Skip to main content

Wendell Mitchell Levi papers

Identifier: Mss 0079

Collection Overview

The papers of Wendell Mitchell Levi include his correspondence, biographical and genealogical information, notes, material related to his publications, and photographs. Correspondence includes personal and business letters from various individuals and businesses and organizations, and copies of letters sent by Levi. Topics include Levi's writings, pigeons (breeding, training, racing, care, diseases, and many other related subjects), a city ordinance banning pigeon raising, the controversy over whether pigeons pose a danger to human health, the sale of pigeons by the U.S. Army, camellias, and additional subjects. Included are Levi's biography and obituary, and information concerning the D'Ancona and Levi families. College of Charleston materials include correspondence, scrapbooks, and invertebrate anatomy lecture notes (1910- 1911), while University of Chicago Law School materials include twenty handwritten casebooks (1912-1914). Includes published and unpublished letters (1962-1976) submitted to Levi's "question and answer column" in the American Pigeon Journal. Materials related to Levi's books (The Pigeon, Making Pigeons Pay, and the Encyclopedia of Pigeon Breeds) and other writings include bibliographies, copies of works consulted, notes, typescript (some carbons) drafts, proofs, announcements, advertisements, order forms, testimonials, reviews, sales records, material relating to a law suit, and printing plates. Nearly 900 photographs of various pigeon breeds are from Levi's Encyclopedia of pigeon breeds. Four other photographs and four sketches are of birds [apparently pelicans] and their nests. Also included is a list of squab sales (1948) for various U.S. breeders. Other items include a pigeon timer and a commercially produced "Visible Pigeon" kit. Levi approved the contents of the kit and wrote the accompanying booklet. Material relating to camellias and plants includes correspondence, articles, 580 slides of Levi's garden, garden diaries (1968-1975), 3 garden notebooks (1949-1970), and ephemera.


  • Creation: 1827-1995


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

A graduate of the College of Charleston (1912) and the University of Chicago Law School (1915), Wendell Mitchell Levi was commissioned First Lieutenant in charge of the United States Army Signal Corps for the South Eastern Department during World War I. Levi practiced law in Sumter, South Carolina and helped establish the Palmetto Pigeon Plant, said to be the world's largest squab farm. Levi not only wrote and edited articles, books, and an encyclopedia about pigeons, but he amassed an outstanding library (now at the College of Charleston) on pigeon science.


35 linear feet (77 boxes)

Language of Materials


Inventory of the Wendell Mitchell Levi Papers, 1827-1995
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)