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Archives of the University and Jepson Herbaria
Report by Dr. Richard G. Beidleman, Research Associate, October 2006
There are currently two major, separate archive collections, with respect to housing. Those associated with Lower Plants are mainly in the Cryptogamic Library and in The Lower Plants staff offices and working spaces. The archive collections of the Higher Plants and General Herbaria are in part housed in the Jepson Library, in part temporarily in two nearby storage rooms, and otherwise currently scattered.
Lower Plant (Cryptogamic) Archives: The Cryptogamic Library (Room 1083), in addition to innumerable books, periodicals, reprints, etc., houses in filing cabinets the extensive correspondence of Dr. William Setchell, long-time head of the University’s Botany Department. In the Cryptogamic staff areas (Rooms 1070 and 1070A) there are files of staff correspondence, reprints, books and journals, and personal belongings. The Cryptogamic collections in general are not currently being actively archived.
Higher Plants and General Herbaria Archives (also see Appendix): The archive collections of the general herbaria are in part housed in the Jepson Library (some Jepson and other material), nearby in two temporary rooms (1020 which houses some of the Jepson Collection; and 1003AA), and otherwise currently scattered (some still in the flooding archive rooms—see Appendix 4).
A selective description of the general archives follows:
THE WILLIS LINN JEPSON ARCHIVES INVENTORY:
The Jepson archives, appropriately enough, undoubtedly constitutes at the moment the most important, largest, most well curated and housed, best organized, well indexed, and correspondence-transcribed of the UC herbaria archival collections.
1. Jepson Collections Housed in the Jepson Library (Room 1013):
Bound Volumes of Jepson Correspondence: Sixty-two large volumes of original letters, postcards, telegrams, etc., covering the period from 1887 through 1946. In each volume the entries, numbered and arranged alphabetically by correspondent, represent mainly the correspondence received by Jepson, generally for the particular volume year. In addition, there is a single index volume containing, for each of the 62 volumes, a detailed index for that volume. Unfortunately there is no single comprehensive index for the sum total of the Jepson bound correspondence. Such an index would prove invaluable to researchers, and its preparation warrants a high priority. There has been no count of the number of Jepson’s different correspondents nor the total count of letters and other forms of correspondence constituting this entire collection. The total undoubtedly exceeds 200,000 items, primarily of a professional nature, with perhaps thousands of correspondents. Jepson’s personal, as well as much additional professional as well as personal correspondence, also exists here in other Jepson collections, especially the Jepson/Helen-Mar Wheeler collection. currently housed in room 1020.
Jepson’s “Field Books”, housed in a Jepson Library tan wood cabinet: A collection of 63, pocket-sized, bound notebooks, representing chronological observations, most of them during field trips, from 1888 through February 21, 1946. Interspersed throughout the volumes are random notes by Jepson; and later, Jepson added embelishments to a number of the original entries. There are also some earlier notebooks, housed elsewhere in the Jepson archives (Room 1020).
Jepson’s 20 Topical Notebooks, in the same type of bound notebooks as the field books, and housed together with the field books in the tan cabinet.
Jepson Botanist Portrait Collection - one blue archival box, the pictures arranged alphabetically.
Jepson Photograph Collection, including his many excursions, his Berkeley home on Mosswood, early forestry pictures, etc. Most of the photographs are now in topical albums (e.g., “Near East Photographs, 1926”), in one blue archival box.
2. Willis Linn Jepson Archives Collections not housed in the Jepson Library
The historical (non-Helen-May/Jepson) Jepson collection represents the first herbarium archives to be organized, computered, and placed in standard archival boxes, starting after the move in late 1994 from the Marchant Building to herbarium archive spaces in the renovated Valley Life Sciences Building. The historical Jepson archives had been greatly augmented by this time with receipt of the extensive Helen-Mar Wheeler collection of Jepson material, in Dr. Wheeler’s custody since Jepson’s death, more than ten cardboard cartons mostly unorganized. By the time of the Jepson Herbarium’s 50th Anniversary in 2000, through part-time volunteer endeavor, this collection was almost completely inventoried, and most of the Jepson correspondence contained therein was organized and transcribed into the computer.There is, however, a drawback to its use at present. When the original and Helen-Mar Wheeler collection were first catalogued, no regular archival boxes were available, and the archives were stored in a variety of cardboard cartons. When the first Heckard grant facilitated the purchse of archival boxes, and the collection began to be moved into such boxes, only four new boxes (all from the Helen-Mar collection) have been recatalogued and indexed to fit into the new type of box; and although much of the remaining Jepson collection is organized and indexed, it needs to be reindexed for the new box size. By the way, there remain a number of unsorted Jepson archival materials, still in old cardboard boxes, including many glass plates, framed photographs and portraits, hundreds of photographs of plants, carbon copis of Jepson’s unfinished Flora manuscript, etc. The Jepson personal collection also includes professional and personal items belonging to Jepson, including a dry-cleaning box containing his academic robe, etc. Unfortunately, at present there is not enough space in room 1020 for all the Jepson archives, and it remains scattered.
THE GENERAL HERBARIA ARCHIVES:
1. The field notebooks of botanists, currently arranged alphabetically by person on shelves in room 1003 AA. There are, in addition, additional botanists’ field books, in library locked cases and in individual botanists’ collection. These field books are especially valuable for the University and Jepson Herbaria, since they typically include in-the-field augmenting information for the preserved plant specimens.
2. Representative Archival Collections of Individual Botanists (many now in room 1003AA; others scattered. A number of these collections are still in cartons as they were initially received and have not yet been organized or indexed because of lack of archive staff. As time permits, they are being put in archival boxes, inventoried, indexed, letters transcribed, etc. For a large individual collection, such curating on a part-time, voluntary basis may take several years. At the end of this representative listing is described the large collection of John and Sarah Lemmon, which is currently being organized.
Ahart, Lowell - 1 box
Andes Expedition (two large cartons)
Bacigalupi, Rimo (photographs, corresondence, etc.; a number of boxes but only a few archival
Bailey, Harold S. and Virginia L. (1, in archival box, not sorted)
Baker, Herbert (1 archival box, and a carton)
Blockman, Mrs. Ida M. ( in archival box, not sorted)
Bowerman, Mary - seven archival boxes (unsorted and not catelogued), plus much additional material including distribution maps, books, etc.
Brandegee, Townshend and Kate (2 in archival boxes, partially sorted; plus ten file-boxes of correspondence from 1870)
Carter, Anita - a large number of cardboard boxes
Clemens - collection of letters
Clokey, Ire - Three archival boxes, including correspondence, etc. Currently being organized and catalogued for us by Barbara Houghton.
Constance, Lincoln (6 of correspondence, in archival boxes, plus an additional 5 archival boxes, and other materials.
Copeland, E. B. (large white box of Copeland illustrations etc.; and collection of letters
Cove, Marion - one box, and a box of herbarium botanist photographs
Dempster, Laura Mae - 2 boxes
Duncan, Tom - one box
Duran, Victor - 2 large file boxes of White Mountain field notes; one folder of copy of Duran’s White Mountains and Southern Sierra field notes, 1926-1930.
Epling, Carl - 2 boxes
Ertter, Barbara - two boxes
Grant, A. L. (two correspondence files, not in archival boxes)
Hall, Charlotte (two correspondence files, not archival; 2 archival boxes
Hall, H. N. - full letter file, including from 1901
Heckard, L. K. (2, in archival boxes, correspondence; plus other boxes)
Hoffman, Freed (one white box [from Kruckeberg, Dec. 03, mostly Streptanthus]; correspondence
Humphries, C. J. - 1 box of fungus slides
Hutchinson, Paul - Index cards for Peru
Lemmon, John and Sara - see summary at end of this list.
Mason, Herbert - a number of non-archival boxes
Mexia, Ynes - a large collection of boxes, unsorted
Norris, Daniel (1, in archival box, not sorted)
Ornduff, Robert (1 archival box, unorganized, and other collections)
Platt, P. H. (a life-long personal friend of Jepson’s) - 2 file boxes of letters, plus typed transcriptions, 1888-1928
Purpus, Dr. C. A. (1, in archival box, not sorted)
Robbins, G. T. - 3 boxes.
Rock, Joseph E.- correspondence collection
Smith, Charlotte (correspondence boxes)
Soroyan, J. Phillip (1 archival box, not sorted)
Stratford, Jack collectors notes. 1 box.
Tracy, J. P. - one file of large notebooks
University Herbarium- 5 boxes of correspondence, plus many boxes of personnel and business records.
The John and Sarah Plummer Lemmon Collection:
The organization of this important, comprehensive collection commenced about five years ago and should be completed in early 2007. John Lemmon, a survivor of the Confederate’s Andersonville Prison, was among the State of California’s earliest field botanists and official foresters, a prolific writer, lecturer, and plant collector. Sarah Plummer Lemmon, his wife, was not only a botanical field companion and illustrator, but in her own right an artist, writer, lecturer, Red Cross official, women’s rights activist, champion of California’a state flower, etc. The collection includes many, many hundred of letters which have now been transcribed and indexed. Included are more than fifty letters alone from Dr. and Mrs. Charles C. Parry, as well as more than a thousand other noteworthy correspondents, many of them noteworthy. To name a few of the more familiar correspondents: the Brandegees, Clara Barton (Sarah Lemmon worked with Barton for the American Red Cross), Yosemite’s Galen Clark, Luther Burbank, the California Forestry Commission, Columbia University’s N. L. Britton, the famous Oakland librarian Ina Coolbrith, Frederick Coville, Alice Eastwood, Daniel Eaton, George Engelmann, W. G. Farlow and Bernhard Fernow, Asa Gray and Serano Watson, Edward Lee Greene, John Harshberger, Joseph Hooker,. Yosemite’s J. M. Hutchings, Thomas Meehan, C. Hart Merriam, John Muir, Charles Orcutt, Samuel Parish, Charles Piper, Carl Purdy, Volney Rattan, Robert Ridgway, C. S. Sargent, Mrs. Leland Stanford, George Sudworth, George Vasey, Sereno Watson; and even a postcard from President Rutherford B. Hay’s son asking to buy some plants. This vast Lemmon material had been gathered together by Professor St. Johns of Washington State, a relative, who planned to do a biography of the Lemmons. When he retired, he took the collection to Hawaii with him, but eventually it came to the UC Herbarium, completely disorganized and unresearched. The Lemmon collection is in five organized archive boxes and also includes additional cartons filled with Lemmon field notebooks, manuscripts, publications (including his illustrated memoir of his stay in the notorious Confederate Andersonville Prison), photographs and glass photographic plates, field books, many publicatiions including books, pamphlets, newspaper and periodical articles, and personal items.
3. Special indexed correspondence collections:
Henry N. Bolander Correspondence (1861-1889)
Agassiz, Louis (1)
Austin, Coe F. (15)
Baird, Spencer (1)
Brewer, William (6)
Curtis, Moses (1)
de Condolle, Alphonse (3)
Eaton, Daniel C. (3)
Engelmann, George (47)
Farlow, William G. (2)
Gottsche, C. M. (1)
Gray, Asa (89)
Henry, Joseph (1)
Hooker, Joseph (7)
Lesquereux, Leo (23)
Lyell, Mrs. Charles (1)
Mann, Horace (2)
Muller, Jean (3)
Olney, Stephen (1)
Parry, Charles Christopher (1)
Philippi, R. A. (1)
Sargent, Charles S. (11)
Thompson, William (1)
Thurber, George (14)
Torrey, John (8)
Tuckerman, E. (1)
von Mueller, Ferdinand (3)
Watson, Sereno (6)
Wright, Charles (2)
Daniel Cleveland Correspondence—Letters and Postcards from Asa Gray:
1874: July 20 page 179-182
1874, Oct. 22 page 183-186
1874, Dec. 28 page 203-204 (postcard)
1875, Jan 29 page 175-178
1875, Feb. 15 page 187-190
1875, Feb. 24 page 205-206 (postcard)
1875, May 27 page 207-208 (postcard)
1875, July 5 page 209-210 (postcard)
1875, Aug. 13 page 191-194
1875? (no year), Sept. 15 page 245-246 (postcard)
1875, Sept. 29 page 243-244 (postcard)
1875, Sept. 31 page 195-198
1875, Oct. 3 page 251-
1875, Nov. 6 page 199-200
1875? n.d. page 249-250 (postcard)
1876, May 26 page 201-202
1876, May 29 page 211-212 (postcard)
1876, June 15. page 165-66.
1876, July 5 page 167-70
1876, July 26 page 247-248 (postcard)
1876, Nov. 7 page 171-174
1877, April 14 page 213-216
1877, May 10 page 217-220
1877, June 21 page 221-224 (including list of plants, page 225-228)
1877, Oct. 6 page 211-212 (postcard)
1878, March 15 page 229-232
1878, May 2 page 233-234
1882, June 7 page 239-240
1885, May 26 page 235-238
Dr. Daniel Cleveland Correspondence (1876-1898, other than Asa Gray, arranged by Willis Jepson):
Davenport, George C.
Greene, Edward Lee
Parry, Charles Christopher
Serano Watson; and others
4. Photographic collections (now housed in a filing cabinet in the Jepson Library). This includes a large collection of botanist pictures filed alphabetically in large envelopes), the Cave collection of staff photographs, the Setchell 6 volumes of photographs, the photographs in the Parish guest books, etc.
5. Biographical file of past and current botanists (in folders, arranged alphabetically). This is in a file cabinet in the Jepson Library.
USE OF THE UNIVERSITY AND JEPSON HERBARIA ARCHIVES:
Although not necessarily widely recognized, and in no wise totally organized, this major collection, essentially post Civil War in its holdings, is in my estimation (as one who has researched at many herbarium archives), the major herbarium archives west of St. Louis; and for California botany it should be ranked premier.
The following list provides some representative requests, mainly since 2000, for UC herbaria archival information which have been processed (though not always successfully) by herbarium personnal, especially Beidleman and Ertter, as well as Wetherwax, Moe, and Kersh. Generally speaking, we do not keep track of herbarium in-house (= staff) requests, which on occasion are numerous. Unfortunately, outside requests have not been routinely logged, nor do we regularly keep track of the time needed to research and answer a request. In many cases, the information we provide has been used in publication (or for exhibition purposes); and we are often rewarded by receiving news items on the publication from the author for our herbarium library collection.
APPENDIX: Background on the recent history of the Archives:
There are some important periods recently for the University and Jepson Herbaria Archives at the University of California, Berkeley, which have affected the optimum operation of the archives.
1. The interim location at the Marchant Building on San Pablo Avenue, while the Valley Life Sciences Building was undergoing major renevation on campus: With respect to the herbaria archives, they were mainly stored in an assortment of cardboard boxes. There were no regular archival boxes, nor were there archival folders for correspondence collections. Furthermore, initially there was limited inventorying of box contents, little if any indexing, and minimal transcription of letters. The boxes had cryptic labels on the ouside as to contents, e. g. “Lemmon Plates“.
2. The preparation for the move to the campus during the 1993-94 period: As the move time approached, in late February of 1993 a relatively detailed inventory of each collection was made, with contents put into a computer list, and then each collection was labeled with an inventory number, prior to the move. A complete computer printout was made of the entire collection.
3. The move to campus occurred about November of 1994. For the move itself, small labeled boxes were often put by the movers into larger boxes in no order. For all the large cardboard moving boxes, special new moving labels were affixed with new numbers. A floor map of the new herbaria spaces had been prepared, with assigned room numbers; and on the new moving labels the proper (archive) room number was applied. In the process most of the original inventory numbers were lost, except for smaller boxes which had been stored in the larger cartons. To compound matters, upon arrival at the Life Sciences Building, there was haphazard unpacking, and many collections were moved from one box to another. It has still been difficult to locate some of the smaller collections without going through every remaining moving carton.
4. With the move completed, when the first heavy rains commenced, there should have been attention paid to the little note, written in the margin of the floor plan, about the assigned archive spaces. It read: “If unacceptable, Put in Cryptogamic Library.” Needless to say, since 1995, during heavy rains the two archives spaces have flooded prodigiously, wetting collection boxes and some collections, archival supplies, etc. Repeated attempts to repair the ceiling leaks have proved ineffective; and plastic sheets now cover what remains of the collections and other stored items in these spaces, many of the latter having absolutely nothing to do with herbaria archives. Boxes in danger during leaks were temporarily moved into, among other places, the already crowded Cryptogamic Library. Recently this year the more valuable collections, especially those which have been inventoried and are in special archival boxes, have been put in two storerooms near the Jepson Library.
5. Meanwhile, the large Helen-Mar Wheeler/Jepson archive collection, which had been with Helen-Mar Wheeler in the Eureka, California area since her retirement, returned to the Jepson Herbarium, was intensively catalogued, organized into non-archival boxes, much of the correspondense transcribed into the computer, and a complete inventory printing made. When funds became available, part of this collection was transferred to new archival boxes and the boxes renumbered. The remaining portions of the Helen-Mar Collection still need to be moved into archival boxes and renumbered in the computer. Until the collection is completely transferred to new boxes and renumbered on the boxes and in the computer, the old catalogue will be difficult to use.
6. In 2000, work commenced with the immense John and Saral Lemmon collection, which is rich in diversified correspondence now being transcribed into the computer; and there only remain about 300 more letters to transcribe . There are now five completed Lemmon archive boxes, with several more cardboard boxes remaining to be inventoried.
7. At no time have there been any funds or regular personnel associated with the operation of the archives. Fortunately, an initial Heckard Grant was applied for and received, which permitted the movement of inventoried collections into special archival boxes, with in correspondence collections the letters put into archival folders. While most of these supplies have run out, another Heckard Grant has been received for additional archive supplies, and for large, moveable storage racks now on hand for the archive boxes. The remaining problem is locating suitable space for the herbaria archival collections.
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