The Department of Botany was established in 1859 as one of the original units of the Maryland Agricultural College. The records of the department consist of correspondence, research notebooks, publications, administrative subject files, and photographs.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
14.00 Linear Feet
The Department of Botany records span the period 1898 to 1980. The collection includes research notebooks compiled by department staff and students, publications by faculty member J. B. S. Norton, lists of publications by other faculty members, news clippings related to the department and its faculty, and administrative files. The records also consist of correspondence, covering requests to and from the department for publications, identifications of plant samples sent in to the department, and correspondence with colleagues and former students, a number of whom were serving in World War II. The collection also contains photographs, negatives, and slides of faculty, students, and activities of the Department of Botany.
The Department of Botany at the University of Maryland has a long history, dating back over one hundred years to the founding of the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC). In 1856, the founders of the college established five schools or departments, including the Department of Natural Science. Classes in botany, chemistry, entomology, geology, physics, and practical farming were offered by this department when the college first opened in 1859. Townend Glover, the first Entomologist of the United States, was the first professor of botany at the college.
Throughout the history of MAC and the University of Maryland, various departments offered courses in botany. A general history, taken from course catalogs available from the period, lists the departments as:
foundation for students who wish to pursue graduate work in botanical science in preparation for college teaching and for research in state experiment stations, in the United States Department of Agriculture, and in private research institutions and laboratories. Also to provide training for other vocations involving various botanical applications, such as extension work, and positions with seed companies, canning companies, companies making spray materials, and with other commercial concerns.
The records of the Department of Botany have been divided into five series.
The records of the Department of Botany were originally transferred to the University of Maryland Libraries in October 1973. Dana Thomas donated another group of records in July 1992. The Department of Plant Biology transferred a third accretion of records in January 1997. James Reveal donated a fourth group of records in May 1998. One folder of research materials, "Notes - Tulipa Research - Botanical Description of Species and Varieties . . . ", by M. W. Woods (a student in the Department of Botany), was transferred to the Records of the Department of Botany (Series II, Box 6, Research Notes) from the Papers of James Reveal in January 2003.
Processing of the records of the Department of Botany began in 1996. The personal papers of Dr. Ronald Bamford, former professor and head of the department, were removed and processed as a separate collection. Three blueprints of campus greenhouses were removed from Series IV, Administrative Subject Files, for oversize storage. Issues of the Botany Chronicle and other departmental publications were added to the University Publications collection. The photographs were sleeved in Mylar and placed in photo binders. A scrapbook was disassembled, photocopied, and placed in a photo binder, alternating photocopies and sleeved photographs. Oversized photographs, slides, and negatives are stored flat. Other oversized materials, such as charts, maps, and blueprints, were unfolded, separated from the collection, and placed in a map case. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes, and duplicate materials and materials not relevant to the official functions of the department were discarded. Processing of the records was completed in February 1997, and the guide was written. The addenda to the collection were processed in July 2002, and the guide was revised to reflect the new materials, which comprised of research notebooks and notes, publications, photographs, slides, and a scrapbook.