The Silva Center is a lasting tribute to the legacy of Paul C. Silva, who endowed it with a generous gift in 2004. The primary mission of the Center is to develop, maintain, and share documentation in the field of algal systematics. At its heart is the Index Nominum Algarum (INA), a database of more than 200,000 names of algae and the Bibliographia Phycologica Universalis (BPU), a database of bibliographic references pertaining to algal taxonomy. The extensive library includes rare books and reprints. The Center currently supports research on the seaweed flora of California.

In memorium, Paul Claude Silva passed away June 12, 2014. Paul's diligence and enthusiasm have affected all of us. We will feel his loss for a long time to come ... Read More here.


W.A. Setchell, G.F. Papenfuss and P.C. Silva used their unparalleled understanding of the phycological literature to build the collection that comprises rare editions by the most important authors of their eras as well as lesser, but significant lights. Some of the classic authors of the 18th and 19th centuries — Esper, Turner, Stackhouse, Grunow, Bory, Harvey, Kützing, De Toni and the Agardhs — are represented here, in addition to a comprehensive collection of 20th and 21st century literature. Rare expedition fascicles (such as the Voyage of La Coquille) are here and hard to find elsewhere. The 300 linear feet of books are arranged in alphabet order by author and are catalogued in a card file, as are reprints.

The reprint collection (150 linear feet) resulted, in part, from the founding of the International Phycological Society by P.C. Silva. This resulted in connections with colleagues and booksellers all over the world, who shared their research via reprint exchange. The library has also been given reprint collections from other herbaria. International phycological journals (80 linear feet) have, for the most part, been bound.

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