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Personal papers of Peter D. Ashlock

Call Number: PP 515


This collection consists of the personal papers of Peter Dunning Ashlock, which includes research, manuscripts, and publications. It is also comprised of travel information and materials from professional organizations. The collection also includes correspondence as well as newspapers and a map.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1989


Language of Materials

English, French, German, Spanish

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 Peter D. Ashlock

Peter Dunning Ashlock was born in San Francisco, California on August 22, 1929. Ashlock developed an interest in insects at an early age. He received his Bachelor's degree in entomology from the University of California (Berkeley) in 1952 and served as an ecological entomologist in the U.S. Army for the next two years. Ashlock received his Master's degree in entomology from the University of Connecticut in 1956.

Ashlock began doctoral work in 1956 and accepted a position at the Entomology Research Division of the United States Department of Agriculture at the National Museum of Natural History. Ashlock continued his entomological research at the University of Maryland in 1958 and in 1960 once again returned to Berkeley. He participated in the Galapagos International Scientific Project to the Galapagos, Ecuador and the Cocos Island in 1964. Ashlock worked at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawaii in 1964 and in 1966 received his Ph.D. from Berkeley.

Ashlock taught for the 1967-1968 academic year at the University of Connecticut and finally moved to the University of Kansas in 1968 where he was made full professor in 1981.

Peter Ashlock's main areas of study included identification, taxonomy, and systematics of insects. He was specifically interested in the Lygaeidae and the genus Geocoris. In his career, Ashlock traveled to many regions of the world for research purposes, including Hawaii, Laos, Thailand, Japan, Panama, Tahiti, and the Galapagos Islands.

Ashlock was a member of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society, Entomological Society of America, Society of Systematic Zoology, and Sigma Xi, among many other organizations. He was an editor for the Kansas Entomological Society and acting editor for Pacific Insects. Ashlock is most well known for his discovery and understanding of what has come to be known as the cladistic approach to systematics.

Ashlock served as the Director/Chief Curator of the Snow Entomological Museum at the University of Kansas from 1968-1988. His collection of Lygaeidae are housed in the Snow Entomological Museum at KU.

Ashlock married Virginia "Jinny" Harris on June 25, 1956. The Ashlocks had two children, Daniel Abram, born December 14, 1961 and Joseph Warren, born December 27, 1965. Peter Ashlock died on January 26, 1989.

For a more complete biography and bibliography, please see published by the New York Entomological Society.


4.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes + 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Contents

The personal papers of Peter Ashlock include his research in the field of entomology, as well as manuscripts and publications. The collection includes details of Ashlock's travels and research expeditions, as well as materials relating to textbook revisions and critiques of papers for colleagues and professional journals.

The collection also contains information related to Ashlock's tenure at the University of Kansas, as well as applications for other educational positions. The personal papers include materials relating to professional organizations and correspondence with various recipients.

Oversize materials have been physically separated from the rest of the collection and consist of newspaper articles, a guidebook, and a map.

Physical Location

PP 515

Related Materials

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

Processing Information

Previously located at PP 365.

Guide to the Peter D. Ashlock Collection
Personal papers of Peter D. Ashlock
Finding aid prepared by cmh, 2011; revised by skt, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Peter D. Ashlock, PP 515, 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