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Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of Biological Sciences



Instruction in the biological sciences has been offered at Northwestern since the University's inception, under a variety of administrative arrangement. A course in zoology is listed in the University's first catalog (1856). Beginning in 1862 the natural history course taught by Professor Oliver Marcy included instruction in zoology and botany. A separate course entitled “Biology” was offered in 1882; soon afterward it was divided into two courses: one for juniors, emphasizing life histories; and a second for seniors, concentrating on vertebrate histology, bacteriology, and embryology.    With the beginning of departmentalization in 1891, the University catalog listed a Department of Biology, offering courses in zoology, general biology, human physiology, and botany. In 1894, separate departments of zoology and botany were formed; these departments were rejoined in 1949 to from the Department of Biological Sciences. In 1974, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology separated from Biological Sciences and in 1980 the University adopted a plan to create in academic “Section of Biological Sciences” with three departments: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; and Neurobiology and Physiology. After the 1987-1988 academic year Northwestern phased out the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Until 1917, classes and laboratories in the biological sciences were housed in various rooms of University Hall. In that year the Botany Department moved to Fisk Hall which had been vacated by the recently discontinued Evanston Academy. Zoology remained in University Hall until 1930 when the department moved to the Locy Laboratory (now Locy Hall). In 1948 the zoology department moved again to the newly constructed Cresap Laboratory, with biology moving to Locy Hall while retaining two laboratories in Fisk. In 1958 the re-united Department of Biological Sciences was relocated to Swift Hall, while also retaining the space formerly occupied by the zoology department in Cresap Laboratory. By the mid-1980s undergraduate research and instruction in biology remained in the Swift/Cresap complex with graduate training centered in the O.T. Hogan Biological Sciences Building.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Department Of Biological Sciences Records

Identifier: 11/3/7/2
Abstract The records of the Department of Biological Sciences fill six and one-half boxes and span the years between c. 1948 and 1974. The records document administrative concerns of the department including relations with Northwestern administrators, especially deans of the College of Arts and Sciences; faculty appointments; sponsored lectures and departmental seminars; budgetary matters; curricular development; and grants and sponsored research. Other areas covered by the records include...
Dates: 1948-1974

O.T. Hogan Building Planning And Construction Records

Identifier: 11/3/7/4

These records fill two and one-half boxes and span the years 1963 through 1972. Included are correspondence, reports, and other materials documenting the planning and construction of the O.T. Hogan Biological Sciences Building. Also included are proposals and correspondence relating to funding and grant support fox construction costs as well as correspondence between University representatives and the building's architects.

Dates: 1963-1972

Additional filters:

Biology--Study and teaching 1