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Rollin Harold Baker papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.111

Scope and Contents

The collection contains diaries, correspondence, manuscripts, course notes, photographs, autobiographical information, both personal and professional, of Rollin H. Baker, Museum Director and Professor in the Department of Zoology and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University.


  • Creation: 1936 - 1991


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research except where restrictions are noted.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

Rollin Harold Baker was born in Cordova, Rock Island County, Illinois on November 11, 1916. He obtained his B.A. from the University of Texas in 1937, his M.A. from Texas A&M University in 1938, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1948. On March 22, 1939, Baker married Mary Waddell of Brenham, Texas. They had three children: Elizabeth, Bruce, and Bryon.

Baker's professional career included positions as Wildlife Technician, National Park Service, Texas Big Bend (Summer 1937); Field Biologist Texas Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, College Station (1938-1939); Assistant Curator of Mammals Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas (1948-1955); and various appointments at the University of Kansas, including Assistant Instructor (1946-1948), Instructor (1948-1949), Assistant Professor (1949-1954), Assistant Professor of Zoology (1954-1955), and Acting Director of the Museum of Natural History (1950-1951). In 1955, Baker became Director of The Museum and Professor in both the Department of Zoology and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. He held this position until his retirement in 1982.

Baker's field studies led him to discover 34 new species and subspecies of animals, six of which were named after him. Baker's achievements also include 140 published articles on subjects dealing not only with animals, but also with his tenure as Director of the Museum at Michigan State University.

Rollin Baker's papers cover the full range of his personal and professional activities in Zoological research, teaching, U.S. Naval Reserve, and professional organizations.


15 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Series Description

(1) DIARIES. 1936-1951. 1 cubic feet

Contained in this series are diaries which briefly describe Baker's club, scholastic, and personal activities. The diaries were kept up to date, but are not very detailed. Arranged chronologically.

(2) CORRESPONDENCE. 1937-1974, 1990-1991. 1 cubic feet

Within this series are letters written to and from Baker. In cases where there was much correspondence to an individual or institution, a separate folder was created. Arranged alphabetically.

(3) MANUSCRIPTS, NOTES. 1937-1978, Undated. 0.9 cubic feet

Observations and impressions of Baker's numerous field expeditions. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

(4) CLASSES TAKEN. 1933-1947. 1 cubic feet

Notes and tests from Baker's years as an undergraduate at the University of Texas and as a graduate student at Texas A & M and the University of Kansas. Arranged Chronologically.

(5) CLASSES TAUGHT. 1947-1978. 1.3 cubic feet

Notes and tests from the years Baker taught at the University of Kansas and Michigan State University. Arranged chronologically.

(6) STUDENTS. 1949-1981, Undated. 2 cubic feet

Student dissertations and theses submitted to Baker. Due to some oversized documents, the materials are arranged into two subseries. Arranged alphabetically.

(7) U.S. NAVY. 1934-1982. 1.2 cubic feet

Correspondence, course notes, promotions, and other personal information obtained during Baker's time in the Army. Also included is information on NAMRU reunions and some newspaper clippings. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

(8) RESEARCH. 1896-1978, Undated. 1 cubic feet.

Miscellaneous research notes. The materials cover a variety of subjects and is categorized by such. Arranged by subject.

(9) RESTRICTED. 1944-1981, Undated. 2 cubic feet

Grade books, student tests and U.S. Navy evaluations. Arranged alphabetically within subseries.

(10) MISCELLANEOUS. 1936-1985. 1 cubic feet

Speeches, newspaper clippings and some information from the Civil Service. Professional group reports are also included in this series. Arranged chronologically within subseries.

(11) ORGANIZATION FOR TROPICAL STUDIES. 1955-1981, Undated. 1 cubic feet

Meeting information and correspondence regarding Organization for Tropical Studies activities. Arranged chronologically.

(12) RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL GROUPS. 1958-1979. 1 cubic feet

Research proposals and professional group information. Primarily minutes from meetings. Arranged chronologically within subseries.





Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Rollin H. Baker Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
L. Fuhlbrigge and S. Bykowicz
August 1985
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