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Apr 21 2014

The Ellis B. Cowling Papers

It is our great pleasure to announce that a large addition to the Ellis B. Cowling Papers is now processed and open for research. The collection guide is available here. Ellis B. Cowling is a University Distinguished Professor At-Large Emeritus of Forest and Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. He specializes in biochemistry and wood decay, conservation of essential elements by forest trees and deterioration of timber products, the role of nitrogen in co-evolution of forest trees and wood-destroying fungi, and integrated management of plant diseases. He has many other research interests as well, such as man-induced changes in the chemical climate and their effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the role of scientists in public decision making. His appointment as the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Faculty at N.C. State University contributed to the preservation and relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse during the move

Dr. Cowling’s involvement with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is well documented within the collection. Material relating to the lighthouse arrived at the Special Collections Research Center in 2011 and the rest of the collection came in 2013. The series on the lighthouse contains correspondence, publications, media clippings, information about the lighthouse and the move, information from the Ad Hoc Committee, a proposal for the move and pictures of the lighthouse before, during, and after the move. These items date from 1982 to 2001.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse after the move

The remainder of the collection consists of material related to Dr. Cowling’s involvement with animal waste research, the university,  organizations outside of the university, and the Southern Oxidants Study (SOS). The bulk of the collection is about SOS and Dr. Cowling’s extensive work with that organization. The last series contains audiovisual materials including videotapes and audiocassette tapes. The cassette tapes document Dr. Cowling’s lectures to the PP 650 course – a course in plant pathology – during the fall of 1973. The dates for the entire collection range from 1957 to 2013, and it totals 31.75 linear feet.

Researchers interested in forest and plant pathology, animal waste research, the Southern Oxidants Study (SOS) or the move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will find a wealth of interesting documents and useful information. Dr. Cowling’s career has been long and varied, making this a unique collection with a variety of materials. For more information about the collection, please consult the collection guide.