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Letterbooks of Clarence P. Gillette

Identifier: UCPG

Scope and Contents

The Letterbooks of Clarence P. Gillette consists of letters dated 1892 to 1906, with the bulk falling from 1899 to 1904. The collection contains eight bound letterbooks containing copies of letters by C.P. Gillette. Content of the letters is professional in nature, and includes advice on how to eliminate insect or rodent infestations, book and supply orders, travel arrangements, courses at the college, and information on publications. Letters are both handwritten and typed, and many of the typed letters have faded and are hard to read.


  • Creation: 1892-1906
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1899-1904


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


C.P. Gillette was an internationally renowned homopterist and served as the state entomologist and first professor of entomology at Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University).

Clarence Preston Gillette was born on April 7, 1859, at Maple Corners, Michigan. He earned his B.S. in 1886 and M.S. in 1887 from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University). After graduation, he worked in the Department of Zoology at Michigan State for one year until he became entomologist at the Iowa State College Experiment Station in 1888. In 1891, he was appointed as the first professor of zoology and entomology at Colorado Agricultural College. He also held the appointment as the state Experiment Station entomologist.

Gillette felt a strong museum would greatly support the zoology and entomology courses. A museum was established in Old Main in the 1890s and included primarily animal and bird specimens. To build the museum collection, Gillette recommended the purchase of the G.F. Breninger collection of western birds, eggs, and mammals at Monument, Colorado. Gillette and his staff collected insect specimens from across the region, sending them off to experts for proper identification. His extensive collecting resulted in over 40,000 specimens by 1897.

By 1904, Gillette had developed a viable department with basic and advanced instruction in entomology and beekeeping, histology, embryology, animal parasites, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, and comparative anatomy. Also by the end of 1904 there had been thirteen Experiment Station bulletins published on economic entomology. Gillette was elected to serve as chairman of the exhibit of economic entomology by the Society of Economic Entomologists at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gillette was appointed Director of the Experiment Station on June 13, 1910. An Entomology Club was formed in 1912 which included both students and staff and its purpose was to further interest in entomology and the current practices and developments of the discipline. The club was renamed the Gillette Club in 1925. In addition to his instruction in entomology and work for the Experiment Station, Gillette was also tasked with teaching the course Evolution and Heredity as well as a new course entitled Eugenics.

Gillette was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Michigan State College in 1917. He retired as head of the Experiment Station in 1932 and as professor emeritus on July 1, 1933. At the time of his retirement, Gillette was considered an international expert for his work on Cynipidae (gall wasps), Cicadelliade (leafhoppers), and Aphidae (aphids). Clarence P. Gillette died on January 4, 1941.


3 linear feet (2 record cartons)

Language of Materials



C.P. Gillette (1859-1941) was the first professor of entomology at Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University). During his 40 years at CAC he was a professor, served as state entomologist, and was head of the Experiment Station. The collection contains copies of letters written by C.P. Gillette.


The collection consists of 1 series in 2 record cartons:

Series 1: Letterbooks, 1892-1906


The acquisition of the Letterbooks of Clarence P. Gillette is unknown.

Related Collections

Records of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, University Archive, Colorado State University. The Accessions Catalogue: Colorado Agricultural College contains direct records of individual or series of insects and other arthropods dating from March 1891 to November 1972. Many of these specimens were collected by the well-known and first entomologist in the state of Colorado, Clarence P. Gillette. The catalogues have been digitized. VIEW


Processing was completed in November 2015. Materials were rehoused in acid-free boxes.

Guide to the Letterbooks of Clarence P. Gillette
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Karen Spilman
Copyright 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA