Preliminary Guide to the Robert Nilan Papers, circa 1946-2009

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Nilan, Robert A.
Robert Nilan papers
Date [inclusive]
circa 1946-2009
2.0 Linear feet 2 records cartons.
Location Note
(MASC staff use): 1-38-16-6.
Materials are in English.

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Biographical/Historical note

Robert Nilan (1923-2015) was born in British Columbia, and received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of British Columbia (1946, 1948). He earned his Ph.D in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin (1951), and in that same year he was appointed as a Research Associate at Washington State College. In 1952, he was appointed Assistant Professor and Assistant Agronomist, rising to the rank of Professor and Agronomist in 1961. He served as Dean of the Division of Sciences from 1979 to 1989, and retired from WSU in 1992 after a 40-year career. Known as "Barley Bob," he was an internationally recognized expert in mutations, cytogenetics, and breeding of barley, and was the coordinator of the North American Barley Genome Mapping Project. He was a prolific scholar who published extensively, and he earned many honors and awards, including a Fulbright and a Guggenheim fellowship. In 2015 he was given the Washington State University President's Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection of Robert Nilan's papers includes extensive documentation of his published research on barley genetics, and of his career as a faculty member and administrator at Washington State University.

Preliminary inventory:

Box 1. Nilan theses (BSc, MSc, PhD); publications and presentations; correspondence; symposia files; barley genome mapping files; photographs; miscellaneous professional papers.

Box 2. Unsorted clippings, press releases, and newsletters; photographs; curriculum vitae and biographical information, including a career review; Nilan fellowship in genetics file; Nilan distinguished chair files; Nilan personnel records, including professional activity reports and leave proposals/reports.

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Organization of Collection

This is an unprocessed collection. Any arrangement reflects either a pre-existing order from the records' creators or previous custodians, or preliminary sorting performed by staff.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610


This collection is open and available for research use.

Acquisition Information

Robert Nilan donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 2012 (MS.2012.34).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Washington State University -- Faculty -- Archives.


  • Scientists -- Archives

Personal Name(s)

  • Nilan, Robert A.


  • Barley
  • Scientists--Washington (State)--Archives

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