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Guide to the Gordon C. Sauer Collection

Sauer's Gouldiana Research about John Gould and other papers


Creator:Sauer, Gordon C. (Gordon Chenoweth), 1921-
sourceSauer, Gordon C. (Gordon Chenoweth), 1921-
Title: Sauer's Gouldiana Research about John Gould and other papers
Dates: 1800-2004
Quantity: 108.25 linear feet (114 boxes + 21 oversize boxes, 1 vinyl sound disk)
Abstract:Kansas City dermatologist Gordon C. Sauer, M.D. spent much of his life researching the 19th-century ornithologist John Gould. From 1948 until his death in 2003, Dr. Sauer published numerous articles and books about Gould. This collection reflects Sauer's research on John Gould, including correspondence, research on Gould, photocopies of Gould letters, and manuscripts of Sauer's books about Gould. The collection also contains some of Sauer's professional papers from his years as a dermatologist in Kansas City.
Language: English

Call Number:

MS 304
MS 318
MS Qa9
MS Q52
MS R13
MS Sound D3

Repository: University of Kansas
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-7616
URL: http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/
Finding aid prepared by skt, 2013; revised by skt, 2014
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2017-01-03 10:10:18 -0600.

BIOGRAPHY of Gordon C. Sauer

Gordon Chenoweth Sauer, M.D. was born in Rutland, Illinois on August 14, 1921 to Fred W. Sauer (1887-1961) and Gweneth Eleanor Chenoweth (1892-1989). Shortly after his birth, the family moved to LaSalle, Illinois, where Dr. Sauer was raised.

Dr. Sauer attended Northwestern University from 1939 to 1942. Upon graduating, he attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1942 to 1945. He completed his internship at Cook County Hospital in 1946. During World War II, Dr. Sauer served as a captain in the Army, working at the Public Health Service in Charleston, West Virginia. In 1951, Dr. Sauer completed his residency in dermatology and syphilology at the Skin and Cancer unit at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center.

Dr. Sauer was active in publishing research throughout his medical career. He wrote and published the noted medical school textbook, "The Manual of Skin Diseases", through its seventh edition in 1996. He also wrote "Teen Skin" in 1965. He was the editor of the "Jackson County Medical Bulletin" from 1967 to 1969, and contributed numerous articles to professional journals. For many years Dr. Sauer published "Sauer Notes," a monthly column in the "Schock Newsletter of the American Academy of Dermatology".

In addition to his full-time medical practice and his writing, Dr. Sauer taught at both the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas. He was associated with the University of Kansas School of Medicine from 1951 on. He was the head of the Dermatology Department from 1958 through 1970 and became clinical professor emeritus in July 1993. Dr. Sauer was the acting head of the dermatology section at the University of Missouri at Columbia from 1955 to 1959. He was also a lecturer in medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine from 1971-1974 when he began serving as clinical professor.

Dr. Sauer had a lifelong devotion to the study of John Gould, the 19th-century British nature artist and ornithologist. Sauer's love for Gould's work began as a teenager when his mother purchased a set of Gould prints from an antique dealer. Dr. Sauer collected Gould's works and became the preeminent biographer of John Gould. Beginning in 1948, Dr. Sauer published numerous articles and books about Gould. In 1982 he published "John Gould the Bird Man: a Chronology and Bibliography", which has become the leading biography on Gould. Dr. Sauer also published "John Gould Bird Print Reproductions" (1977), "John Gould's Prospectuses and List of Subscribers to his Work on Natural History" (1980), "John Gould the Bird Man: Associates and Subscribers" (1995), "John Gould the Bird Man: Bibliography" (1996), "John Gould the Bird Man: Correspondence", Vols. 1-5 (1998, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003).

With an interest in nature from youth, Dr. Sauer was active in naturalist organizations throughout his life. During his college years he was a naturalist guide at Starved Rock State Park, and contemplated becoming a forest ranger instead of a medical doctor. Dr. Sauer was on the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy of Missouri from 1984-1991. He became an honorary Life Member of the Nature Conservancy in 1986. Dr. Sauer was a member of the American Ornithological Union, the Wilson Ornithological Society, the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, and the Society of Bibliography of Natural History. He was an avid bird watcher, particularly at his farm in Cass County, Missouri.

Dr. Sauer married Mary Louise Steinhiller in 1944. The couple had four children, Elisabeth, Gordon Jr., Margaret, and Amy. In 1982, Dr. Sauer married Marion Green (1927-2003). Dr. Sauer died September 1, 2003.

Scope and Contents

The Gordon C. Sauer Collection dates from approximately 1800 to 2004 and is arranged in ten series: Correspondence, Research About John Gould, Manuscripts About John Gould, Art and Book Dealers, Journals/Societies/Organizations, Bird Miscellaneous, Personal and Family Papers, Box List and Index of Ellis Archives at the University of Kansas [compiled by Gordon C. Sauer], Photographs, negatives, and slides, and Books. Arranged alphabetically, the correspondence ranges from personal to professional with greeting cards, notes from friends, and letters requesting information about John Gould. Research About John Gould contains research information about John Gould, his family, and contemporaries. Manuscripts About John Gould are Dr. Sauer's handwritten and typed manuscripts for his books on John Gould. The papers include early research drafts by Dr. Sauer through publishers' proofs. Art and Book Dealers contain a large portion of the collection. This series is alphabetized by dealer or gallery name, and contains catalogs and mailings, often detailed with Dr. Sauer's personal notes.

Journals/Societies/Organizations comprises newsletters, journals, and mailers from different organizations, primarily naturalist and ornithological. Bird Miscellaneous includes papers and mailers on various topics such as John James Audubon, bird watching, and the bird census. Personal and Family Papers contains papers about Dr. Sauer's personal interests, philanthropy, and dermatology career. The series also includes letters and papers of Dr. Sauer's mother, Gweneth Eleanor Chenoweth Sauer, and his aunt, Bernice Webster, as well as transcripts from interviews conducted by Dr. Sauer with Quentin Keynes, great grandson of Charles Darwin. The Ralph Ellis series contains a list of the Ellis Archives as they were arranged at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library in 1974. The series also contains information about Ellis' family as well as the court case between the Estate of Ralph Ellis and the University of Kansas. Photographs, negatives, and slides contains images of John Gould's work as well as dermatology slides. Books contain three books, a copy of "John Gould The Bird Man: A Chronology and Bibliography", inscribed with a note to his mother, and "Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library", Parts I and 2, by John Todd Zimmer, 1926.

Dr. Sauer's original notes from file folders are contained in parentheses in the finding aid.


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Related Material

Personal Papers of Gordon C. Sauer, PP 349, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Separated Material

The Gordon C. Sauer Carte-de-visite album of 19th-century naturalists removed to MS 310

Manuscript letters from John Gould removed to MS 313:1

Manuscript letters to John Gould removed to MS 313:2

19th-century manuscript letters removed to MS 313:2



Amherst, William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst, Baron, 1835-1909
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975
Bonaparte, Charles Lucien, 1803-1857
Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882
Edelsten, Geoffrey, 1943-
Ellis, Ralph Nicholson, 1908-1945
Gibson, George Stacey, 1818-1883
Gould family
Gould, Elizabeth, 1804-1841
Gould, John, 1804-1881
Gray, George Robert, 1808-1872
Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895
Jardine, William, 1800-1874
Keynes, Quentin
Lambourne, Maureen
Lear, Edward, 1812-1888
Mitford, John, 1782-1831
Morris, F. O. (Francis Orpen), 1810-1893
Owen, Richard, 1804-1892
Prince, Edwin Charles, 1809 or 1810-1874
Ransome, George, active 1851
Sauer, Gordon C. (Gordon Chenoweth), 1921-
Seebohm, Henry, 1832-1895
Selby, Prideaux John, 1788-1867
Smith-Stanley, Edward, 1775-1851
Verreaux, E´douard (Jean Baptiste E´douard), 1810-1868


American Birding Association
American Historical Print Collectors Society
American Ornithologist's Union
Audubon Society of Missouri
Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City
Grassland Heritage Foundation
KU Friends of the Libraries
Kansas Ornithological Society
National Audubon Society
Nature Conservancy (U.S.). Missouri Chapter
Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
Society for the Bibliography of Natural History
University of Missouri--Kansas City. Friends of the Library
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts. Friends of Art

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Gordon C. Sauer Collection, MS 304, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Gordon C. Sauer, 1998; family of Gordon C. Sauer, 2003