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Zoology Department Records, 1895-1997

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Oregon State University. Dept. of Zoology.
Title
Zoology Department Records
Dates
1895-1997 (inclusive)
1938-1958 (bulk)
Quantity
0.1 cubic foot, including 36 photographs, (2 boxes)
2 microfilm reels
Collection Number
RG 074
Summary
The Zoology Department Records document undergradate and graduate instruction in zoology at Oregon State University and include correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, reports, publications, and lantern slides used for ornithology instruction. Courses in zoology have been offered since the founding of Oregon State in 1868; the Zoology and Entomology Department was established in 1889.
Repository
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
97331-4501
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
scarc@oregonstate.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Department of Zoology and Entomology was established in 1889 with F.L. Washburn as head. Prior to becoming an official department, zoology had been a part of the physiology program. Instruction in zoology began in 1868 (physiology having begun the previous year) and entomology was added in 1870. In 1895, F.L. Washburn was succeeded by A. B. Cordley, who expanded the department’s staff and instruction to include histology, embryology, systematic zoology, parasitology, evolution, and advanced entomology.

In 1902 the Department of Zoology and Entomology moved to Agriculture Hall (now Education Hall) and then in 1910 to the new Agriculture Hall (now Strand Agriculture Hall). Entomology became a separate department in 1914 and the department was known as Zoology and Physiology in the 1910s and 1920s. The department name was shortened to Zoology in 1927. The first bachelor’s in Zoology was awarded in 1932; in 1935, Alfred Taylor was the first to receive a doctorate in Zoology.

Bolstered by grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the department began another period of expansion after World War II. As returning veterans increased the school’s student population the department expanded staff, space, and laboratory equipment. Additional labs and classrooms were placed in Quonset huts, surplus army barracks, and the President’s old residence. By 1962, the growth of the department and the shortage of space reached a crisis point. In 1962 the Department of Zoology obtained permission to proceed with the planning of a new addition to Cordley Hall. This was ultimately delayed until 1965 and was finally completed in the fall of 1967.

Department heads have included F.L. Washburn (1889-1895); A.B. Cordley (1895-1914); George F. Sykes (1914-1921); Nathan Fasten (1921-1944); Kenneth L. Gordon (1945-1952); Ernst J. Dornfeld (1952-1976); Charles E. King (1977-1986); Christopher J. Bayne (1986-1989); Jane Lubchenco (1989-1993); John E. Morris (1993-1996); Stevan J. Arnold (1997-2003); John A. Ruben (2003-2009); and Bruce A. Menge (beginning in 2009).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Zoology Department Records document the administration of the department, primarily under the leadership of Kenneth L. Gordon and Ernst J. Dornfeld, and the activities of faculty, especially in undergraduate and graduate instruction. The records include correspondence, staff meeting agendas and minutes, publications, and lantern slides used in instruction. The bulk of the records are available on microfilm and consist of Reports of Service to the Institution for a 20-year period from 1938 to 1958. These reports were completed by each faculty member for each academic term and listed courses taught and number of students in each section as well as other activities, such as extension, research, or service.

The administrative records also include materials documenting possible war emergency research to be conducted in the early 1950s. Correspondence and reports documenting the cooperative research program between Oregon State College and Kasetsart University in Thailand in the 1950s are part of the General Files (Series I).

The collection includes histories of the department prepared in 1966 (by Ernst J. Dornfeld) and in 1989 (by Dornfeld and Charles E. King). Of special note is an 1895 report from F.L. Washburn to College President John M. Bloss describing the courses taught by the department in 1894-1895. This report also includes drawings and descriptions prepared by students.

The lantern slides were used for ornithology instruction and include maps and photographs of birds, habitats, and skeletons.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Zoology Department Records (RG 074), Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  General Files, 1938-1969Return to Top

Series I consists of correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, and other materials that document the administration of the Zoology Department and the activities of faculty, especially in undergraduate and graduate instruction. The bulk of the series is comprised of Reports of Service to the Institution for 1938-1958. The report form was completed by each faculty member for each academic term with the courses taught, number of students in each section, and the time spent on each course per week. Faculty also reported time spent on other activities, such as administration, extension, research, or service on this form. The numbers that precede titles in the list below are the folder numbers as they appear on the microfilm.

Container(s) Description Dates
Reel
1
1: Barrington Committee Reports for Zoology personnel
1954-1955
1
2: Correspondence with staff
1963-1969
1
3: Gifts
1951-1956
1
4: Graduate certification policies
1947
1
5: Graduate examinations
1962
1
6: Honorary societies
Sigma Xi, Phi Kappan Phi, Phi Sigma
1951
1
7: Kasetsart University
1953-1959
Letters to the Staff
1952-1954
Reel
1
1953-1954
1
9: Staff meetings
1952-1953
Miscellaneous Correspondence
1945-1957
Reel
1
10: Meetings
1945-1950
1
11: School of Science
1951-1957
Reel
1
12: Publicity
1951-1954
Report of Service to the Institution
1938-1958
Reel
1
1938-1941
1
1941-1945
1
Fall 1945-Spring 1946
1
Fall 1946-Spring 1947
1
Fall 1947-Spring 1948
1
Fall 1948-Spring 1949
1
1949-1950
1
1951-1952
1
1952-1953
1
1953-1954
1
1954-1955
1
1955-1958
Reel
1
25: Unreasonable requests
Public inquiries on a variety of topics with responses.
1958-1967
1
26: War Emergency research
1950-1951
1
27: Zoology staff meetings agendas and minutes
1945-1950

Series II:  Subject Files, 1973-1997Return to Top

Series II consists of materials that document undergraduate and graduate instruction. The records include expanded course descriptions for Biology (Bi) and Zoology (Z) courses in the early 1970s and an announcement of public speakers for a zoology course on environmental controversies (Z 565) in 1997.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
Course Offerings for Zoology Major Curriculum in 1973-1974
1973
1
Announcement of Public Lectures in Fall 1997
1997

Series III:  Publications, 1895-1989Return to Top

Series III consists of several publications prepared by the Zoology Department. These include histories of the department prepared in 1966 and 1989; a publication of drawings of the anatomy of several animals; and an 1895 report from the Zoological Department that describes courses offered and includes drawing and descriptions by students.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
Anatomy of Selected Animal Types
Report by Kathryn Torvik and John E. Morris
1973
1
History of the Department of Zoology
By Ernst J. Dornfeld.
1966
1
History of the Department of Zoology 1889-1989
By Ernst J. Dornfeld and Charles E. King.
1989
Laboratory Studies, State Agricultural College, Zoology
A report from F.L. Washburn to College President John M. Bloss on work done in the Zoological Department during fall and winter terms of 1894-1895. The report describes courses in physiology, ornithology, and zoology and includes drawings and descriptions by students W.F. Holman, Lester M. Leland, Louis Leuenberger, Elsie Long, Amelia J. McCune, Kate B. McCune, A.D. Morrison, Dorothea Nash, Lulu C. Thornton, Effie Willis, and Lena Willis. This report is identified as vol. 1, no. 1; no additional reports were published in the series.
1895
Box
box 1
2 paper copies
Reel
reel 2
microfilmed copy

Series IV:  Lantern Slides, circa 1920Return to Top

Container(s): Box 2

Series IV consists of 36 lantern slides that were likely used for ornithology instruction. They include maps of bird species migration routes; USDA weather maps; and photographs of bird species, habitat, visceral contents, and skeletons. Most of the specimen photos are taxidermy mounts; although several photographs of birds in the wild are included. Some of the bird species photographs are identified. The lantern slides also include several images of mayweed and dog fennel. The items are numbered 980-55-1 thru 980-55-36; a few of the glass mounts are cracked and should be handled with caution.