Plant Science

Collections in this category focus on the taxonomy, genetics, and physical structures of plants, and largely consist of historical research in the fields of botany, agronomy, pomology, and horticulture. Although materials relating to the scientific study of agricultural plants are not excluded, the collections in this category emphasize the biological and ecological aspects of plants, rather than their uses.

Several collections focus specifically on the anatomy and physiology of plant structures. The papers of Ledyard G. Stebbins, world renowned geneticist, reflect his research on chromosomal evolution and variation. The Esau papers focus on the cellular and vascular properties of plants and plant viruses. The physiology of bud development is the focus of the Proebsting papers, and the Weier papers consists of research notebooks and photographs of chloroplast structures and lichens. The papers of Alden Crafts contain extensive research notes and radiographs documenting the dynamics of herbicides on plant development.

Information regarding plant varieties indigenous to specific geographic regions is the focus of three collections. The papers of Knowles Ryerson include correspondence, expedition accounts, and photographs relating to his interest in native plants worldwide, with an emphasis on plant populations in California. Other collections emphasizing California include the papers of Jack Major, which focus on plant competition, and the papers of Harry Butterfield, which detail the history of ornamental plants in California. The Index Seminum collection contains seed lists from foreign and domestic arboreta and botanical gardens, and the Stout papers emphasize the nutritional needs and environmental stressors of specific plant populations. Two collections focus on the genetic adaptation of plants. The Wickson collection contains materials relating to Luther Burbank, an early plant breeder and propagator, while the Hanna papers consists of research notes and correspondence regarding tomato breeding activities, including the introduction of the “square tomato.”

Collections in this subject heading comprise nearly 300 linear feet and several formats; materials of a graphic nature, including drawings, original artwork, and posters are particularly abundant. There are no geographical or chronological limits to the collection, and the majority of the materials are in the English language. Related materials can be found under the headings of Agriculture, Agricultural Technology, Food Processing and Manufacture, Natural Resources, and Viticulture and Enology; see also the archives of the Botany and Pomology Departments in the University Archives.

Plant Science Manuscripts