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Samuel C. Dellinger Papers

Identifier: MC 204

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of correspondence, financial records, examinations, lecture notes, articles (published and unpublished) by Dellinger or pertaining to subjects of interest to him, notebooks, clippings, photographs, and other papers. Series 1, "Historical collections," contains the nineteenth century materials mentioned above. The collection originally included many back issues of such newspapers and magazines as Natural History, Organic Gardening and Farming, and The Purple Martin Capital News, which have been removed. Most are already cataloged in the stacks or in the Arkansas Collections. Most of Dellinger's accumulation of seed and garden catalogs have also been removed. Anthropology and zoology publications with no direct connection to Dellinger were given to the University of Arkansas Museum. Items on deteriorating paper (newspaper clippings and old photocopies) have been photocopied on acid-neutral paper. Many newspaper clippings and pages (in some cases whole newspapers), with no indication of why they were saved, were discarded.

Included are some ledgers and other nineteenth century papers not pertaining to Samuel C. Dellinger, but apparently collected by him.


  • Creation: 1789-1970s
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920s-1970s


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

RESTRICTIONS APPLY. Some material is restricted to preserve the privacy of individuals involved. Negatives are restricted. Much material, especially in Series 2, Subseries 1, 3, and 4, is restricted according to the student records policy of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (U. S. Code). Researchers desiring access to the material should consult with the Director of Special Collections.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Samuel C. Dellinger (1892-1973) was professor of zoology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (chairman of the department 1922-1957), as well as "curator" (director) of the University Museum, 1925-1960. He was also involved in anthropology, a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and a conservation activist.

Samuel Claudius Dellinger was born in 1892 in North Carolina. He studied at Duke University and was granted his B.A. in zoology in 1915. He then became professor of biology at Hendrix College, Conway. He took a year off to obtain his M.A. at Columbia University, 1917, and then returned to Conway. About 1918 he did some work toward a Ph.D. at Columbia, but never completed the degree, though he was always called "Doctor." He taught in Florida public schools, 1919-1920, and worked as a chemist for the Florida Citrus Exchange. In 1921 he came to the University of Arkansas as assistant professor of zoology, and was promoted to professor in 1924.

Dellinger was chairman of the Department of Zoology, 1922-1957, and director of the museum, 1925-1960. In 1926 he won a $20,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation for a state archaeological survey, the first such large grant ever awarded in Arkansas. Although lacking formal training in anthropology, he began teaching anthropology courses through the Department of Zoology, and in 1934 he was chairman of the Southern Prehistory Society. In the late 1930s and 1940s, he was president and editor of the Arkansas Archeological Survey, and in 1960/61 was the first president of the Arkansas Archeological Society (new series). He was also a charter member of the archaeological societies of Oklahoma and Missouri. At the university, he was advisor to the Arkansas chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a premedical and predental fraternity.

Dellinger was interested in conservation and taught classes in conservation and natural resources. He was a member of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 1922 to 1957. He supported the Buffalo National River and Lake Fayetteville Park, as well as various liberal political causes. He was also interested in folklore and helped organize the first folklore meeting in Eureka Springs in 1928.

After his retirement in 1959 Professor Emeritus Dellinger continued his political and conservation activities. He was a member of the Audubon Society, the National Gourd Society, the Nature Conservancy, Fayetteville's City Beautification Committee (he was chairman in 1968), as well as other organizations. He died in 1973.


14.5 Linear Feet (31 Boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged and described in three series:

  1. Series I. Historical collections. Boxes 1-2.
  2. Series II. Material pertaining to Dellinger and his activities. Boxes 3-27.
  3. Series II, Subseries 1. Pertaining primarily to Dellinger's teaching, Department of Zoology, conservation classes.
  4. Series II, Subseries 2. Pertaining primarily to the University Museum.
  5. Series II, Subseries 3. Pertaining primarily to the Arkansas Basic Science Law and basic science examinations.
  6. Series II, Subseries 4. Pertaining primarily to Arkansas Act 382 of 1947 (to assist veterans residing in Arkansas to attend out-of-state professional schools in fields of study not available in Arkansas).
  7. Series II, Subseries 5. Pertaining primarily to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
  8. Series II, Subseries 6. Dellinger's [research], writing, and personal files.
  9. Series II, Subseries 7. Correspondence.
  10. Series II, Subseries 8. Pictures and photographs.
  11. Series III. Restricted materials. Boxes 28-31.

Acquisition Information

Papers pertaining to Samuel C. Dellinger were donated to Special Collections by his daughter, Martha Dellinger, in July and September 1974.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Processed by Nan Lawler, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in August 1989.


Samuel C. Dellinger Papers
Nan Lawler
August 1989
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444