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Personal papers of Charles D. Michener

Call Number: PP 450


Charles D. Michener served as Professor of Entomology at the University of Kansas from 1948 until 1989, when he achieved Emeritus status. This collection consists primarily of correspondence reflecting Michener's research interests, as well as his activities in related professional organizations.


  • Creation: 1935 - 2006


Language of Materials

English; Spanish; Portuguese; German; French

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 Michener Charles D.

Charles D. Michener is Professor Emeritus of Entomology and of Systematics and Ecology at the University of Kansas (KU). Michener received his B.S. (1939) and Ph.D. in Entomology (1941) from the University of California (UC).

Michener was born in 1918 in Pasadena, California. He was Assistant and Associate Curator of Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera (1942-1948) at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City before coming to KU in 1948 as an Associate Professor of Entomology. He was named Watkins Distinguished Professor of Entomology in 1958, and of Systematics and Ecology in 1968. During his time at the University of Kansas, he served as Chairman of the Department of Entomology (1949-1961, 1972-1975) and Director (1974-1983) and Senior Curator (1974-1989) of the Snow Entomological Museum. He retired from administration in 1989, but remained on the faculty to conduct research.

Michener received a Fulbright Research Grant (Australia, 1957-1959), and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1955-1956 (Brazil) and 1966-67 (Africa). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an honorary fellow of the American Entomological Society and Royal Entomological Society of London. He was president of the Kansas Entomological Society (1950), the Society for the Study of Evolution (1967), and served as editor and associate editor of many academic journals in his field. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Research Medal from the International Society of Hymenopterists.

Michener’s principal research fields include bee systematics, bee behavior and ecology, and the origin and evolution of social behavior. His book, The Bees of the World, was published in 2000, and is the world’s only comprehensive, worldwide treatment of all groups of bees.


12.75 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Scope and Contents

The Charles D. Michener collection of personal papers consists predominantly of correspondence between Michener and his research colleagues from 1935-2005. The primary subject matter includes transfers and loans of specimens for research, the proper classification of bees and other insects, bee behavior, and Michener’s work in professional organizations and publications. Some discussion of the fieldwork of both Michener and his entomologist correspondents is also included. Of particular interest is a 1970 letter from Michener to Howell V. Daly that includes descriptions of parts of Africa, as well as potential contacts.

The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and in reverse chronological order within each folder. Correspondents without individual folders are organized alphabetically by last name in bulk.

Physical Location

PP 415

Physical Location

PP 450

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Charles D. Michener, 2002

Related Materials

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

Guide to the Charles D. Michener Collection
Personal papers of Charles D. Michener
Finding aid prepared by kmc, 2007; revised by cl, 2010. Finding aid encoded by kmc, 2007; revised by cl, 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Charles D. Michener, University Archives, PP 450, 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