This blog was created to share and discuss the life and work of the naturalist May Theilgaard Watts, and to branch off into observations of the interactions of people, place, and nature. We’ll see where it takes us. (Obviously, not much has happened yet!) The blog is owned and written by Bridget Watts.
As of July, 2014, the family business that May and Raymond Watts started in their home in Ravinia, Illinois, in 1938, to publish her pocket guides Flower Finder and Tree Finder, has been acquired by Keen Communications. Keen Communications will continue to publish the Finders guides under the Nature Study Guild Publishers imprint. If you are looking for the Finders books, you can buy them from Keen at our old URL, www.naturestudy.com.
I will continue to publish May Theilgaard Watts’ books Reading the Landscape of America and Reading the Landscape of Europe. They are available through several on-line booksellers, your local bookstore can order them for you, or buy here. These books will be published in the future by my new imprint, Black Walnut Books.
I’m a Masters of Library Science student taking a class on book exhibitions and am doing my class exhibition project on May Watts (my personal hero). As I get into this, I am becoming more interested in going beyond the confines of my project. Any leads as to additional information would be extremely helpful.
The Sterling Morton Library at the Morton Arboretum, which has MTW’s papers, would probably be a good source for you.
If you’re looking for biographical information about May Theilgaard Watts, I’d be glad to talk to you about my grandmother. You can contact me at the phone# or email on Nature Study Guild Publishers web site (link above.) — Bridget Watts
The naturestudy.com link seems not to be active anymore. Is there a replacement for it?
Keen Communications has acquired the Nature Study Guild Publishers imprint, and is now the publisher of the Finders nature guides. (I’m still going to be publishing Reading the Landscape of America and Reading the Landscape of Europe. I believe Keen is planning to use the naturestudy.com URL, but, evidently, they haven’t set it up yet. If you are looking for the Finders guides, you can go through Keen’s web site,
The book Reading the Landscape: an Adventure in Ecology was suggested to me in 1976 by John Tietz, then a professor of landscape architecture at the U of Minnesota. Eventually about half the class read the book. It was a very influential book and continues to be. Recently a colleague of mine and I wrote a landscape history book and we include a brief mention of May Watts and a little more about Jens Jensen in our lectures and book. I wish that I had met her. Jon