Max Partch Papers

Identity elements

Reference code


Level of description



Max Partch Papers


  • 1949-2003 (Creation)


0.84 linear feet [5 boxes]

Name of creator


Biographical history

Max Partch was a biology faculty member at St. Cloud State from 1949 to 1979 where he taught classes in biology and ecology.

Partch was born to Reverend and Mrs. L.C. Partch on November 26, 1916 in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. He was one of five children.

Partch graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1939 with a bachelor of arts degree. After World War II, where he served in the Panama Canal Zone, Partch began his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. In 1949, Partch was awarded a Ph.D. in ecology and moved to St. Cloud to teach at the then St. Cloud State Teachers College.

While at St. Cloud State, Partch was widely known for his research studying the population and vegetation changes at the great blue heron preserve near Cold Spring, Minnesota, just west of St. Cloud. Partch also purchased and donated 80 acres of land, known as Partch Woods, to the Nature Conservatory.

Partch retired in 1979 and would later settle in Payson, Arizona. He passed away on October 1, 2003 in Payson.

On February 14, 1947, Partch married Betty Mitchell. They had four children.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains slides of nature-oriented images taken by Max Partch.  The images cover a wide variety of flora, fauna and landscape. Images include bird habitats and colonies, varieties of trees, damage and erosion both natural and man-made, nature formations such as cliffs, lakes, bluffs, ponds and marshes, and animals such as fox and beaver. Geographically, the images are primarily from Minnesota, in particular St. Cloud and Stearns County, but include locations in Wisconsin and Arizona.  Areas most depicted include the Cold Spring Heron Colony in Cold Spring, Minnesota, as well as other Minnesota heron colonies, nature sites including the prairie around Waubun, Minnesota, Englund Ecotone Preserve in Benton County, Minnesota, Partch Woods, St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other nature sites around Minnesota. Dates range from 1949 to 2003, but are heavily concentrated between 1949 and 1990.

Most slides contain an identifying number.  The numbers are unique, but do not correspond to any known system.  Most slides also contain a date, location, and brief description, though a few slides lack any additional descriptive information.  In some cases, the creator grouped ‘like’ items together for presentations and appearances, and that arrangement has been retained.

The descriptions for each slide was transcribed and included in the finding aid.

System of arrangement

Each slide is listed in the finding aid, which includes a number assigned and a short description written by Max Partch.

It is unclear how the slides were arranged by Max Partch and why.  The slides are kept in the order as they arrived.

Records are located at 29B.7b-7d.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

There are no access restrictions.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission to publish, quote, and reproduce must be secured from the copyright holder.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

    Language and script notes

    Finding aids

    Acquisition and appraisal elements

    Custodial history

    According to donor Mike Lee, the slides were given to him by Max Partch's widow.

    Immediate source of acquisition


    Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

    The publications that were part of this collection were added to the faculty/staff/alumni collection. The CDs that contained scans of the slides were tossed because the digital files no longer could be opened.


    Related materials elements

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related archival materials

    Related descriptions

    Notes element

    Specialized notes

    Alternative identifier(s)

    Description control element

    Rules or conventions

    Sources used

    Archivist's note

    The slides were processed by Jamie Martin from January 2014 to April 2014.

    Access points

    Subject access points

    Place access points

    Name access points

    Genre access points

    Accession area