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Robert Earle Buchanan papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 6/3/11

Scope and Content

The collection (1901-1999, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence, reports, addresses, published and unpublished writings including his thesis (1908), and 5th (1951) and 6th (1959) editions of Bacteriology, reprints, illustrations for manuscripts, card index of published work, awards and honorary certificates. Also includes material on campus affairs, and his visiting professorship at Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitat. Events include the oleomargarine controversy at Iowa State.

Major correspondents include: Roger N. Baldwin, D.H. Bergey, Ralph K. Bliss, Bruce Bliven, Robert S. Breed, Charles Harvey Brown, Barnett Cohen, Karl T. Compton, H.J. Conn, S.T. Cowan, Chester C. Davis, Paul L. Errington, Charles E. Friley, Guy M. Gillette, Arthur T. Henricci, Bourke D. Hickenlooper, James H. Hilton, Elizabeth E. Hoyt, Allan Kline, A.J. Kluyver, Robert M. LaFollette, Jay L. Lush, William G. Murray, William C. Paddock, Nelson Rockefeller, Albert B. Sabin, Lauren Soth, Louis I. Thompson, John Timmons, William Vogt, Selman A. Waksman, and Henry A. Wallace.

Major organizations represented are: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Type Culture Collection, Association of State Universities and Lang-Grant Colleges, Bergey Manual Trust, Biological Abstracts, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and its missions to Greece and the Near East, Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences (Turrialba, Costa Rica), International Committee on Bacteriological Nomenclature, International Congresses of Microbiology (1930-1958), International Plant Congress (1926), International Union of Biological Sciences, Iowa Academy of Science, Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station, Latin America, Marshal Plan, National Research Council, National Resources Board, New York Academy of Science, and Society of American Bacteriologists.


  • 1901-1999, undated

Language of Materials

English and German

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


R.E. Buchanan (1883-1973) was a bacteriologist and administrator at Iowa state University where he also received his B.S. (1904) and M.S. (1906) degrees. He was the first head of the Bacteriology Dept. (1910-1945), the first dean of Industrial Science (1914-1916), the first dean of the Graduate College (1919-1948), director of the Agricultural Experiment Station (1933-1948), and active in many national and international scientific committees, commissions and boards. He served as editor of the Journal of Science (Iowa State University), International Bulletins of Bacteriological Nomenclature and Taxonomy, International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria and Viruses, and Bergey’s Manual. Buchanan also served on the National Research Council, Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, President’s (Truman) Committee on Foreign Aid, Food and Agriculture Organization (UN) and on various agricultural missions to Greece, the Middle East, and India. He was a visiting professor in Germany and was a consultant on technical cooperation between Latin America and U.S. universities.


31.46 Linear Feet (73 document boxes, 1 card file box)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 6/3/11. Robert Earle Buchanan papers, 1901-1999, undated
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672