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Herbarium Records, 1891-1997

Collection Overview

Title: Herbarium Records, 1891-1997

ID: RG 117

Primary Creator: Oregon State University. Herbarium

Extent: 6.0 . More info below.

Arrangement: Organized into 8 series: 1. General Correspondence; 2. Personal Correspondence, Helen Gilkey; 3. Exchange Lists; 4. Misc. Correspondence; 5. Misc. Information Files; 6. Drawings; 7. Gifts Received; and 8. Gifts Sent. Most series arranged chronologically.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Herbarium Records document the collecting of plant specimens by Oregon State University and include correspondence regarding specimens, exchange lists, gift records. The records also include correspondence of Helen Gilkey, Herbarium curator from 1918 to 1951.

Scope and Content Notes

Series 1 primarily consists of inquiries received from other institutions. Series 2 contains personal correspondence of Helen Gilkey. Series 3 consists of lists of exchange specimens sent to and received from other institutions and individuals. Series 7 & 8 consist of correspondence regarding plant specimens sent or received by the Herbarium.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2005:057) consists of materials pertaining to the collection, documentation, and management of OSU Herbarium botanical specimens. The bulk of this transfer is made up of field notebooks and records generated by the various collectors of these specimens, some of whom originally worked with and collected the plants for the Herbariums at Willamette University and the University of Oregon. These notebooks and plant collection data are arranged and described in the inventory by the name of the collector/botanist. Ledgers maintained by the Herbarium that track the receipt, lending, identification, exchange, removal, and mounting of botanical specimens are also included among these records. Materials generated by the University of Oregon and Willamette University Herbariums before their closure can also be found in this transfer.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The collecting of plant specimens by the university dates back to at least 1882, when professor B. J. Hawthorne reported that the USDA had donated a number of plant specimens to the college, and that he had collected around 500 specimens from around the region. The Herbarium grew from 2601 specimens in 1891 to 153,000 in 1967. In 1993, the herbarium of the University of Oregon was added to the OSU Herbarium, bringing the total number of specimens to more than 336,000. In the 1910s, the first special quarters for the herbarium were developed in Agriculture (now Strand) Hall. Since 1957 the Herbarium has been located in Cordley Hall. Herbarium curators have included E. R. Lake, 1886-1891 & 1899-1910; Helen M. Gilkey, 1918-1951; and Kenton L. Chambers, 1960-1990.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 11 boxes including 1 oversize box; 8 microfilm reels

Related Materials: Other materials pertaining to the Herbarium are in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department Records (RG 054), the Helen M. Gilkey Papers (MSS GilkeyH), and the Herbarium Photographs (P 093).

Preferred Citation: Herbarium Records (RG 117), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Oregon State University. Herbarium
Chambers, Kenton Lee (1929-)
Oregon Agricultural College. Herbarium
Oregon State College. Herbarium

People, Places, and Topics

Gilkey, Helen M., 1886-1972
History of Science
Natural Resources
Oregon Agricultural College. Herbarium
Oregon State College. Herbarium
Oregon State University. Herbarium
University History

Creative Commons License
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