Skip to main content

Charles C. Nutting Papers

Identifier: RG99.0194

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Charles C. Nutting papers include journals, correspondence, speeches and reprints relating to Mr. Nutting's work with the State University of Iowa Zoology Department and Museum of Natural History. This material documents several of his expeditions, including the Bahamas in 1893 and Barbados and Antigua in 1918.


  • Creation: 1888-1926


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Cleveland Nutting was born May 25, 1858, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He took his A.B. at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois, in 1880. He worked as an assayer in Leadville, Colorado, before earning his A.M. from Blackburn College in 1882. Over the next few years, the Smithsonian Institution hired him to conduct expeditions to Central America for the purpose of collecting bird specimens.

Professor Nutting moved to Iowa City in 1886 to begin work on his Ph.D. degree. He worked as an assistant under Samuel Calvin and in fall 1886 joined the faculty of the State University of Iowa as curator of the museum. Nutting was named assistant professor of Zoology in 1888, and full professor in 1889. He became head of the program in 1890.

Among the expeditions he participated in was the 1902 Hawaii/Laysan Island trip, sponsored by the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. During this expedition he collected bird specimens for the Museum's Laysan Island exhibit. The primary subjects of his research and museum collections were birds and hydroids -- carnivorous sea animals that live in colonies attached to rocks. Although Nutting did not complete his Ph.D. at the State University of Iowa, Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, awarded him the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1926.

Nutting married Elizabeth Hersman on August 10, 1886, and had one daughter, Elizabeth. After the death of his first wife, Nutting married Eloise Willis. The couple had two sons, Willis and Charles. Charles C. Nutting died January 23, 1927.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Professor of zoology and curator of the Museum of Natural History. Correspondence, journal, reprints, speeches.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the University Archives prior to 1970. Finding aid created December 2007.

Related Materials

Folder, "Nutting, Charles C.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Papers of Samuel Calvin (RG99.0083)

William Larrabee, Jr., Collection of 1893 Expedition Photographs (RG30.0001.022)

Denise Anderson, December 2007 Paula Balkenende 2022
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242