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Anne M. Lutz papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 9, Placement: 07
Identifier: MSA 163

Scope and Contents

The Anne M. Lutz papers document Lutz' professional work in the field of genetics and her personal experiences while on a work trip to Belgium. Lutz was an early female scientist and genetics researcher who specialized in documenting chromosomes in plants. She was an expert in the area of chromosomes of Oenothera mutants and hybrids and has been credited with discoveries relating to the double chromosome theory. The collection includes diaries and publications written by Lutz.


  • 1911-1917, undated


Language of Materials

Collection material is primarily in English. German is also present.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Material in this collection is in the public domain. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Anne M. Lutz (1871-1938) was a female scientist and genetics researcher with a focus on oenothera mutant chromosome research. Lutz worked at Cold Spring Harbours, conducted research in Belgium, published numerous articles in scientific journals, and was the first woman to receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue University for her contributions in discovering the double chromosome theory.

She was born on March 18, 1871 to parents Samuel B. Lutz and Eleanor E. (Gougar) Lutz. Anne was one of eight children. For her early education, she attended a one-room school in Union township. She entered Purdue University and obtained a B.S. degree 1890, after only three years instead of four. The following year she earned an M.S. degree from Purdue University in Biology (1891). She later attended the University of Michigan and received another B.S. degree from there in 1893 after one year.

After graduating, Lutz continued at University of Michigan as an assistant in biological research. Later she conducted research at the University of Chicago for a year, followed by research at Columbia University. Lutz was sought out and joined the staff of the Carnegie Institute of Experimental Evolution at Cold Springs Harbor, Long Island, New York, and remained there until 1911 (approximately 6-8 years).

On June 11, 1911, she left Lafayette, Indiana for Europe. She gained entrance to the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, where she was the first woman student in 200 years and the last before the university was destroyed during World War I. She continued her research studies there in the Department of Botany and Cytology, and also studied at Amsterdam University in Holland. After sixteen months, she returned home to complete her studies.

Lutz published articles in leading scientific journals between 1907 and 1917, and Louvain published a bulletin dealing with her work. Lutz also made a business of producing and selling microscopic slides for biological subjects and she was one of the first women, if not the first woman, to do so.

After completing most of her studies around 1916, she devoted time to the state and county tuberculosis associations, the Tippecanoe County Historical Association in Indiana, the Federation of Clubs, Farm Bureau, and other organizations. She was also involved in local organization such as the League of Women Voters. Lutz was offered jobs by Harvard University as well as the U.S. government during World War I, but turned them down due to poor health.

In 1932, she became the first woman to receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue University for her work in discovering the double chromosome theory.

Upon her death in 1938, Lutz was a member of the board of directors of the Indiana State Tuberculosis Association, for which she had served as president. She had been a board member and secretary of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, a member of the Trinity M.E. Church in Lafayette, the Twentieth Century Club, and a patron of Tri Kappa. She was also actively involved in the League of Women Voters. Surviving Lutz after her death were a sister, Flora J. Lutz, and a brother, Harry G. Lutz.


0.05 Cubic Feet (Two folders)


Collection is arranged into two series.
  1. Publications
  2. Diaries

Physical Access Information

This collection has been digitized for use. A link to the digitized materials is included below in External Documents.

The diaries are extremely fragile and use of the digitized versions is preferred.

Acquisition Information

Diaries and transcript were sent to President Emeritus Frederick L. Hovde by Samuel G. Lutz, Anne Lutz's nephew. Materials were transferred from the President Emeritus' office to the University Archives on November 15, 1972.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of materials are available for research use. See our digital collections database e-Archvies: Anne M. Lutz papers


Works by Anne M. Lutz:

“Report of Miss Anne M. Lutz.” Carnegie Institution of Washington Year Book No. 5. Carnegie Institution of Washington, January 1907, pp. 101-102. [relates to buckwheat experiments]

Lutz, Anne M. “A Preliminary Note on the Chromosomes of Œnothera Lamarckiana and One of its Mutants, O. Gigas.” Science, New Series, Vol. 26, No. 657 (Aug. 2, 1907), pp. 151-152.

Lutz, Anne M. “The chromosomes of Oenothera Lamarckiana, its mutants and hybrids. Internat. Zoologic. Congress, Boston, August 1907.

Lutz, Anne M. “Chromosomes of the somatic cells of the Oenotheras.” Science, New Series, v. 27, No. 335, February 1908.

Lutz, Anne M. “Chromosomes of the somatic cells of the Oenotheras.” Science, New Series, v. 27, No. 687, 1908.

Lutz, Anne M. “Notes on the First Generation Hybrid of Oenothera Lata X O. Gigas.” [“Œnothera Lata ♀ X O. Gigas ♂.”] Science, New Series, Vol. 29, No. 737 (Feb. 12, 1909), pp. 263-267.

Lutz, Anne M. “Triploid Mutants in Oenothera.” Biologischen Centralblatt, 32, August 1912, pp. 385-435.

Lutz, Anne M. “Triploid Mutants in Oenothera,” Biologischen Centralblatt. Bd. 32, No. 7, Leipzig, July 20, 1912.

Lutz, Anne M. “Triploid Mutants in Oenothera.” Molecular and General Genetics, MGG, Vol. 9, No. 1, December 1913.

Lutz, Anne M. “The production of 14+ chromosome mutants by 14-chromosome Oenothera Lamarckiana, Science, New Series, Vol. 43, February 1916, pp. 291-292.

Lutz, Anne M. “Oenothera Mutants with Diminutive Chromosomes.” American Journal of Botany, Vol. 3, No. 9 (Nov., 1916), pp. 502-526.

Lutz, Anne M. “Fifteen- and Sixteen-Chromosome Oenothera Mutants.” American Journal of Botany, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Feb., 1917), pp. 53-111.

Lutz, Anne M. “Characters Indicative of the Number of Somatic Chromosomes Present in Oenothera Mutants and Hybrids.” The American Naturalist, Vol. 51, No. 606 (Jun., 1917), pp. 375-377.

See also various publications and reports from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Springs Harbor, Long Island, New York (circa 1904-1911).

Processing Information

All materials have been rehoused in acid-free folders. Photocopies of articles about Anne Lutz from the Purdue Alumnus have been placed in the collection file with other biographical information collected about her by Purdue Archives staff.
Anne M. Lutz papers
Keertana Marella
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description was first completed 2010-05-08.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-30: Collection description updated by Keertana Marella

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States