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James Slater Papers

Identifier: 1998-0367

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes materials relating to James Slater's career in entomology, and his research into gravestones and other interests. The collection is comprised of books, diaries, correspondence, manuscripts, notes, clippings, administrative records, publications, ephemera, and photographs, as well as other materials from 1937 to 2004. The range of materials will allow researchers to explore Slater's work on entomology and gravestones throughout his career.

Subjects related to his research into entomology include a manuscript of Catalog of the Lygaeidae of the World, by James Slater and J. O'Donnell, the Entomological Journal Antenna: Bulletin of the Royal Entomological Society of London (nearly complete run of issues from 1977 to 2001), the Entomological Society of London, World War II, Okinawa, University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, various works by James Slater, British Museum of Natural History, American Museum of Natural History, University of Queensland, Australia, California Academy of Sciences Annual Report 1980-1981, National Geographic Society, Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, Hemiptera, Heteroptera, and numerous other materials related to the bugs he studied.

In addition to materials related to the study of bugs, the collection includes subjects related to his interests in gravestones. Some of these subjucts include the Association for Gravestone Studies, the Connecticut Academy for Arts and Sciences, the American Gravestone Society, Connecticut State Archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni, Connecticut State Archaeology and History, Connecticut and New England History, and historic cemeteries in many of Connecticut's towns and cities.

Historical figures discussed in relation to his research on gravestones include Moses Cleveland, Nathaniel Hodgkins, John Hartshorne, Obadiah Wheeler, Jotham Warren, and the Loomis Family (Gravestone Carvers). Also included are publications and manuscripts written by Slater related to the study of gravestones, to include A Study of the Colonial Gravestone Carvings of Obadiah Wheeler of Lebanon, Connecticut, Jotham Warren, the Plainfield Trumpeter, Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern Connecticut and the Men Who Made Them, Tomb with a View, and Color on Gravestones.


  • Creation: 1937-2004


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


James Slater was born on January 10, 1920, in Belvidere, Illinois, and spent his childhood in Rockford, Illinois. After receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Illinois, Slater earned his Ph.D. in entomology at Iowa State University. A world renowned expert in entomology, Slater joined the University of Connecticut faculty in 1953 and retired in 1988. Slater was an expert on heteropteran insects, also known as "true bugs," or more commonly, "typical bugs." He published his research on the topic in A Catalogue of the Lygaeidae in 1964. His interest in insects brought him around the world, and he collected insects in Africa, Australia, Central America and the West Indies.

While at UConn, Professor Slater served as the head of the zoology and entomology departments, and as head of the systematic and evolutionary biology and biological sciences group. He also served as president of the Society of Systematic Zoology, the Connecticut Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa, the Connecticut Entomological Society, and as the Connecticut State Ornithologist.

Slater's research interests extended outside of entomology. He also applied his scholarly attentions to the study of gravestones and milk glass, and published books on both topics.

James Slater died in 2008.


18.95 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The James Slater papers documents Slater's career as a world renowned entomologist and faculty member at the University of Connecticut from 1953 until his retirement in 1988. The correspondence, diaries, notes, records, photographs and other materials also reflect Slater's research on milk glass and colonial gravestones.

Provenance and Acquisition

The records were donated by James Slater in several installments beginning in 1998.

James Slater Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2012 June
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US