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Inventory of the Harry Hyde Laidlaw Papers,1882-2000
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harry Hyde Laidlaw Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1882-2000
    Collection number: D-081
    Creator: Laidlaw, Harry Hyde, 1907-
    Extent: 9.40 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    100 North West Quad
    Davis, California, 95616-5292
    Abstract: Harry Hyde Laidlaw, considered the "father of honey bee genetics," was a professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology from 1947-1974. He was best known for developing artificial insemination technology for honey bees and his contributions enabled selective breeding of honey bees and the fundamental study of insect genetics. His papers contain correspondence, writings, research materials, course materials, and photographs.
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Harry Hyde Laidlaw Papers, D-081, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 2003.

    Processing Information

    Arrangement and description by Sara Gunasekara. Student employee Renee Therriault provided assistance in processing this collection.


    Biographical Narrative

    Harry Hyde Laidlaw (April 12, 1907-September 19, 2003) was born in Houston and spent his late boyhood and teen years in Virginia, Florida and Louisiana. His keen interest in bee breeding started in childhood and he began working as a beekeeper with his grandfather, Charles Quinn. Together they experimented with mating queen bees and control breeding.
    In 1934, Laidlaw completed a master's degree in entomology from Louisiana State University; in 1939, he earned a doctorate in genetics and entomology from the University of Wisconsin.
    Two years later, he was inducted into the U.S. Army, commissioned, and served as the Army entomologist for the First Service Command in Boston. While there, he met Ruth Collins. They were married in 1946 and made their first home in New York City, where he worked as a civilian entomologist for the Army.
    In 1947, he joined the UCD department of entomology. Best known for developing artificial insemination technology for honey bees -- and recognized by peers worldwide as the "father of honey bee genetics" -- his contributions enabled selective breeding of honey bees and the fundamental study of insect genetics.
    He authored numerous scientific publications and four books, and was the recipient of national and international awards for his research and his service to the university, agriculture and the beekeeping industry.
    In addition, he served as the first associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture in 1969. He retired from UCD in 1974, but remained active in outreach efforts on its behalf. From 1980 to 1985 he established a honey bee breeding program for the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture as part of a joint UC-Egypt agricultural development program. He continued to publish scientific papers and modify and refine his instruments for artificial insemination, and wrote two new books. Laidlaw published his last scientific paper at age 87 and his last book at 90.
    In 2001, UCD's Bee Biology laboratory was renamed the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection is arranged in eight series: 1. Biographical Materials, 2. Correspondence, 3. Writings, 4. Research Materials, 5. Course Materials, 6. Printed materials, 7. Memorabilia, 8. Photographs.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Laidlaw, Harry Hyde,--1907
    University of California, Davis--Faculty--Archives
    Bee Culture--Queen rearing