Collection Details

Archival collections in the life sciences cover biology, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, and the related subjects of conservation and environmental science, and veterinary medicine. Collections include papers of individuals active in the sciences as well as records of professional and scientific organizations. 

Search for life science collections in CARDinal.

The Life Sciences collections have particular strengths in several subject areas:

  • Botany and plant science: This has long been an area of research strength at Iowa State University, and the papers of prominent faculty and alumni in this field include Louis H. Pammel, Ada Hayden, George Washington Carver, and Charles E. Bessey. Also of note are the papers of Iowa-based botanist Charles Christopher Parry. 
  • Conservation of natural resources: Collections document the establishment of state parks in Iowa, native prairie conservation, and soil and water conservation. Prominent collections related to conservation and wildlife ecology include the papers of Frederic Leopold, brother of conservationist and nature writer Aldo Leopold; Sylvan T. Runkel, another prominent Iowa conservationist; and faculty member Paul Errington, who studied under Aldo Leopold and led the first Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in the United States. 
  • Ornithology: The history of ornithology and birding in Iowa are well documented in the records of the Iowa Ornithologist’s Union (IOU) and its predecessor organization, the Iowa Ornithological Association, and in the personal papers of several ornithologists. 
  • Veterinary medicine: Collections include the papers of a number of veterinarians and veterinary researchers and the records of a wide range of veterinary medical societies and professional organizations. The University Archives documents the College of Veterinary Medicine, established in 1879, making it the oldest veterinary college at a state school in the United States.