Austin History Center

John E. Sunder Journals

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Sunder, John E.
Title: John E. Sunder Journals
Inclusive Dates: 1970-2011
Abstract: John E. "Jack" Sunder was a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin who had an avid interest in bird watching and observing wildlife in its natural habitat. The collection consists of sixteen personal journals spanning the years 1970 to 2011 that he titled "Occasional Observations on Nature."
Identification: AR.2011.012
Quantity: .8 linear feet (2 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

John E. "Jack" Sunder was born in 1928 and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his B.A. and PhD. from Washington University in St. Louis. After serving two years in the United States Army in Korea he moved to Austin, Texas to become a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. In the 1960s Jack developed an interest in bird watching and was a founding member of the American Birding Association. He regularly birded in central Texas as well as nationally and internationally, providing an abundance of data to the Austin checklist committee, Audubon Christmas Bird Counts, and birding publications. He was also a member of a number of environmental organizations, notably the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club. Jack died in 2011.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of sixteen journals titled "Occasional Observations on Nature" spanning the years 1970 through 2011. The journal entries predominately consist of remarks about birds and other wildlife he observed at central Texas locations as well as locations in the United States and abroad. Some of his most frequently visited local sites were Pedernales Falls State Park, Bastrop State Park, McKinney State Park, Decker Lake, Barton Springs Greenbelt, the Capitol grounds and Platt's Ponds. The entries about trips to the Texas coast, other states and countries include additional information about the journey including places stayed, history of the area and people he met. The back pages of each journal provide documentation of the local weather (temperature, rain fall, records set, etc.) and an index to the wildlife (excluding birds and insects) chronicled in the entries.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Sunder, John E.
Austin (Tex.)
Travis County (Tex.)
Bird watchers--United States--Biography.
Bird watching--Anecdotes.
Bird watching--Texas--Austin.
Birds--Texas--Gulf Coast.
Natural history--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

AF Biography - Sunder, John E.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by the Estate of John E. Sunder.

Preferred Citation

John E. Sunder Journals (AR.2011.012). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2003/083

Donation Date: 2011

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2011.

Detailed Description of the Collection

John E. Sunder Journals, 1970-2011

1 Journals I-VIII, 1970-1992
2 Journals IX-XVI, 1992-2011