The Osborn Research Club was first organized as the Natural Science Research Club on February 16, 1920. It was renamed the Osborn Research Club on January 7, 1921. The club was created to allow faculty actively engaged in research to meet and hear reports on research being conducted on campus. The Founders of the club were E. D. Ball, F. E. Brown, R. E. Buchanan, I. E. Melhus, and J. A. Wilkinson.
The club is named for Dr. Herbert Osborn whom received a B.S. (1879), an M.S. (1880), and an honorary Doctorate of Science (1916) from Iowa State College (University). Dr. Osborn taught at Iowa State (1879-1898) and served as Chair of the Department of Zoology and Entomology (1882-1897). He accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at Ohio State University (1898-1916) and he later accepted a research professorship (1916-1933). The club voted to include women as members in 1972. The first women in the club, who were inducted in 1973, were Drs. Charlotte Roderuck and Lois Tiffany. The Osborn Research Club records can be found in the Special Collections Department, Parks Library, Iowa State University. These records include annual reports, membership records, and a pictorial history consisting of a scrapbook and a slide show that were produced in 1980 by Dr. Richard Willham. The majority of images presented on this site were derived from Dr. Willham's slides.