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Carte-de-visite album of 19th-century naturalists

Call Number: MS 310


The collector of this carte-de-viste album, Kansas City dermatologist Gordon C. Sauer, M.D., spent much of his life researching the 19th-century ornithologist John Gould. This carte-de-visite album contains 97 photographs of 19th-century naturalists, the majority of which have been identified. Among the notable portraits in the album are those of John Gould and Charles Darwin.


  • Creation: Circa 1860-1900

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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.

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 Manual of Skin Diseases, a noted medical school textbook. 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. Dr. Sauer published "Sauer Notes," a monthly column in the Schock Newsletter of the American Academy of Dermatology for many years.

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 starting in 1951. He was the head of the Dermatology Department from 1958 through 1970 and became clinical professor emeritus in July 1993. He was the acting head of the dermatology section at the University of Missouri at Columbia from 1955 to 1959. Dr. Sauer 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. His 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), and John Gould the Bird Man: Correspondence, Vols. 1-5 (1998, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003).

With an interest in nature from his youth, Dr. Sauer was active in naturalist organizations throughout his life. He was a naturalist guide at Starved Rock State Park during his college years, and contemplated becoming a forest ranger instead of a medical doctor. He 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.


0.5 Linear Feet (2 document cases)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

Carte-de-visite photographic prints became widely popular in the 1860s. This album contains 97 prints of 19th century naturalists, some with signatures on the verso. Almost all of the images in the album have been identified in a separate listing in this finding aid, a copy of which is included in this collection.

Physical Location

MS 310

Custodial History

The carte de visit volume was purchased by Gordon C. Sauer from Maggs Bros. Ltd. on October 10, 1994.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, family of Gordon C. Sauer, 2003.

Related Materials

Gordon C. Sauer personal papers, PP 349, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Separated Materials

Gordon C. Sauer's Gouldiana research and other papers, MS 304, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.



Guide to the Gordon C. Sauer Collection
Carte-de-visite album of 19th-century naturalists
Finding aid prepared by skt, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Carte-de-visite album of 19th-century naturalists, MS 310, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States