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Stephen Kellert papers

Call Number: MS 2104

Content Description

The collection comprises the papers of social ecologist and Yale University faculty member Stephen Kellert. The papers cover his career from the late 1960s through the 2010s with the bulk of material from the late 1970s through the 2000s. The papers include Kellert's extensive writings and lectures on the "biophilia hypothesis" documenting humans' social attitudes and relationships with nature. Kellert's papers include surveys, research studies, design proposals, and writings for academic and general audiences.


  • 1967-2016


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the donor of this collection for unpublished works authored or otherwise produced by Stephen Kellert. After the lifetime of the donor or until January 1, 2024, whichever comes first, copyright passes to Yale University whether such works are at Yale or physically located elsewhere in the world. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Priscilla Kellert, 2019.


The papers are arranged in three series: I. Writing and lecture files, 1967-2015. II. Research files, 1975-2016. III. Forestry and environmental studies, 1993-2013.


3.83 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

Stephen Kellert was the Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (renamed the Yale School of the Environment in 2020). Born in New Haven, Connecticut in October 1944, Kellert received his BA from Cornell in 1966 with a major in social psychology and minor in biology. He earned his PhD in sociology from Yale in 1972. He joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor in 1977 and was promoted to associate professor in 1980, and professor in 1988. Kellert’s early work focused on the perceptions of animals by a variety of social groups, conducting studies and surveys including for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

In the early 1980s, Kellert was introduced to the concept of biophilia discussed in the work of Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson. This hypothesis explored humans' connections with the natural world through a variety of perspectives. Kellert’s research and teaching turned toward these explorations of humans’ multi-faceted relationship with the natural world including its religious, psychological, historical, political, cultural, and ethical dimensions. Kellert published over 150 works during his career, including co-editing The Biophilia Hypothesis with Wilson in 1993. Kellert's works aimed at explaining this relationship and attitudes to both academic and popular audiences.

In addition to research, Kellert consulted on a number of biophilic design projects, including Kroon Hall and the Chemistry Building on the Yale campus, the Goldman Sachs office building and Bank of America office building in New York City, Sidwell Friends Middle School in Washington, D.C., and others. Kellert remained active in a variety of ecological causes and served on the board of directors of Bio-Logical Capital. He received recognition from local, state, and national organizations for his work in environmental conservation.
Guide to the Stephen Kellert Papers
compiled by Joshua D. Cochran
March 2021

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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