Department of Biology records

Summary Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives
Eastern Michigan University
Creator - Author
Fennel, William, Professor Emeritus
Michigan State Normal College.
Department of Biology records
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1984-2012
Date [inclusive]
1.8 Linear feet 4 archive boxes, 1 halfsize archive box
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.

Preferred Citation note

Please cite materials from the University Archives in the following manner: Item. Collection Title. Eastern Michigan University Archives.

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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.

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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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives 2012 January 12

Halle Library, Room 310
Ypsilanti, Michigan, 48197

Revision Description

 Addition of the 2013.03 and 2013.12 accessions as well as the materials in the Kresge Environmental Education Center to the overall collection. Revisions completed by Alexis Braun Marks, CA Addition of the 2012.39 accession. Revisions completed by Amber Davis 2016 January 19

Conditions Governing Access:

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

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Biology
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Universities and colleges--Faculty.
  • University degrees

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Physical Characteristics

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

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Collection Inventory

Department administration 

Scope and Contents

Materials include news releases, clippings, faculty meeting minutes, program information, correspondence and old biology class pictures.

News releases and clippings 1961-2011 

    Box Folder
Mixed Materials (32307023995104)   1 1
    Box Folder
Graphic materials (32307023283667)   3 1

Box Folder

Curriculum 1984- present 

1 2

Correspondence 2000 

1 3

Course Schedules 

Box Folder


3 2-17
Box Folder

Department Alumni 

3 18

Department Annual Reports 

3 19

Departmental Goals 

3 20

Department Heads 

3 21

Department Head Correspondence 

3 22

Department Head Search 1975 

3 23

Departmental History 

3 24

Departmental History, Notes by Dr. Williams Fennell 1993-1994 

3 25

Department Meeting Minutes 

3 26

Department Profile Information 

3 27

EMU's 125th Anniversary Celebration 

3 28

Faculty Group Photographs 

3 29

Faculty Rosters 

3 30

Mary Goddard Scholarship Fund 

3 31

Michigan State Normal College Natural Science Fund 

3 32

National Science Fund Grant, Audio Tutorial 

3 33

Student Assistants 

3 35

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Published materials 1983-2007 

Scope and Contents

This box contains two different newsletters from the Biology Department at Eastern Michigan University. The box contains comes of the Piggly Weekly from 1983-1989, and The Starr from 1990-1991.

Box Folder

"Piggly Weekly" newsletter 1983-1989 

1 4-7

"The Starr" newsletter 1990-1991 

1 8

"Symbiosis" newsletter 2002-2006 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials (32307023995104)   1 9
    Box Folder
Text (32307023283667)   3 36

Box Folder

"A brief history of the natural science department of the Michigan State Normal College." 1949 

1 10

Brochures & Programs 1894-2007 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials (32307023995104)   1 11
    Box Folder
Text (32307023283667)   3 34

Box Folder

Website 2007 

1 12
Box Object

"Laboratory Manual for Biological Science" 1958 

1 1-2

Center for Aquatic Biology: "Sorption of soluble phosphates by freshwater sediments in the Huron River Basin, Michigan" 1970 

1 3

Center for Aquatic Biology: "An approach to the study of freshwater sediments" 1970 

1 4

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Field Centers 

Box Folder

 Bates, John Center for Aquatic Biology, Lyman Street 1967-1973 

3 37

Center for Aquatic Biology, Ohio and West Virginia 

3 38

Higgins Lake 

4 1

Kresge Environmental Education Center at Fish Lake, Lapeer, Michigan 

Box Folder


4 2

Capital Improvements 

4 3


5 1-2

General Information 

    Box Folder
Text (32307023284897)   5 3
    Box Folder
Text (32307023283675)   4 4

Box Folder

Historical Marker 

4 5

Kresge Foundation Grant Information 

4 6

LTER Grant Proposal 1997 

4 7


4 8

Mobile Home Purchase and Information 

4 9

Oil & Gas Lease 

4 10

Proposal for Fish Lake Outdoor Education Center 1963 

5 4


    Box Folder
Text (32307023283675)   4 11
    Box Folder
Text (32307023284897)   5 5

Box Folder

Purchase of Fish Lake Property 

4 12

Request for Kresge Commons & Dormitory December 18, 1972 

5 6
Box Folder

Loesell Field Lab 

4 13-14

Sandy Point Great Abaco Island Bahamas 1969-1974 

4 15

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Natural science images 1927-1931 


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