Subject File, 1879-1931
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Brief Description: Subject File of Stephen A. Forbes (1844-1930), Director of the State Natural History Laboratory (1877-1917), State Entomologist (1882-1917), professor of Entomology (1884-1929), and Chief of Natural History Survey (1917-30).  These files cover his activities for the period 1909-30 with some files for 1879-1909.  The files of St. Lab., St. Ento., & Chief of the N.H.S. concern entomological and botanical topics including identification of entomological specimens; appraisal and acquisition of collections of specimens; answers to questions about control of insect pests; surveys of the natural history of the state; reports of field assistants in Illinois; materials about agriculture, forestry, game and fish conservation, sewage treatment and pollution of waterways, and conferences, professional activities, publication and exhibits of N.H.S.  Administrative correspondence of St. Lab., St. Ento. and N.H.S. concerns budgets, salaries, position vacancies, personnel matters, annual reports and correspondence with national and state officials such as Governor, Departments of Health, Public Works and Game & Fish Commission and correspondence with agencies and organizations including: American Association of Entomologists and other entomological societies, American Fisheries Society, American Society of Naturalists, Audubon Society, Chicago City Club, Illinois Farmers Institute, Isaak Walton League, National Academy of Sciences and Natural Research Council.  Forbes' university correspondence relates to faculty and officials such as the President, Graduate and Agricultural Colleges, Registrar, Senate, University Press, Zoology Department; the university's participation in WWI and Forbes' role in the League to Enforce the Peace; his participation in the establishment of the local A.A.U.P. chapter; and his involvement in other organizations, e.g. American Philo. Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 43/1/5
Created by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Natural History Survey
Volume: 32.0 cubic feet
Acquired: 7/11-12/77; 4/12/2002
More information is available at
Arrangement: chronological, then by function, then alphabetical
Biographical Note for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Natural History Survey :

The Illinois Natural History Survey, established in 1917 and located at the University of Illinois,1 is a division of the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources.2 The Survey conducts studies of insects, plants and animals; acquires and organizes information about the fields of entomology, botany and zoology in the state; identifies needs and makes recommendations for the protection, development and use of biological resources; and supplies information about these resources and their use and management.3 The Survey offers research and analytical services on a grant and contract basis, and performs state-supported research.4 The Survey operates research facilities at Bogota, Dixon Springs, Grafton, Havana, Kinmundy, Lake Shelbyville, Lisle and Ridge Lake.5 Its five scientific sections include Aquatic Biology, Botany and Plant Pathology, Economic Entomology, Faunistic Surveys and Insect Identification, and Wildlife Research. The Administrative Section includes a technical library and a Supporting Services unit. A special Publications and Public Relations section handles information dissemination.6 The Chief of the Natural History Survey reports to a Board of Natural Resources and Conservation, which is responsible for the Survey's activities.7

In 1858, the Natural History Society of Illinois was organized. A state charter, awarded to the Society in 1861, authorized it to establish a natural history museum at the Illinois State Normal University.8 Ten years later, the Society turned over its museum to the state. It was placed under the State Board of Education. When a new natural history museum was established in Springfield in 1877, the Illinois Museum of Natural History at Normal became the State Laboratory of Natural History.9 In 1885, the Laboratory was transferred to Urbana and placed under the authority of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. At the same time, the State Entomologist's Office (established in 1867) was moved to Urbana.10 Both units conducted biological research and interchanged personnel and materials. In 1917, they were combined as the Illinois Natural History Survey, under the Department of Registration and Education.11 In 1978, the Survey became part of the Illinois Institute of Natural Resources which was renamed the Department of Energy and Natural Resources in 1981.12

1. Illinois Natural History Survey, Bulletin, 27, December 1958, pp. 98-9.

2. Illinois, Illinois Blue Book, 1981-1982, p. 364.

3. Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1983, p. 3.

4. Ibid., pp. 3-4.

5. Ibid., pp. 4-5.

6. Ibid., pp. 6-7.

7. Bulletin, p. 99.

8. Illinois Natural History Survey, p. 6.

9. Bulletin, p. 87.

10. Ibid., p. 88, 90.

11. Bulletin, p. 98.

12. Illinois Blue Book, 1981-1982, p. 364.

Subject Index
American Association for the Advancement of Sciences
American Association of University Professors
Fish and Game
Forbes, Stephen A.
League to Enforce Peace
Natural History Laboratory
Sewage Treatment
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]