Burton Noble Gates Collection

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The Burton Noble Gates Collection chieflly deals with the science of Apiculture. Acquired in 1973 by the University of Guelph, it contains the personal library and archives of Burton Noble Gates - a professor and renowned apiarist. The collection holds over 12,000 items. It spans Canada, the Caribbean, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South America, and the United States. Primarily predating 1930, materials in the collection include correspondence, clippings, pamphlets, reports, file cards, price lists, honey labels, reprints, posters, and artifacts.

Born in 1881 in Worchester, Massachusetts, Burton Noble Gates was educated at Clark University in Worchester from 1901 to 1909, where he received his Ph.D. During his time at Clark, he lectured on Apiculture at the Massachusetts Agricultural College in Amherst, where he ascended to the position of Associate Professor in 1910. During this time he often was a Collaborator for the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Entomology (1907-1910, 1917-1918),  and was the Apiarist at the Massachusetts Agricultural College’s Experiment Station (1910-1918).  He also earned national renown as the President of the National Beekeepers Association (1913) and the first State Inspector of Apiaries for Massachusetts. In 1912, Dr. Gates taught a brief course in Apiculture at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph. He returned to Guelph in 1918, after being appointed professor of Apiculture at O.A.C., as well as the Provincial Apiarist, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Beekeepers Association, and the Honourary President of the Apiculture Club. He retained his position on the Guelph campus until 1919, when he resigned.

Burton Noble Gates was well known for his achievements in the field of Apiculture. In 1914 and 1916 he was awarded medals in Philadelphia and New York by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He held two fellowships, one from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and another from the American Association of Economic Entomologists. Dr. Gates was also responsible for creating the detailed classification of "Apicultural Literature" for the Dewey Decimal System.

Burton Noble Gates was a significant figure in the science of Apiculture, and the materials, equipment, and notes that his collection contains affords great insight into the early history of the field.



Types of Materials

  • Artifacts
  • Posters
  • Unpublished Material and Manuscripts


More than 12,000 items

How to Access This Resource

Call Number: XA1 MS A018 and others.

Appointments are required to view this material and can be made through Archival & Special Collections.

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