Loren C. Eiseley Collection
Title: Loren C. Eiseley
Creator: Eiseley, Loren C., 1907-1977
Dates: 1889-1992 bulk 1921-1977
Quantity: 1 box (0.5 linear
Collection Number: MS 0139
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Preferred Citation: Loren C. Eiseley Collection (MS 0139). Archives & Special Collections,
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on 3 September 1907, Loren Corey Eiseley attended Lincoln
Public Schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska Teachers College High
School in 1925. Clyde Eiseley, Loren's father, traveled frequently as a hardware
salesman. Loren's mother, Daisey (Corey), deaf since early childhood, had a distant
relationship with her son. Loren spent much of his childhood exploring the
grasslands, ponds, and creeks near his home. He became interested in anthropology
and paleontology at an early age while visiting Morrill Hall, now known as the
University of Nebraska State Museum, with his uncle.
Upon graduation from high school, Eiseley worked at several menial jobs before
entering college at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. A bout with tuberculosis
interrupted his education for a period of time, but Eiseley eventually graduated
from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a B.S. degree in English and
Geology/Anthropology in 1933. He continued his education at the University of
Pennsylvania and received an A.M. degree in Anthropology in 1935 and a Ph.D. in
In 1937, Eiseley married Mabel Langdon, who was also a graduate of the University of
Nebraska. The Eiseley's moved to Kansas where Eiseley started his teaching career as
an assistant professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Kansas.
Eiseley left the University of Kansas in 1944 to become Head of the Department of
Anthropology and Sociology at Oberlin College in Ohio. After three years, he left
Ohio and returned to the University of Pennsylvania where he became Chairman of the
Department of Anthropology in 1947. Eiseley held that position until 1959 when he
accepted the position of Provost of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1961 he
stepped down as Provost and became Chairman of the Department of History and
Philosophy of Science. Eiseley remained at the University of Pennsylvania until his
death in 1977.
Eiseley was active in several professional and academic honor societies including
Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, the American Association for the Advancement of Science,
the American Anthropological Association, and the Society of American Archaeology.
Besides being a respected scientist and educator, Loren Eiseley was also an
award-winning author and poet. Some of his most influential works include The
Immense Journey (1957), Darwin's Century (1958), The Firmament of Time (1960), Notes
of an Alchemist (1972), and All The Strange Hours: The Excavation of a Life (1975).
Eiseley's works are best known for their examination of evolutionary theory and for
their unique combination of science and humanism.
Loren Corey Eiseley died on 9 July 1977 and is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery in
Scope and Content:
This collection features correspondence, articles by and about Eiseley, biographical
and genealogical materials, including a scrapbook, information about the Loren C.
Eiseley Memorial Convocation at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1977, and
selected photographs and negatives of Eiseley and his family.
The majority of the collection consists of biographical and genealogical materials
about Loren Eiseley and his family. The correspondence consists mainly of letters
between Eiseley and various individuals seeking genealogical information about the
Eiseley family name. Besides the Eiseley family line, other families represented in
the genealogical materials include the Coreys, McKees, Prices, Rudds, and Shepards.
The genealogical materials include a manuscript by Grace Corey Price that describes
several family lines in detail. Also included are family trees, marriage
certificates, memorial service programs, letters, newspaper clippings, and family
The materials include a few handwritten transcriptions of Eiseley's works that
appeared in The New York Herald and The American Mercury. The transcriptions appear
to have been done by Eiseley's uncle, William B. Price, who was the State Auditor of
Nebraska from 1932 until his death in 1935. The folder also contains an article
written by Eiseley that appeared in the Nebraska Alumnus in 1958.
Other items in the collection include Eiseley's certificate of graduation from the
University of Nebraska Teachers College High School, several citations from various
honor societies including Sigma Xi and Alpha Kappa Delta, and commencement programs
from the University of Nebraska and the University of Pennsylvania. The collection
also contains several articles about Loren Eiseley and his family, including
obituaries for Loren Eiseley, Mabel Eiseley, and various Eiseley family members. A
scrapbook contains newspaper articles about Loren Eiseley as well as a few articles
about Eiseley's wife, Mabel Langdon, and his father, Clyde Eiseley. Most of the
articles relate to Eiseley's contributions to the UNL literary magazine, The Prairie
Schooner, or to his work on various archaeological excavations and teaching
Eiseley, Loren C., 1907-1977
Anthropologists -- United States
Authors, American -- 20th century
Naturalists -- United States
Box 1. Folder 1. Correspondence, 1932, 1952-1976 (see also oversize box 5)
Box 1. Folder 2. Transcriptions and articles, 1930, 1958
Box 1. Folder 3. Curriculum vita, 1965
Box 1. Folder 4. Certificates, 1921-1936
Box 1. Folder 5. Commencement programs, 1925-1973
Box 1. Folder 6. Articles, press releases, newspaper clippings, 1961-1965, 1992
Box 1. Folder 7. Obituaries, Eiseley family
Box 1. Folder 8. "Family Names, Ancestral
Lines"compiled by Grace Corey Price
Box 1. Folder 9. Genealogy, Eiseley, Clyde and Daisey Corey (see also oversize box 5)
Box 1. Folder 10. Genealogy, McKee
Box 1. Folder 11. Genealogy, Price, William B. and Grace Corey (see also oversize size box 5)
Box 1. Folder 12. Genealogy, Rudd
Box 1. Folder 13. Genealogy, Shepard
Box 1. Folder 14. Genealogy, Family crests
Box 1. Folder 15. Genealogy, miscellaneous
Box 1. Folder 16. Scrapbook, 1921-1938
Box 1. Folder 17. Loren C. Eiseley Memorial Convocation, 1977 (see also oversize box 5)
Box 1. Folder 18. Miscellaneous
Box 1. Folder 19. Photographs
Box 1. Folder 20. Negatives
Related Material and Resources: Additional Loren Eiseley materials appear in several collections in the UNL Archives
& Special Collections. A list of these materials is available in the repository.
Books by Loren Eiseley can be located through the University of
Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries on-line catalog, which is available through IRIS. The majority of Loren Eiseley's papers are located at the University Archives and
Records Center, University of Pennsylvania. Eiseley materials can also be found at
several other repositories in Lincoln, Nebraska, including the Nebraska State
Historical Society Library/Archives, the University of Nebraska State
Museum/Archives, and the Heritage Room of Bennett Martin Public Library, Lincoln,