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Stanley Coulter papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 481

Scope and Contents

This collection contains publications written by Stanley Coulter, newspaper articles about him, correspondence with colleagues, and personal belongings such as his bible.


  • 1860 - 1940


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of material in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Stanley Coulter, known as the "The Grand Old Man of Purdue", was born June 2, 1853 to Caroline Elvira (Crowe) and Moses Stanley Coulter in Ningpo, China, where his parents served as missionaries for the Presbyterian church. His brother was the botanist J.M. (John Merle) Coulter (1851-1928). Stanlely Coulter married Lucy Eunice Post (1856-1942) in 1877. They had one daugher, Mabel Post (Coulter) Smith (1880-1977).

Coulter earned his Bachelor of Arts (AB) degree from Hanover College in 1871, his Master of Arts (AM) degree in 1874, a PhD in 1889, and an honorary law degree in 1907.

Coulter was out in a lake fishing when he received a telegram from President Smart asking him to teach at Purdue University. He joined the faculty in 1887 as a professor of biology and director of the Biological Laboratory. In 1907, he became the first dean of the school of science at Purdue, a position he held until his retirement. He also served as Purdue's first Dean of Men from 1919 to 1926 and Chairman of the Faculty until his retirement from Purdue in 1926. His publications include more than 125 pamphlets on nature study, scientific researches, sketches, and also Flora of Indiana (1899), and A Key to the Genera of the Native Forest Trees and Shrubs of Indiana (1907).

In addition to his work at Purdue, Coulter was one of the founders of the State Board of Forestry, then served as a member until 1916 when it merged into the State Conservation Commission, where he served as a Chairman. He was president of the Indiana Audubon Society, as well as the Indiana Academy of Science. He was a member of the Western Society of Naturalists, the Botanical Society of America, American Genetic Association, and served on Hanover College's Board of Trustees. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue in 1931. He died in Lafayette, Indiana, on June 26, 1943, at the age of 90.
Sources: "Stanley Coulter." Wikipedia. />

"Did You Know?" School of Foreign Languages and Literatures Newsletter. Purdue University. Vol. 4 (Spring 1999): p 5.

"Stanley Coulter." Library of Congress Name Authority File. />


2.145 Cubic Feet (Two legal-size full-width manuscript boxes and one cubic foot box)


Collection materials are in chronological order.

Physical Access Information

Newspapers are fragile and delicate and should be handled with care. A photocopy is available with the newspapers.

Related Materials

MSF 275, Thomas F. Moran papers, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in acid-free folders, and an acid-free box.
Stanley Coulter papers
In Progress
Amanda Rumba and Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description first completed at an unknown date by Archives Staff.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-22: Collection description updated by Amanda Rumba to align with data entry standards.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States