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Richard Owen papers

 Collection — Box: Box 1
Identifier: MSP 59

Scope and Contents

The Richard Owen papers (1866-1878; 0.1 cubic feet) document the life and career of Richard Owen, his correspondence, and his administrative recommendations to the Purdue University Trustees. They include materials from Owen’s time at Indiana University and Owen’s tenure as President of Purdue. They also show Owen’s various professions as geologist, professor, and administrator. Types of materials include: books, reports, and letters. Owen’s diary records his daily affairs from 1873-1878.  Events and topics recorded include faculty meetings, payments, travel, and correspondence.  The diary also includes a chart of Owen’s laundry washing practices.  A letter records communication between Richard Owen and Dr. Blackwell of the Literary Society of Bedford.  The letter, written during Owen’s tenure at Indiana University, details Owen’s geological studies and confirms his intention to meet with Blackwell on May 25, 1866.  Also included is a photocopy of the first Presidential report to the Purdue University Trustees, where Owen provides recommendations regarding faculty and staff, the plan of education, and general administrative affairs.


  • 1866-1878


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


0.10 Cubic Feet

1 folder other_unmapped

1.00 mss._boxes

Method of Acquisition

Letter purchased from M. Benjamin Katz Fine Books, July 27, 2012 Library purchased from R.E. Banta, circa 1933

Existence and Location of Originals

Photocopy of President's Report to Purdue Trustees. Original is located at Indiana University Archives.

Related Materials

MSP 145, New Harmony collection, 1845-1890

Separated Materials

The attached pdf finding aid includes the list of books of Owen's library.  Owen's collection of books has been removed from the papers and cataloged in the general Purdue Libraries collection. Please visit the Libraries Online Public Access Catalog to view detailed bibliographic records

Processing Information

This collection was created by Archives and Special Collections staff.  All materials were transferred from existing collections related to Richard Owen.  All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  Owen’s books have been cataloged and placed in the Special Collections General book collection.
Richard Owen papers
In Progress
Michael Maune and Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States