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Frank Benton papers

Identifier: UA-17.438

Scope and Contents

The Frank Benton papers include academic correspondence, newspaper clippings which discuss apiculture, Benton's work in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the 25th Annual Meeting of the North American Beekeepers Association and miscellaneous poems and writings, papers from the Association, a Japanese translation of his book The Honey Bee, personal notes, and a cash book for the Carnolian Apiaries (1899-1900). Of note are personal manuscripts by Benton on topics such as the Spanish-American War, Greece, Italy, Germany, and women. Also a set of patent papers for a new beehive design (1896). Several of the manuscripts are hand written translations of articles written and published in foreign languages. Also various membership letters and cards of the international apiarian clubs to which Benton belonged, and miscellaneous publications of the United States Department of Agriculture. There are photographs of family members, his home in Washington D.C., beehives, the Smithsonian, and Benton's trip around the world. Miscellaneous items include address books, account books, memo books, ticket books, postcards, and stereocards. Also included in the collection are photographs of the Michigan State University campus showing educational buildings and faculty residences.


  • Creation: 1879 - 1915


Language of Materials

Some of the materials are in Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. It is likely that the negatives in this collection are nitrate. Researchers must view digitized versions of these negatives.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Frank Benton (1852-1919), born in Coldwater, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) with his B.S. in 1879 and his M.S. in 1886. He also studied at the University of Tennessee, the University of Munich, and the University of Athens. In 1879, he taught modern languages at M.A.C. Benton spent 1880-1891 studying honeybees in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Around 1880, he was the investigator in charge of apiculture with the Bureau of Entomology in the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1894, he was corresponding secretary of the Entomological Society of Washington and the North American Beekeepers Association. He was also secretary of the Michigan State Beekeepers Association and a member of various scientific organizations including the National Geographic Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He authored two books: Bee-Keeping and The Honey Bee (1896), as well as many articles on apiculture, a partial listing of which is included in this collection and is located in Box 6209 Folder 1.

According to the January 27, 1914 issue of the M.A.C. Record, Benton traveled to Palestine "to investigate the bee industry, and as a result of his efforts there is now in this country a particular strain of bees known as Holy Land bees, which are scattered widely over the United States (page 5)."


2 Cubic Feet

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

General Note

The Honey Bee: a Manual of Instruction in Apiculture by Frank Benton, in Japanese, is included in the collection. An English version may be found in the Michigan State University Library.

Processing Information

Changed record group from 00062 to UA 17.438 to reflect Benton's connection to Michigan State University. M. Badgley Malone, December 2019.

Frank Benton Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
C. Conner
January 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US