History of Mycological Illustration

In a paper read before the Botanical Society of Washington, D.C. in December 1921, mycologist L. C. C. Krieger pointed out that illustrations are essential for the correct identification of fleshy fungi. He noted that the best illustrations accurately portray the organism's size, shape, color, and other physical characteristics.

Unfortunately, early naturalists faced many obstacles in their attempts to document the fungi they observed. They often lacked fresh specimens, had use of only primitive printing techniques, and in some cases, suffered from overactive imaginations!...

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In the Field: Botany in the Wild

Fieldwork, while extremely important to the study of botany, is not always pleasant. Botanists put themselves in many difficult situations when going into the field to collect. They face dangerous terrain, unpredictable weather, annoying insects, uncomfortable travel conditions, and exposure to disease.. Botanists venture into new territories, scale giant trees, hang off rocky cliffs, and even dive underwater in search of new plants.



Papers of the Harvard Botanical Museum

The Botanical Museum Papers is a wide-ranging collection comprised of materials pertaining to the Museum’s administrative, research, teaching, and public exhibition activities.

Administrative material consists of loan and permission records relating to the economic botany collections; planning and financial papers; general correspondence; and publications and printed material records. Although a few items date prior to the late 1960s, most range from the late 1970s to 2004. Additional administrative files also cover the Harvard University Museum [Four Museums Under One Roof:...

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Photographic Materials

The Botany Libraries photograph collection holds more than 1,500 images of botanists and their families, the exploration for and collection of specimens, plants of economic importance, and group portraits of assemblies at botanical meetings. 

Additional photographs can be found in other collections of personal papers. Terms regarding the use of these images and permission forms are available here. Please contact the Archivist with questions regarding images of a particular person, plant, or region.

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The Archives of Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka and the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants

Every year, more than 100,000 people visit the Glass Flowers. Gardeners come, looking for irises and delphiniums. Cooks come, looking for nutmeg and cacao. Mathematicians come, looking for patterns in pineapples and sunflowers.

Others come without any mission, simply to see with their own...

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The United States Exploring Expedition (1838-1842)

The United States Exploring Expedition was authorized by an act of Congress in 1836 as "A Surveying and Exploring Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and South Seas." Its commander was Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, USN. It was prompted by a desire to obtain information concerning an area which was rapidly becoming of interest to American traders and whalers. A contingent of scientists accompanied the expedition, including Charles Pickering, Titian Ramsay Peale, Joseph P. Couthouy, James Dwight Dana, William  Brackenridge, and Horatio Hale.

The expedition, also known as the Wilkes...

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William Lawrence White (1908-1952) Papers

This collection includes correspondence related to mycological research and Farlow Herbarium business; manuscripts of some of White's articles; photographs of specimens related to White's research and articles; charts and graphs showing results of experiments; and course materials, research notes, and other papers related to his own school work, courses he taught, his research, and his involvement in professional organizations.