University of Chicago Library

Guide to the William LeBaron Papers 1824-1892

© 2017 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Le Baron, William. Papers



Manuscript Number:

Crerar Ms 135


1 linear foot (2 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


William Le Baron, entomologist. The collection documents Le Baron's research, writing, and work as State Entomologist of Illinois.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Le Baron, William. Papers, Crerar Ms 135, [Box#, Folder#], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

William LeBaron was an entomologist who studied and completed research within the state of Illinois. In April 1870, LeBaron was appointed to the position of State entomologist of Illinois and would serve until 1875. He was only the second state entomologist, coming to the position shortly after it was established. In this role, LeBaron conducted research and provided information to the State of Illinois as well as other organizations. In the spring of 1871 and 1872, he published two reports on injurious insects. In addition to his leadership role, LeBaron was also passionate about providing education for younger individuals in the field. In his official statement to the Governor of Illinois, LeBaron states his desire and plan to create an entomology textbook. There was also a period of time, where although it was mandated by law that the positon of State Entomologist is paid by the General Assembly, LeBaron went a period of time without being paid, but continued to fulfill his position and responsibilities.

Within the field of American entomology, William LeBaron was one of the leading figures. He was a founding member of the Illinois Natural History Society. He also frequently wrote pieces for the agricultural press.

Scope Note

This collection is divided into two series: Professional, Notes and Writings. The first series includes several letters of correspondence as well as a copy of LeBaron’s official report as State Entomologist of Illinois. The second series contains a multitude of handwritten notes. Some of these materials are loose pages containing lecture and presentation notes. The majority of the collection includes different notebooks. These notebooks include written observations on insects, notes on other scholars’ work, as well as catalogues, remarks, and classification of different insects.

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Subject Headings


Series I: Professional

This series contains materials relating to LeBaron’s professional life. These include documents of correspondence, as well as documents from his time as State Entomologist of Illinois.

Box 1   Folder 1

Professional documents and correspondence, 1872-1885

Series II: Notes and Writings

This series contains an assortment of LeBaron’s personal notes. These include notebooks that contains catalogues, classifications, and remarks on specific insects. In addition this series also contains LeBaron’s lecture and presentation notes as well as his notes on other scholars’ research.

Box 1   Folder 2

Loose-leaf writings, undated

Box 1   Folder 3

North American Coleoptera, Classification of Insects, Entomology Notes, undated

Box 1   Folder 4

Lecture Notes, 1890

Box 1   Folder 5

Notebooks, 1824-1850

Box 1   Folder 6

Notebooks, undated

Box 1   Folder 7

Notebooks, 1892