Chief's Correspondence, 1871-1909
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Brief Description:

Incoming correspondence of Stephen A. Forbes, Curator of the Natural History Museum (1871-77) and Directory of the State Laboratory of Natural History (1877-1909), concerning identification and classification of entomological specimens, collection and receipt of specimens, making casts and taxidermy, trading and appraising collections, food of birds an fishes, the Illinois Natural History Society, the Natural History museum and library collections, moving the museum to Springfield and the laboratory to Urbana from Normal, state legislation and appropriations affecting natural history, school requests for specimens for cabinets, speeches, exhibits at fairs and expositions, professional meetings, publications and reference books, personnel, field operations and control of insect pests, especially chinch bugs (ca. 1895), and San Jose scale (ca. 1908), microscopes, supplies and equipment and related topics. Forbes' correspondence as State Entomologist was filed separately after 1899. See Record Series 43/4/1.

Correspondents include William Ashmead, W. Beal, Peter Baumgrass, Alembert Brayton, Thomas Brewer, John Caton, J. Henry Comstock, Albert Cook, Nathan Davis, Charles Dodge, Samuel Etter, William Farlow, Charles Fernald, T. Wilson Flagg, George H. French, Orson Galusha, Harrison and Samuel Garman, Asa Gray, John Jenks, John LeComte, Joseph Leidy, Jean Lescuyer, Marshall McDonald, George Morrow, Edward Nelson, Herbert Osborn, Alpheus Packard, Charles Peck, Theodore Pergande, William Pillsbury, Robert Ridgway, Sidney Smith, Goodwin Swezey, Don C. Taft, William Trelease, Addison Verrill, George Vasey, Burt Wilder, and Amos Worthen.

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: 43/1/1
Created by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Natural History Survey
Volume: 10.3 cubic feet
Acquired: 12/30/63
More information is available at
Arrangement: chronologically and alphabetically by correspondent thereunder
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
Chinch Bugs
Entomologist, Illinois State
Illinois Natural History Society
Natural History Laboratory
Natural History Museum
San Jose Scale
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]