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Stephen J. Small Conservation Collection

Stephen J. Small is the nation’s leading authority on private land protection. He attended Yale University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before entering law school at Georgetown University. He subsequently earned a J.D. in 1978 and LL.M. in Taxation in 1981. Before entering private practice, Small worked for the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. As an attorney-advisor with the IRS, he authored the federal income tax regulations on conservation easements.

Small has given more than 400 speeches, workshops, and seminars across the country. In addition to numerous articles, he has published four books: Preserving Family Lands: Book I (revised edition, 2009), Preserving Family Lands: Book II – More Strategies for the Future (1997), Preserving Family Lands: Book III – New Tax Rules and Strategies and a Checklist (2002, and The Business of Open Space: What’s Next? (2013).

Small has advised on some of the largest conservation purchases and easement transactions by government and non-profit organizations. Through his efforts more than 1.5 million acres of land have been protected, from small family parcels to large western and southwestern ranches, from plantations to forestland and the Atlantic coast barrier islands. In 1989, he received the Conservation Award from The Trustees of Reservations, and in 1991, he was named Conservationist of the Year by the New England Wild Flower Society.

Small assembled what is now known as The Stephen J. Small Conservation Collection, primarily comprised of more than 200 books that have been integral to creating and shaping the conservation movement in the United States throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the best-known authors in the collection include Edward Abbey, Henry Beston, William Burroughs, Rachel Carson, A.B. Guthrie, Aldo Leopold, Adolph Murie, and Henry David Thoreau. Sowell Collection writers Barry Lopez and Doug Peacock are also represented. Other works document local conservation efforts in the American West and Northeast/Atlantic Coast in which Small participated.

Books, which do not circulate, can be located through TTU University Libraries' on-line catalog.

In addition, the manuscript collection includes non-book materials and artifacts that document particularly significant moments or works in the history of conservation, including the letter President Theodore Roosevelt wrote inviting Samuel Galvin, President of the Geological Society of America, to the first national conference on the conservation of natural resources.

Finding Aid: An Inventory of Assembled Documents and Artifacts, 1908-2001

List of Books and Items in the Stephen J. Small Conservation Collection