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Papers of Temple Grandin

Identifier: UGTP

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Temple Grandin consists of documents, publications, schematic drawings, presentations, and videos dated 1976 to 2008. Most of the collection is in digital format.


  • Creation: 1976-2008


Language of Materials

English .

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical / Historical

Temple Grandin is a professor of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. She joined the faculty in 1990 and continues to serve on the faculty as well as operating as a consultant at Grandin Livestock Handling Systems, Inc. She is a prominent and widely cited proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter, and a world-renowned autism spokesperson.

Mary Temple Grandin was born August 29, 1947, to Anna Eustacia Cutler (nee Purves) and Richard McCurdy Grandin in Boston, Massachusetts. She was diagnosed with autism at an early age, and her mother defied the prevailing opinion that institutionalization was the only option, working tirelessly to ensure that her daughter receive the best treatment and education. Following a private school education, Grandin earned her bachelor's degree in human psychology from Franklin Pierce College in 1970, a master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University in 1975, and a doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1989.

Grandin's experience with autism has provided an awareness that intense fear, born of a hypersensitivity to sound and touch, is also present in animals. Throughout her career, she has been leading the effort for better treatment of livestock. Grandin has conducted research into the welfare and handling of cattle, working closely with ranchers, feedlots and packers to identify and prevent problems in animal care. Her insights into animal behavior have shaped innovative approaches to livestock handling, including methods and designs for humane slaughter that have become the industry standard. Today half the cattle in the United States are handled in facilities she has designed.

Grandin's publications are numerous and address both autism and animal welfare and handling. She is the author of Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach; Thinking in Pictures, and Other Reports of My Life with Autism; The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum; and many journal articles related to livestock handling, livestock welfare, genetics, as well as articles on autism in children.

Temple Grandin has been the recipient of many honors. In 2010 she was named in Time Magazine's 2010 "100 Most Influential People in the World, Heroes Category", and in 2012 Grandin was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. She also received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Grandin was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2017. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2021, the Temple Grandin Equine Center opened on Colorado State University's campus and is one of the leading equine-assisted services facilities in the world.

Grandin's life has also been the subject of a biopic, Temple Grandin, starring actress Claire Danes. The movie received 15 Emmy Award nominations and won five, including the Emmy for outstanding made for television movie and best actress in a drama (Danes).


3+ linear feet (1 document case; 2 oversize folders)

1.48 Gigabytes


Dr. Temple Grandin, a Colorado State University professor of animal sciences and world-renowned autism spokesperson, has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. A professor of animal sciences for more than twenty years, Grandin has made enormous contributions to the livestock industry. Her autism allows her to think in pictures, and that ability has made her a visionary in her field. Her insights into animal behavior shaped innovative approaches to livestock handling, including methods and designs for humane slaughter that have become the industry standard. Facilities she has designed for handling livestock are used by many companies around the world. The collection includes papers and class presentations on livestock management and autism, plans for cattle handling operations, and videos for cattle handling. Digital items in Grandin's collection are available in Mountain Scholar.


The first series consists of 1 document case and 2 oversize folders. The second series consists of 113 digital files:

Series 1: Physical materials, 1976-2006 and undated Series 2: Digital materials, 1978-2008 and undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Papers of Temple Grandin were donated by Temple Grandin in November 2021, January 2022, and August 2023. The majority of the digital collection was acquired by CSU's digital repository over a period of years.

Processing Information

Processing was completed in March 2022. Physical materials were rehoused in archival folders and housed in an archival container. The oversize schematic drawing was placed in an oversize archival folder. The 2023 accrual consisted of five schematic drawings and are also in an oversize archival folder.

Papers of Temple Grandin UGTP
Victoria Lopez-Terrill
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in: English, Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA