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Personal papers of Kenneth B. Armitage

Call Number: PP 414


Kenneth Armitage joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1956 as a professor of zoology. During his time at KU, he founded several scientific programs and received numerous faculty and scientific honors. The collection includes correspondence, research grant proposals, publication agreements, and information on the Zero Population Growth committee, as well as article, book, and grant proposal reviews.


  • Creation: 1954 - 2014


Conditions Governing Access

All materials in this collection except the oversize folder are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Kenneth B. Armitage

Kenneth Armitage was born April 18, 1925 in Steubenville, Ohio. He served in the United States Army from 1943-1946. After his discharge, he attended Bethany College in West Virginia from 1946-1949 and received his Masters in 1951 and his Ph.D in 1954, both from the University of Wisconsin.

Armitage joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1956 as an Assistant Professor in Zoology, becoming a full Professor in 1966. He was Chair of Undergraduate Biology from 1968 to 1975 and then Director of Undergraduate Programs from 1975 to 1982. He became Chair of the Department of Systematics and Ecology, serving from 1982 to 1988.

Armitage founded the Enviromental Studies Program in 1976 and served as director until 1982; he also founded and directed the Experimental and Applied Ecology Program, overseeing all land resources available for KU ecological and environmental research. Armitage built this program from no budget in 1973 to a program that collected annual grant funds of over $1.6 million in 1994.

Kenneth Armitage was a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory for 17 years. He was a manuscript reviewer for numerous scientific publications and held memberships or fellowships in numerous scientific societies. In his spare time, Dr. Armitage was a member of the Douglas County Chapter of Zero Population Growth, an organization interested in stabilizing world population at a level sustainable by the Earth's resources, and its Coordinator from 1969 to 1971. In 1987 he was named to the first William J. Baumgartner Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences. He was also professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Over his career, Dr. Armitage published over 150 papers, 16 book chapters, and 29 abstracts and reviews and conducted research in South America, Russia, and Antarctica. He had almost continous research funding for social behavior and population studies in marmots from the National Science Foundation from 1962 to his retirement in 1996.


4 Linear Feet (4 boxes + 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 414

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

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

Guide to the Kenneth B. Armitage Collection
Personal Papers of Kenneth B. Armitage
Finding aid prepared by kn, 2004. Finding aid encoded by kn, 2004. Finding aid revised by mes, 2015; mwh, 2021.
2004, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Kenneth B. Armitage, PP 414, University Archives, 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