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Miles D. Pirnie papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.102

Scope and Content

This collection is includes notes, reports, correspondence, maps, and photographs relating to Pirnie’s waterfowl research and projects. Additionally, Pirnie’s bird banding notes, field observations, date books, drawings, duck decoy patterns, and a scrapbook of bird photographs are included.


  • Creation: 1915 - 1977

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Miles David Pirnie was born on June 4, 1898 in Pulaski, New York. He received a B.S. degree in Ornithology, Zoology, and Entomology from Cornell University in 1923. Upon graduation, he entered the Graduate School at Cornell where he studied the life histories and habits of ducks. Pirnie received his Ph.D. in June 1928.

From 1928 to 1931 Pirnie served as the Staff Ornithologist for the Michigan Department of Conservation. In 1931 he became the first Director of the W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, part of the Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) of Agriculture. Pirnie and his family lived at the sanctuary until 1948, when he left to join the MSC Fisheries and Wildlife Department. He served many offices in the Michigan Audubon Society, co-edited the Jack-Pine Warbler in the 1940s, and researched waterfowl in the United States and Canada. Pirnie was a wildlife conservationist, ornithologist, author, wetlands expert, sportsman, and decoy carver. Miles Pirnie died on September 4, 1976 in Lansing, Michigan.


3 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of five series: 1. Projects and Reports 2. Notes and Drawings 3. Correspondence 4. Miscellaneous. 5. Photographs.

Files within series are arranged alphabetically.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Miles D. Pirnie Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
M. Badgley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US