Charles Christopher Adams Papers, 1888-1955


Date: 1888-1955 | Size: 15 Linear feet, Correspondence, diaries, field notes, manuscripts, and photographs.


The Charles Christopher Adams papers include correspondence, diaries, field notes, manuscripts, and photographs, all reflecting Adams' interests in biology, ecology and human ecology, geography, and zoology. The field notebooks are extensive, spanning the years 1888-1948. Of special interest are those on the Adirondack regions, 1919-1948 (2 boxes) and from his Latin American trip of 1948. The photographs are both family and professional, with many from his numerous field trips. Of significance are the photos and negatives from the Roosevelt Wild Life Experiment Station (N.Y. State College, Syracuse) and from the University of Montana Biological Station at Flathead Lake, Montana (1913). There is much personal correspondence with Wilda P. Mackenzie. A part of the collection pertains to his daughter, Harriet Adams, including exchanges with the Charles C. Adams Center for Ecological Studies at Western Michigan University, and her unfinished biography of her father.

Background note

Dr. Charles Christopher Adams , 1873-1955, was a pioneer in ecology in America, one of the founders of the Ecological Society of America and a past-president of the Society. He received his B.S. degree from Illinois Wesleyan in 1895, a masters degree from Harvard in 1899 and the Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1908.

He was one of a group of about twenty plant and animal ecologists who met in Philadelphia late in 1914 and laid plans which resulted in the establishment of the Society the next year. He was also a member of the Society of Naturalists, the Society of Mammalogists, the History of Science Society, the Association of Geographers, and the British Ecological Society.

From 1908 to 1914, he served as associate in animal ecology at the University of Illinois. In 1914, he became Assistant Professor of Forest Zoology at the New York State College of Forestry, and was appointed Professor in 1916. In 1919, he became Director of the Roosevelt Wildlife Forest Experiment Station, and he served in this dual capacity until 1926. From 1926 to his retirement in 1943, he held the position of Director of the New York State Museum.

Source: Obituary in Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Volume 36, No. 3, September 1955.

Collection Information

Physical description

15 linear feet.


Presented by Harriet Dyer Adams, 1975; accessioned, 1976 (1976 389ms).

Other finding aids

Table of contents (4 pages) available in the repository.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Flathead Lake Biological Station
  • New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University. Roosevelt Wild Life Forest Experiment Station
  • Western Michigan University. C.C. Adams Center for Ecological Studies


  • Field notes.
  • Photoprints.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)
  • Latin America -- Description and travel.


  • Biology.
  • Ecology.
  • Geology.
  • Human ecology.
  • Zoology.