Skip to main content

Collection of Aldo Leopold Papers

Identifier: DC066

Scope and Contents

The bulk of Collection of Aldo Leopold Papers consists of photocopies of correspondence both to and from Leopold. The collection documents Leopold's time at The Lawrenceville School. Various newspaper and magazine articles containing biographical information on Leopold are also included.


  • Creation: 1903 - 1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1903 - 1905


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies and digital photographs may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist. Researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.

Biographical / Historical

Rand Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, on January 11, 1887 to Carl Leopold and Clara Starker. Leopold showed an interest in the outdoors from early childhood often taking long excursions in wooded areas. Leopold began his secondary schooling in his native Iowa but transferred to The Lawrenceville School at the encouragement of family friend and Lawrenceville School Head Master Simon J. McPherson. The heavily wooded and botanically diverse Lawrenceville campus suited Aldo. He explored the campus and surrounding area mapping the terrain and the flora and fauna. Upon graduating from the Lawrenceville School in 1905, Leopold entered the Yale Sheffield Scientific School to prepare for the Yale Forest School graduate program. He graduated in 1908.

Shortly after graduating from Yale, Leopold was hired by the United States Forest Service and sent to work in Apache National Forest in the Arizona Territory. He was later transferred to Carson National Forest in New Mexico. Leopold's career with Forest Service included developing the first comprehensive management plan for the Grand Canyon, writing the Forest Service's first game and fish handbook, and proposing Gila Wilderness Area, the first national wilderness area in the Forest Service system. It was his experiences with the Forest Service in the Southwest that helped him develop his theories on preservation and wilderness, particularly his belief in protecting predatory animals and the destructive effects of human advancement.

Leopold relocated to Madison, Wisconsin in 1924 after he became associate director of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory. In 1933, he was appointed Professor of Game Management in the Agricultural Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the first such professorship of wildlife management. Fulfilling a lifelong desire to own property for recreational purposes, Leopold purchased eighty acres in central Wisconsin. The land, which had been left barren, consisted largely of sand and included a chicken coop. Here he put his theories to work planting native plant life and restoring the terrain. He used this experience as the basis for his best-selling A Sand County Almanac, published posthumously in 1949.

Leopold married Estella Bergere on October 9, 1912. Together they had four children. Aldo died of a heart attack on April 21, 1948.


0.83 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Collection of Aldo Leopold Papers is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The copies of the letter with color map and all photocopied correspondence were ordered from the Aldo Leopold Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992. The magazine and newspaper clippings were collected sometime after.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives guidelines.

Existence and Location of Originals

The originals are located at the Aldo Leopold Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Information in the biographical note was gathered from material within the collection.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Casey Babcock in November of 2012.

Collection of Aldo Leopold Papers
Casey Babcock
February 12, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US