The John D. Guthrie Papers document half a century of forestry and conservation organization and activity in America. The collection is especially rich in materials concerning the formation and work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC); other organizations represented include the United States Forest Service, the Society of American Foresters, the American Forestry Association, and the Yale Forest School. The papers have been grouped by organization, subject or type, and where possible arranged in a rough chronological order. They include correspondence, notebooks, writings, printed matter, photographs and memorabilia.
The collection documents forestry work in five states: Arizona and Oregon, where Guthrie worked for the U.S. Forest Service during the early part of his career; Alaska, which he visited and wrote about in 1920-1921, as part of a Forest Service program to publicize the state's forest resources; Texas, where he was first stationed by the CCC; and Virginia, where he lived in later life. In his capacity as a CCC inspector, Guthrie also toured, and received reports from, many other states. There are also numerous materials on international forestry in the files concerning international forestry congresses and the Society of American Foresters' Committee on International Relations. His special interest in forestry in Mexico can be seen in correspondence with Miguel A. de Quevedo, president of the Sociedad Forestal Mexicana.
Guthrie's writings files include typescripts, related correspondence, and research material. Guthrie's writings reflect his interests in forestry, and most are short articles or book reviews prepared for the AFA's American Forests, the SAF's Journal of Forestry, or the U.S. Forest Service's Service Bulletin. Other writings include poetry (Guthrie compiled two anthologies of forest verse, and wrote many poems himself), fables, and parts of a group-authored serial novel, Emanon.
The photographs document further Forest Service and CCC work in the western states; unfortunately, many are not identified. The memorabilia includes passports, certificates, flags, and conservation postage stamps.