Visit the Center for Biology and Society Collections

Why do we have collections?

Libraries often feel overwhelmed with print materials and routinely turn down prospective donations because they feel they do not have the infrastructure to accept them. Researchers often have wonderful collections but no place to put them. Fortunately, the Center for Biology and Society cares about historic materials and generous donors have given us some of those valuable materials that we treasure.

The Center’s Collections are full of valuable individual items, and they bring together research materials useful for scholars and students. Furthermore, they shed light on the individuals who collected them. We treasure our relationships with each of the fine scholars who have made up the Center’s collections. And we invite you to share that treasure as well.

CBS Collections (available for 4-week check-out – pending recall if urgently needed)

The Richard C. Jeffrey Collection, which consists of a whole wall full of books plus papers and notes. Dick Jeffrey, as Professor Richard Creath explains, was a leading probability theorist who spent most of his career at Princeton University. We are very fortunate that his wife donated his books and many files to us. We value the collection because it is full of fine books, of course, and some of them are quite valuable intellectually and in market value. In addition, we value the collection because it was brought together by a deep thinker for a reason.

The same is true of the David Hull Collection, consisting of a substantial part of Hull’s books and papers, and finding a home with us because David knew us and trusted us to share them with others in appropriate ways. Dr. Hull is widely regarded as promulgating the field of research that became the philosophy of biology, and his career was devoted to understanding how science, and biology in particular, works.

The Philip Pauly Collection, which includes some books and all of Pauly’s research notes. Phil’s research in investigating and revealing the interplay of life science and American society as a major feature of United States history. Phil was a good friend, and his wife wanted his collection to be somewhere it could serve as a research collection for others.

The Winifred Walsh Doane Genetics Collection consists of books from Doane’s personal library.  They were donated to the Arizona State University Center for Biology and Society by Dr. Doane’s family in 2022.  The collection includes a number of books on genetics.

The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. This is an NSF-funded project that has led to an Encyclopedia published on the internet at  In addition, the project has led to development of a repository for the History and Philosophy of Science community. This is in development and will include thousands of photos, videos, and other original materials related to the history of biology with a focus on developmental biology. Every semester, students add more informative essays to guide readers through the larger world related to embryos.

The Center’s Collections also includes an assortment of books published by our own Center Faculty and Affiliated Faculty and the Bioethics Film Series DVDs.

Writing CollectionCenter use only
Includes reference books related to strengthen storytelling and writing skills.

We also house the first 50 years of Nature. Yes, you can access the articles online, but not all the ads and details that fall between the articles. These are the tidbits that reveal so much about the culture and how science was seen at the time.  Center use only.

How do I access these?

Visit LSC 284 and browse the collections in person.  To check out a book, please see Kris Johnson.  If she is out of the office, please fill out the check-out sheet found on a clipboard in the Center Faculty books section and email with the title, author, and collection before you leave the Center space.