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Personal Papers of Lewis L. Dyche

Call Number: PP 66


Dyche taught Natural History and Zoology at the University of Kansas from 1882-1914. He was also the Kansas Fish and Game Warden from 1910-1915. This collection contains correspondence, diaries, published materials, notes and research, a manuscript draft, photographs, and five scrapbooks documenting his professional interests and career as well as his personal life. The collection includes information from his travels, work and life in Lawrence, Kansas and at KU, and records from his time as Kansas Fish and Game Warden, particularly his work on an updated fish hatchery. It also includes information and materials written about Dyche and his work.


  • Creation: 1880 - 1981


Language of Materials

English, German

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Lewis Lindsay Dyche

Lewis Lindsay Dyche was born on March 20, 1857 in Bath, Virginia (what is now Berkeley Springs, West Virginia). His family moved to Kansas and settled near the town of Ridgeway, which was south of Topeka and is no longer in existence. He graduated from the State Normal School in Emporia in 1877.

Dyche joined the faculty of the University of Kansas as an Instructor of Natural History in the fall of 1882. By 1884 he received Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences degrees. In 1887 he went to New York to study taxidermy under conservationist William T. Hornaday. Dyche then became a Professor of Systematic Zoology in 1889.

Dyche became world renowned at the 1893 Colombian Exposition (World's Fair) in Chicago when he displayed his collection of taxidermied animals from around the globe for the Kansas pavilion diorama. These animals constituted the beginning of the Museum of Natural History at KU. The collections he gathered from his many travels were also the beginnings of the collections at KU's Museum of Anthropology.

In 1910, Dyche became the Kansas Fish and Game Warden. During his time as the warden he enlarged the fish hatchery at Pratt to one of the largest and most modern in the country. He also wrote legislation that would protect endangered species and set specific hunting seasons for game birds and most mammals. He was the warden until his death on January 20, 1915.

The Natural History Museum on the University of Kansas campus was renamed the Dyche Museum of Natural History in his honor.


10.5 Linear Feet (13 boxes + 1 oversize box, 6 oversize folders, 1 galley box)

Physical Location

PP 66

Physical Location

Scrapbooks are housed with other oversize faculty scrapbooks.

Other Finding Aids

An inventory of glass plate negatives and slides Dyche took while on expeditions is available at

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

University Archives also holds a number of glass plate negatives and slides Dyche took while on his many expeditions, an inventory of which is available at

Guide to the Lewis L. Dyche Collection
Personal Papers of Lewis Lindsay Dyche
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by skt, 2010; brch, 2011; eear, 2015; mwh, 2019, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Lewis L. Dyche papers, PP 66, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States