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Syracuse University Biology Department Records

An inventory of its records at the Syracuse University Archives


Creator: Syracuse University. -- Department of Biology.
Title: Syracuse University Biology Department Records
Dates: 1886-2015
Size: 5 boxes (5.5 linear feet)
Abstract: The Biology Department Records contain correspondence, reports and publications related to its students, faculty, research and preceding departments.
Language: English
Repository: University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Historical Note

The first classes in biology at Syracuse University were taught as early as 1873 by Alexander Winchell in the department of Geology, Zoology, and Botany. Biology classes were taught in departments that changed over time.

1891 Biology and Geology Department is established.
1895 Department of Biology is formed.
1907 Biology Department splits into two separate departments: Zoology Department and Botany Department.
1911 Bacteriology Department is created as an additional department.
1935 Bacteriology Department and Botany Department combine to make the Bacteriology and Botany Department.
1938 Bacteriology and Botany Department changes its name to Plant Sciences Department.
1959 Plant Sciences Department changes back to Bacteriology and Botany Department.
1970 Biology Department is formed, combining the Zoology Department and the Bacteriology and Botany Department.

Photograph of student looking through a microscope

Over the years, classes in biology were held in different locations. Early classes in biology were held in the Hall of Languages until Lyman Hall was finished and occupied in 1907. Lyman Hall continued to be a space for biology until 2008. The Biological Research Laboratories, which started in 1956, were used for the Department of Plant Sciences and later the Zoology Department. The Biological Research Laboratories were originally located on Collendale Campus (current site of Manley Field House), but later moved into a newly designed building on College Place. In the 1960s, the Bacteriology and Botany Department held some classes in Sims Hall. By 2008, the Department of Biology had moved in the newly built Life Sciences Complex.

The Department of Biology at Syracuse University contributed to its field in many ways. In 1875, under Alexander Winchell, the University built a Museum of Natural History that worked with local schools. Located in Lyman Hall, the museum was opened to the public. Faculty of the Department participated in expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s, including an expedition to the Andes Mountains in 1931 that brought back specimens for the museum. Research at the laboratories resulted in publications, like the Contributions from the Zoological Laboratory, which was published between 1897 and 1937. In the 1960s, undergraduates began to do their own independent research, a concept that began under the Department of Bacteriology and Botany chairman Marshall Jennison's more experimental approach. Other notable chairs include William Martin Smallwood and Frederick G. Sherman of the Zoology Department and the first chair of the unified Biology Department, Donald G. Lundgren.

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Scope and Content Note

Materials in the Syracuse University Biology Department Records span from 1886 to 2014 and include correspondence, annual reports, publications and other materials related to the Department and its predecessors. Records are divided into three series:

The Bacteriology & Botany Series contains publications and correspondence from 1913 until 1970 that were created under the Bacteriology & Botany Department as well as under Plant Sciences, a name that replaced Bacteriology & Botany from 1938 to 1959.

The Biology Series includes bulletins from 1886 and 1900 as well as other materials related to the Biology Department from 1970, when the Department of Zoology and the Department of Bacteriology and Botany joined, to 2014.

The Zoology Series contains correspondence, bound volumes of Contributions from the Zoological Laboratory, and meeting minutes from 1897 until 1970 that were created under the Zoology Department.

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Access Restrictions

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

School, college and department records are restricted to the office of origin for 30 years. Requests to use restricted records must be obtained in writing from the office of origin.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Also in the Archives are various biology and botany faculty papers including the Donald G. Lundgren Papers.

The Archives holds additional information about the Biology Department, Bacteriology and Botany Department, Plant Sciences Department and Zoology Department in the Clipping Files, and images of these departments can be found in the Slide Collection and Photograph Collection.

Materials related to the Biology Summer Institute are located in the Science Teaching Collection.

Additionally, materials related to research in the field of biology can be found in the Office of Research Records and the Syracuse University Research Corporation/Institute (SURC/SURI) Records.

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Selected Search Terms


Bray, William L., 1865-1953.
Jennison, Marshall Walker, 1905-1979.
Lundgren, Donald G. (Donald George), 1924-1985.
Sherman, Frederick G.
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.
Syracuse University. -- Department of Biology.


Higher education.

Types of material


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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Syracuse University Biology Department Records,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Materials were transferred to the Archives from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Biology Department starting in 1965.

Processing Information

Materials were placed in archival folders and boxes.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Anna Smallwood
Date: 2016
Revision history:

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The Biology Records are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Bacteriology and Botany
Box 1 Alexander Gourevitch Memorial Award in Microbiology 1970
Annual Reports
Box 1 1961
Box 1 1961-1962
Box 1 1962-1963
Box 1 1963-1964
Box 1 1965
Box 1 1966
Box 1 Bacteriology 205 - "Experiments on the Development of a Screening Test for the Evaluation of Cellulase Production by Certain Wood-Rotting Basidiomycetes" by Frederick C. Fink and Richard D. O'Neill 1948
Box 1 Bacteriology and Microbiology undated
Box 1 Biological Research Laboratories Booklets on Department of Bacteriology and Botany undated
Box 1 Book Lists 1918-1920
Box 1 Botany X and XI Examinations 1913-1914
Box 1 Brochures undated
Box 1 Budgets 1920-1927
Box 1 Collections Donated to the Department - Bray and Smallwood 1937-1943
Box 1 Collections Donated to the Department - Wolff 1926-1932
Box 1 Armacost, Richard R. 1948-1950
Box 1 Bowers, Landon E. 1962-1964
Box 1 Bray, William L. 1925-1929
Box 1 Bray, William L. 1930-1939
Box 1 Bray, William L. 1940-1944
Box 1 Carpenter, Carlos C. 1947-1956
Box 1 DeGroot, Rodney C. 1962
Box 1 Fagan, Maurice 1954
Box 1 General 1918-1921
Box 1 General 1964-1966
Box 1 Gillette, Norman J. 1950-1952, 1962-1964
Box 1 Gourevitch, Alex 1952
Box 1 Henderson, Richard 1948-1952
Jennison, M. W.
Box 1 1957
Box 1 1962
Box 1 1963
Box 1 1964
Box 1 1965
Box 1 1966
Box 1 1967
Box 1 1968
Box 1 1969
Box 1 Jones, Henry N. 1946-1948
Box 1 Klens, Paul F. 1946-1952
Box 1 Kuehnert, Charles C. 1964
Box 1 Lundgren, Donald G. 1962-1965
Box 1 Merger with Zoology to Form the Department of Biology 1968-1970
Box 1 Miller, John H. 1962-1964
Box 1 Newcomb, Harvey R. 1955-1956
Box 1 O'Neill, Richard D. 1952-1957
Box 1 Phillips, Arthur W. 1954-1956
Box 1 Russell, Ralph T. 1952-1956
Box 1 Sanborn, Joseph Raymond 1948-1949
Box 1 Sedgwick, Paul T. 1951-1956
Box 1 Shull, J. J. 1962-1963
Box 1 Slepecky, Ralph A. 1963-1965
Box 1 Sommermeyer, Lucille 1946-1947
Box 1 Wildman, John D. 1952-1956
Box 2 Course Materials undated
Box 2 Curriculum Changes 1958-1961
Box 2 Curriculum Committee 1965-1970
Box 2 Equipment 1915-1920
Box 2 Equipment and Supplies 1946-1956
Box 2 Evaluation Committee Report 1970
Box 2 Faculty Committee 1918-1922
Box 2 Faculty Lists 1958, 1962
Faculty Load Sheets
Box 2 1958
Box 2 1959-1960
Box 2 1960-1961
Box 2 1968
Box 2 Final Report for the Grant for the Purchase of Equipment in the Field of Nuclear Technology as Applied to the Life Sciences 1961
Box 2 Information for the Candidates for the Ph.D. Program 1957-1970
Box 2 Inventory of Cultures 1957, 1961
Box 5 Inventory of Lyman Hall - Department of Plant Sciences 1952 (2 copies)
Box 5 Inventory of Lyman Hall - Museum of Natural Sciences 1952
Box 2 Memoranda 1957-1964
Box 2 National Defense Graduate Fellowship Program 1965-1966
Box 2 National Institutes for Health (NIH) Proposal for Undergraduate Instructional Scientific Equipment 1965
Box 2 National Science Foundation Proposals 1966-1967
Box 2 Radiation Biology Institute 1960
Box 2 Research Proposal to the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Production of Asporogenic Mutants 1957-1959
Box 2 Schedule of Required and Elective Courses 1967-1969
Box 2 Seminar Speaker Schedule 1965
Staff Meeting Minutes
Box 2 1956-1962
Box 2 1962-1963
Box 2 1964
Box 2 1965
Box 2 1966
Box 2 Annual Report 1983-1984
Box 2 Biological Bulletin 1900
Box 2 Biology at Syracuse University, 1872-2010 by H. Richard Levy 2012
Box 2 "Biology at Syracuse University: The First 135 Years" 2008
Box 2 Bristol Laboratories Inc. Publications undated
Box 2 Brochures 1971-2000
Box 2 Brochures - Biophysics 1972-1986
Box 2 Bulletin of the Biological Laboratory of Syracuse University - List of the Birds of Onondaga County 1886
Box 2 General 1970
Box 2 Jennison, M. W. 1970-1971
Box 2 Lundgren, Donald G. 1979-1985
Box 2 Vincow, Gershon 1982-1983
Box 2 Vincow, Gershon 1981-1982
Box 3 Course Offerings Suitable for Departmental Graduate Students 1971-1972
Box 3 Faculty Load Sheets 1973
Box 3 Faculty Load Sheets 1974
Box 3 Faculty Meeting Minutes 1970-1971
Box 3 Faculty Services 1981-1982
Box 3 Individualized Biology 1979
Box 3 "A Look Backward – And a Look Forward" by Reginald Manwell 1979
Box 3 Newsletter - Bio @ SU 1995-2002
Box 3 Newsletter - Bio @ SU 2004-2009
Box 3 Newsletter - Bio @ SU 2010-2015
Box 3 Newsletter - BioLog 1998
Box 3 Performance Review of the Department by Vice-Chancellor Prucha 1983
Box 3 Sabbatical Task Force 1981
Box 3 Bazar Program undated
Box 3 Biology Open House 1953-1954
Box 3 Brochures 1966-1969, undated
Colloquia: Speakers and Correspondence
Box 3 1962-1963
Box 3 1963-1964
Box 3 1964-1965
Box 3 1965-1966
Box 3 1966-1967
Box 3 1967-1968
Box 3 1969-1970
Contributions from the Zoological Laboratory
Box 4 Volume I 1897
Box 4 Volume II 1905 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume III 1908 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume IV 1912 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume V 1917 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume VI 1923 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume VII 1927 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume VIII 1930 (2 copies)
Box 4 Volume IX 1937 (2 copies)
Box 3 Contributions from the Zoology Department 1954-1959
Box 3 Collette, Alfred T. 1967-1968
Box 3 Curriculum 1959-1970
Sherman, Frederick G.
Box 3 1962
Box 3 1963
Box 3 1964
Box 3 1965
Box 3 1966
Box 3 1967
Box 3 Summer Session 1964-1965
Box 3 Faculty Loads 1952-1965
Box 3 Faculty Meeting Minutes 1962-1967
Box 3 Graduate Assistants 1965-1968
Box 3 Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree 1969-1970
Box 3 Symposium on Population Biology 1967
Box 3 Zoological Laboratories Rules 1927

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