spearheaded an effort to beautify the Bates College campus which she lived near.

Preferred Citation

Daisy Dill Norton papers, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.

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Historical Note

Daisy Dill Norton was born in Lynnfield, Massachusetts on January 6, 1872. Most of her childhood was spent in Phillips, Maine until her family moved to Canada where her father served as the American Consul.

In the late 1890s, after graduating from the Fine Arts Academy of Boston, Norton began working as a member of the Lewiston Evening Journal editorial staff. She later became editor of the Journal Magazine. In 1903, she married Dr. Charles E. Norton. Dr. Norton was a prominent eye, ear, nose and throat doctor who donated his services to Bates College students for a number of years.

Daisy Dill Norton had an extraordinary interest in the outdoors, serving for 40 years as the secretary of the Stanton Bird Club. During her time with the club she was instrumental in forming alliances between the Stanton Bird Club and the National Audubon Societies. She was also known to be diligent in preserving and maintaining habitats for birds in various locations. The Norton home at 8 Mountain Avenue was part of this project and was legendary for its gardens. Norton also spearheaded a project to beautify Bates College, doing extensive gardening projects around campus for which she received a Distinguished Service Award from the College in 1951. Daisy Dill Norton died February 5, 1959 in Lewiston, Maine.

Scope and Content Note

The collection is composed of correspondence, photographs, diaries, and scrapbooks that document the personal life and ornithological, horticultural, and cultural interests of Daisy Dill Norton. Norton corresponded with many family and friends about bird sightings, gardening, and Stanton Bird Club activities and business. The collection includes many of these letters, including several with Alfred Williams Anthony who gifted to the Club the initial and most significant tract of land that became the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary.

The collection also includes photographs of some of Norton's correspondents and other acquaintances, along with images of Thorncrag. Norton's dairies, which span the years 1908 to 1955, provide detailed information about Norton's daily life and activities, particularly those associated with her immense garden at 8 Mountain Avenue and her work with the Stanton Bird Club. The collection also includes some of her scrapbooks that document her interest in literature and theater.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is divided into four series: I. Correspondence; II. Photographs; III. Diaries; and IV. Scrapbooks.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, Maine, 04240
207-786-6354
muskie@bates.edu

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of William R. Dill, 2003. Accession No.: 03-01, 55-03-02, etc.

Processing Information

Description by Kat Stefko, 2006.

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Related Materials

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bates College (Lewiston, Me.)--History
  • Stanton Bird Club (Lewiston, Me.)--History

Geographic Name(s)

  • Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary (Lewiston, Me.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Anthony, Alfred Williams, 1860-1939
  • Norton, Daisy Dill, 1872-1959--Archives

Subject(s)

  • Bird watching--Maine
  • Gardening--Maine--Lewiston
  • Ornithology--Maine

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Collection Inventory

 MC057/01 Correspondence 1893-1934, 1951, n.d.   0.5 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

The series is comprised of personal correspondence to Norton from family, friends, and fellow members of the Stanton Bird Club. There are several letters from retired Bates College professor and historian Alfred Williams Anthony, who gave the Club the initial and most significant tract of land which formed the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary. Other letters discuss bird sightings in and around Lewiston and horticulture in the United States, England, and elsewhere. There are several letters to Norton from R. E. Gould, a merchant in Anson, Maine, who collected plant specimen and sought her help in identifying them. Material concerning Norton's Distinguished Service Award from Bates College in 1951 is also included.

Organization and Arrangement

Chronological.

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 MC057/02 Photographs 1893-1913, n.d.   0.5 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series contains mainly portraits and snapshots of family and friends, most of which are unidentified. There are also photographs and negatives of buildings, and two photographs, including one hand-tinted image, of Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary.

Organization and Arrangement

Alphabetical.

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 MC057/03 Diaries 1908-1955   6.0 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series is comprised of Norton's diaries kept consistently from 1908-1955 with the exception of 1947-1948. Norton was an avid diarist, particularly during the summer months when she recorded almost daily the birds she saw or heard, the flowers she planted or that were in bloom, and details of the weather. Entries also provide a glimpse into her life with her husband, who she referred to always as "Doc" or "the Doctor," and her friends, including Professor Johnny Staton, who she relied upon for advice about birds.

Organization and Arrangement

Chronological.

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 MC057/04 Scrapbooks late 19th-early 20th century   1.5 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series contains a scrapbook of late 19th-early 20th century newspaper clippings on poetry, children's literature, and other topics. The volume includes a detailed index. The series also includes fragments from another scrapbook, comprised of snapshots of unidentified people and places, clippings from theatrical events, and ephemera.

Organization and Arrangement

Itemized.

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