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Special Collections: Guide to the Harold J. Dyer Papers

Arranged and described by Hansie Grignon; edited by Brenda Howitson Steeves
November 2010

Collection title: Harold J. Dyer Papers
Provenance: Donated by Stephen L. Dyer on January 27, 2003
Collection number: MS 1653
Dates of collection: 1939-1995 (inclusive; 1940-1947 (bulk)
Size of collection: One record carton
Conservation note: Materials transferred to acid-free storage containers
Preferred citation: Harold J. Dyer Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility; one week's notice required for retrieval


Harold (“Hal”) Jacobsen Dyer was born on November 9, 1915 in Portland, Maine. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife conservation at the University of Maine in Orono, graduating in 1940. While at UMaine Dyer was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Forestry Club, the Maine Outing Club, the football and track teams, and the Senior Skulls Society. In 1941 he was hired as Chief Ranger of Baxter State Park. After serving with the 87th Infantry Regiment in World War II, Dyer returned to Baxter as a supervisor, and then, in 1950, became the Director of Maine State Parks.

In 1958 Dyer joined the New York park system, serving as assistant general manager of the Taconic State Park Commission and then as regional park manager in 1963. The remainder of his career was spent in the New York park system where he served in various assignments with the office of Parks and Recreation in Albany until his retirement in 1983.

Dyer married Vera Sleeper on January 18, 1942. They had two children, Stephen and Anne, and six grandchildren. Harold Dyer died on October 8, 1999 in Cary, North Carolina.

Scope and Content Note

This collection of Harold Jacobsen Dyer’s papers includes letters from friends, family and business associates; University of Maine and military records; newspaper and magazine clippings; photographs, including many of the flora and fauna of Baxter State Park; papers and newsletters pertaining to Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin; advertising materials; and aquatic plant seed samples. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1940s, but there is material from the 1930s through the 1990s. The items are arranged in the following order: Articles, publications, etc.; Baxter State Park materials; and miscellaneous personal and professional papers.

Box List

Box 1


Articles, publications, etc.

1-3 Newspaper and magazine clippings, 1939-1995, undated

4 Allagash Wilderness Waterway: A Proposal for State Control, January 1965

5 An Annotated Bibliography of Katahdin compiled by Edward S.C. Smith and Myron H. Avery, 1936

6 Explorations West and Northwest of Katahdin in the Late Nineteenth Century by George H. Witherle, 1950 (Second Edition)

7 News Letter of the Maine Wildlife Unit, Maine Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Maine, July 1943-April 1945

Baxter State Park materials

8 1940 photograph – Chimney Pond trip; 1949 letter from Dr. Carl E. Andrews

9 1940-1941 photographs – Great Basin

10 1941 photographs – Baxter State Park

11 1941 photographs – Harold J. Dyer

12 1941 photographs – survey crew, camp at Katahdin Stream and Roaring Brook

13 1942 photographs – Baxter State Park

14 ca. 1940s photographs – Baxter State Park

15 Postcards, 1943-1991, to Harold & Vee Dyer [some of Baxter State Park]

16 1955 photograph – Percival Baxter

17 Baxter State Park, Mt. Katahdin photographs, undated

18 1953 – Forest fire control notes (spiral-bound notebooks)

19 1963 – Report of Proceedings: Mt. Katahdin Tragedy Board of Review

20 1978 – Charles Fitzgerald et al v. Baxter State Park Authority et al

21 Baxter State Park reports, etc., 1934, 1978-1981

22 Baxter State Park Authority. A forest management plan for the initial 10-year operational period, December 1980

Miscellaneous personal and professional papers

23 Letters, 1940-1988

24 University of Maine records, ca. 1942

25 Military records and memorabilia, 1940s

26 Daily engagement calendar, 1948

27 Miscellaneous work-related items – Maine State Parks

28 Maine state park advertising materials, brochures, etc.

29 Notes re Sourdnahunk Stream, undated

30 Distribution of Woody Plants on Mount Katahdin by Harold J. Dyer [Botany Problem Course, Bt. 107, April 1, 1942]

31 Forest Improvement Methods Adapted to Baxter State Park by Harold J. Dyer [Forest Management, Fy 104, March 20, 1947]

32 Nesting of the American Pipit on Mount Katahdin by Harold J. Dyer [Ornithology Problem Course, Zoo. 106, February 10, 1947]

33 Winter Foods of Deer and Moose on the Katahdin Wildlife Sanctuary by Harold J. Dyer [Game Management, Fy 105, March 15, 1947]

34 Winter Habits of Marten and Fisher in Katahdin Region by Harold J. Dyer [Problem in Mammalogy, Zoo. 113, January 15, 1947]

35 Forest City Road and Gun Club patch

36 Recipes and laboratory cooking experiments, ca. 1940s

37 Seeds of aquatic plants

38 Tool instructions and stencil set; blank office supplies

39 Personal photographs, 1981, Harold and Vera Dyer

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/17/2015
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