Corresponding with Ralph H. Kellogg: A Record of Natural Beauty, Values, and Preservation

This is a guest post by Lynda Letona, Archives Assistant, regarding her project to process additions to the Ralph H. Kellogg papers.

 

This is the second and final blog on the Ralph H. Kellogg papers, the first of which appeared here: https://blogs.library.ucsf.edu/broughttolight/2018/02/27/ralph-h-kellogg-a-man-of-service/

Dr. Ralph H. Kellogg’s correspondence (1947-2007) features timely letters appealing to lawmakers on the need to preserve national parks in addition to editorial feedback and advice given to well-regarded physiologists who wrote important works on mountain journeys and high-altitude sickness. Below is a letter (dated May 25, 1954) addressed to Congressman John J. Allen, Jr. on the need to preserve national parks. This letter speaks in opposition to building a dam that would flood parts of Dinosaur National Monument, endangering the natural beauty, and value “to the country as a whole” reminding the reader that we can only preserve such natural treasures, “we cannot make them.” Dr. Kellogg refers to the construction of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, an important moment in environmental history to avoid repeating.

[Letter from Ralph H. Kellogg to Congressman John J. Allen on the need to preserve Dinosaur National Monument, 1954-05-25, MSS 90-38, carton 22, folder 2]

[Letter from Ralph H. Kellogg to Congressman John J. Allen on the need to preserve Dinosaur National Monument, 1954-05-25, MSS 90-38, carton 22, folder 2]

In his correspondence with colleagues such as Dr. John Burnard West, professor of physiology at the University of California, San Diego, and researcher in high-altitude medicine and adaptation, we come upon inspiring writings on the beauty of mountain exploration which serves as the impetus for the climber’s quest and the consequent need for research on respiration and high altitude physiology–a long-time shared research interest for Dr. Kellogg as well:

[Excerpt from “Mountain Journeys” by John B. West, quote by Reinhold Messner, the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without using supplemental oxygen, MSS 90-38, carton 24, folder 19]

[Excerpt from “Mountain Journeys” by John B. West, quote by Reinhold Messner, the first climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest without using supplemental oxygen, MSS 90-38, carton 24, folder 19]

The history of altitude sickness is well preserved in Dr. Kellogg’s Correspondence Series and in his published works in the Research Series. The Daniel A. Gilbert file, where he exchanged correspondence with Dr. Gilbert, professor of physiology and a past Bowditch Lecturer of the American Physiological Society for outstanding scientist younger than 42, contains a paper titled “The First Documented Description of Mountain Sickness: The Andean or Pariacaca Story.” In this paper authored by Dr. Gilbert, we have another important document where the author credits Dr. Kellogg for his valuable advice. The folder also contains photographs of Pariacaca, the highest mountain in the Pariacaca mountain range in the Andes of Peru.

[Air view showing the west side of Pariacaca, 1990, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Air view showing the west side of Pariacaca, 1990, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Pariacaca, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

[Pariacaca, MSS 90-38, carton 24, Folder 10]

References and further reading:

(2000, October 18). Daniel L. Gilbert. Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2000/10/18/daniel-l-gilbert-dies/485b9bf0-1f18-4cdd-8f9f-9235e8e844b6/?utm_term=.7a1804e86d45

(2014). History of the Valley. Restore Hetch Hetchy. Retrieved from https://www.hetchhetchy.org/history_of_the_valley

(n.d.). Echo Park Dam Controversy. Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/echo-park-dam-controversy

OAC. (n.d.). West (John B.) Papers. Retrieved from https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt4q2nd2g2/

New Archives Intern: Lauren Wolters

Lauren Wolters

Lauren Wolters is a rising junior undergraduate student at Skidmore College. She is double majoring in History and Psychology and is interested in learning the basics of archival theory and practice. Being a history major, Lauren is fascinated by old artifacts and is excited to have the unique opportunity to work with collections that are not always available to the public eye. Currently, she has been assisting by taking inventory of a collection of photographs and organizing a digital list of metadata. Eventually, she will be transitioning to aid on a project relating to the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute Records. This project is perfectly tailored towards both of her interests as it combines her two majors.

Lauren was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She plays volleyball at Skidmore College and enjoys photography as a hobby. Lauren is enjoying working in the library with the archivists and looks forward to learning even more about the archives.

Ralph H. Kellogg: A Man of Service

This is a guest post by Lynda Letona, Archives Assistant, regarding her project to process additions to the Ralph H. Kellogg papers.

Dr. Ralph H. Kellogg wore many hats: awarded professor, scientist, writer, and even archivist/photographer. Born on June 7, 1920 in Connecticut, his work carried him across the United States and abroad, from Latin America to the United Kingdom.

Ralph H. Kellogg in laboratory, 1956-07-29. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 3.

Kellogg was recruited by the University of California from Harvard University, where he had served as Teaching Fellow and Instructor from 1946-1953. He joined the University of California School of Medicine in 1953 and spent the rest of his career with UCSF (with a brief sabbatical appointment as Visiting Fellow in Oxford University’s Laboratory of Physiology from 1970 -1971). Starting out as a renal physiologist, Kellogg shifted his research interests to respiratory physiology and began conducting work at White Mountain in California to investigate high-altitude physiology. Among his works is a 28-page examination of altitude sickness and a 64-page history of the regulation of breathing from ancient times to the end of World War II. The Ralph H. Kellogg papers include a White Mountain series devoted to research and laboratory material, photographs, and publications.

White Mountain, 5 miles north of Barcroft Laboratory, seen from the unpaved road along the intervening 13,000 ft. plateau, 1958. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 5.

Dr. Kellogg’s papers evidence a strong record of university service and camaraderie. Working through his papers, I’ve come across numerous thank you letters addressed to him in his correspondence and folders of committee work, including one labeled “Committee on Committees”!

UCSF Department of Physiology Halloween Party, 1969-10-31. MSS 90-38, box 3.

I’ve also arranged his carefully labeled photograph collection, a remarkable testament to his ability to appreciate people and acknowledge their contributions.

Dr. Kellogg’s detailed notes regarding participants in the Haldane Centenary Symposium, Oxford, July 1961. MSS 90-38, box 5.

Bighorn sheep, MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 5.

I’ve found processing Dr. Kellogg’s papers inspiring. His work, ranging from offering editorial feedback to colleagues in the field to gathering historical research on leading figures in physiology to gazing at animals on a mountain top and riding in the back of a Jeep near Barcroft Lab at 13,000 feet, illustrates a fulfilled life dedicated to research and service.

Men in Jeep on road above Barcroft Lab, 1955-06-16. MSS 90-38, carton 25, folder 4.