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David Wagstaff papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 415

Scope and Contents

The David Wagstaff Papers contain personal papers and materials collected by David Wagstaff, including travel diaries, papers related to fishing on the Restigouche River in the province of Québec, catalog cards of Wagstaff's collection of sporting books, photographs, shooting targets and awards. The Papers have been arranged into two series; Personal Papers and Materials Collected by David Wagstaff. The Papers span the years 1824-1950, but the bulk of the materials date from the period 1907-1950.

Series I, Personal Papers , contains travel diaries, materials related to the Restigouche Riparian Associations, materials related to the Ristigouche Salmon Club in Matapédia, Québec, of which Wagstaff was a member, and other papers. The travel diaries document cruises and trips taken by Wagstaff between 1907-1921. Many of the diaries include photographs of the scenery, Wagstaff's companions and the fish they caught. The Restigouche Riparian Association materials consist of annual reports, records of fish caught by local fishing groups and individuals, treasurer's reports, and other papers. The Ristigouche Salmon Club materials contain correspondence, organizational records, financial records, and photographs. Included are letters from the Club and its members to David Wagstaff, generally concerning the Club's plans for the fishing season and the state of the Club and the Restigouche River. Also included are copies of letters from the Club to various members. The organizational records include annual reports, fishing records, and fishing rules and regulations. Financial records consist of bills and receipts sent to Wagstaff for membership fees and other Club-related expenses. The photographs include pictures of Club members and staff, and scenes of the Club and the Restigouche River area. Other personal papers include blank Christmas cards from Wagstaff and his wife Isabelle, hunting and fishing licenses, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings entitled "In Memoriam. Wesley Hunt Tilford," the Last Will and Testament of an earlier David Wagstaff, and catalog cards of Wagstaff's collection of sporting books.

Series II, Materials Collected by David Wagstaff , contains materials related to hunting, fishing and shooting, generally from the nineteenth century. Included are clippings from newspapers and magazines about hunting and fishing, programs for shooting competitions, and illustrated shooting targets and awards. Photographs include portraits of men and a woman in various shooting poses, a rifle match, a portrait of the American Rifle Team of 1880, and two photograph albums: one with portraits and signatures of members of the New York (State) Legislature Assembly of 1867, and one containing portraits of the United States Military Academy (West Point) class of 1861.


  • 1824-1950


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Restricted Fragile materials in the portfolio and in cold storage may only be consulted with permission of the appropriate curator. Preservation photocopies for reference use have been substituted in the main files. One original negative came with the papers. A copy print has been made and the original stored separately.

Conditions Governing Use

The David Wagstaff Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Isabelle (Mrs. David) Wagstaff and the Wagstaff Estate, 1951 and 1958.


3.7 Linear Feet ((10 boxes) + 2 broadside folders, 1 portfolio, cold storage)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Collection consists of personal papers and materials collected by David Wagstaff. Included are diaries of Wagstaff's travels from 1907-1921; correspondence, organizational papers, photographs and other materials related to the Ristigouche Salmon Club and the Restigouche Riparian Association; personal papers including catalog cards of Wagstaff's book collection; and materials generally concerning hunting and fishing collected by Wagstaff,including shooting targets, shooting awards, photographs of unidentified individuals, generally from the nineteenth century, one photograph album of the United States Military Academy (West Point) class of 1861, and one album of members of the 1867 New York (State) Legislature Assembly.


David Wagstaff was born in 1882. He received his B.A. from Harvard in 1905, and worked as a partner in the New York City brokerage firm of Dominick & Dominick from 1915-1929. An avid sportsman, he collected sporting books, paintings, and prints, many of which he later donated to the University of Virginia and to Yale University. From 1943-1951 he served as the Curator of Sporting Books in the Yale University Library. He died in 1951.

Guide to the David Wagstaff Papers
Under Revision
by Kathryn Rawdon
October 1998
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.