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Gray Freshwater Biological Institute records

Identifier: ua105

Scope and Content

The collection contains the administrative and financial material related to the business undertakings by the Gray Freshwater Biological Institute. The majority of the material contains conference programming for its annual Summer Course.


  • Creation: 1974-1997


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The Gray Freshwater Biological Institute was founded in the winter of 1968 by Dick Gray, when drilling a hole into Minnetonka lake led to the discovery of a red algal bloom. His concern over this finding soon made its way to researchers at the University of Minnesota. Gray, along with retired vice-president of engineering with Northern States Power Company, Richard Caldecott, then dean of the University’s College of Biological Sciences and Carroll Crawford, publisher of the Sun Newspapers, established the Gray Freshwater Biological Institute on December 31, 1968 (1). With the acceptance from the Board of Regents, creation of the laboratory began and to be a part of the University’s College of Biological Sciences (2). In 1974, the laboratory was completed at Navarre on the shore of Lake Minnetonka, Orono (1). From 1968 to early 1990s, members and researchers were dedicated to preserving the freshwater resources, not only locally, but also nationally, even going so far as to work with state and federal agencies to improve the understanding of and the link between agrichemicals and groundwater (1). In that time, the Institute also conducted research specific to groundwater and freshwater resources, published many reports and trained more than 45 doctoral students. By 1995, the University of Minnesota decided to consolidate its activities and moved its research back to campus and transferred ownership of the building back to the Freshwater Foundation, now known as the Freshwater Society (3). The Society continues to work to protect water resources to this day.


(1) "50 Years of Freshwater."

(2) Press Releases, November - December 1968

(3) Minutes: Board of Regents Meetings: February - June 1995


6.25 Cubic Feet (5 record boxes)

Language of Materials



These records contain administrative, financial and course conference material conducted by the Gray Freshwater Biological Institute.


This collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series 1: Administrative and Foundation Material, 1978-1997
  • Series 2: Financial Material, 1982-1996
  • Series 3: Summer Course Program, 1974-1996
  • Series 4: Subject Files, 1975-1995

Processing Information

Processing completed with funds from the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society (2021-2022).

Gray Freshwater Biological Institute Records, 1974-1997
Karen Spilman; Amanda Holscher; Katelyn Morken
May 2005; July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • July 2021: Contents update and notes edited

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area