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Department of Biology records

Identifier: 05.B

Scope and Contents

The Department of Biology records date from 1894-present, with the bulk of materials dating between 1970 and 2000. The collection includes news releases, clippings, faculty meeting minutes, department newsletters, curriculum information, correspondence, a printed copy of the department web site, and several other department publications. There is also a small collection of glass plate negatives.

The collection of the Department of Biology has been divided into four series: Department administration, Published materials, Field Centers and Visual materials. The Department administration series contains meeting minutes, department history and profile information, faculty rosters, information on department alumni, the Mary Goddard Scholarship Fund and a subseries of Course Schedules that date from 1974-1980. The Published materials series includes several bound publications. The Field Centers series consists of files pertaining to off-site field research facilities and locations. The series contains a substantial subseries on the Kresge Environmental Education Center (KEEC) located on Fish Lake in Lapeer, Michigan that contains papers related to the purchase of the property, additions of residence and educational centers, and policies and procedures manuals. It is not complete documentation of the KEEC, but is comprehensive. The Visual materials series consists of glass plate negatives, which have been housed separately.

Given that this is one of the older departments on campus, there is little to document the department when it as known as the Department of Natural Sciences, although some of this material can be found in the papers of early Natural Science faculty.


  • Creation: 1894 - 2012
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1984 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access:

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to use through the University Archives.

Administrative History

The Department of Biology at Eastern Michigan University began as the Natural Science Department. When Michigan Normal School opened its doors for classes in 1853 there were several natural science classes offered. However, from 1853-1883 the classes were not separated into distinct departments and all science course were taught in one room. Due to increased enrollment at Michigan Normal School, in 1883 the Natural Science Department was created, and the first department head appointed was Lucy Aldrich Osband. Over time the Natural Science Department evolved into the Biology Department.


1.8 Linear Feet (4 archive boxes, 1 halfsize archive box)

Language of Materials



Natural science courses were offered at Michigan State Normal College from its inception, but it did not become its own department until 1883. Eventually the name was changed to Department of Biology. The collection includes department curriculum, publications, newsletters, brochures, information on various field locations, as well as newspaper clippings and press releases. The material in the collection covers the span of the department from 1894 to the present, with the bulk of materials dating between 1970 and 2000, and refers to both the Natural Sciences Department as well as the Department of Biology.

Physical Characteristics

The Natural Science images are glass plate negatives and should be viewed with a light table.

Department of Biology records
Courtney Dornburg, Natalie Morath, Amber Davis.
2012 January 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197