James Franklin Collins papers


James Franklin Collins papers

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Available from Harvard University Botany Libraries


Collins, J. Franklin (James Franklin), 1863-1940




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The Collins papers consis of three main parts: letters to Collins; photographs, negatives and lantern slides made by Collins; and smaller items, mostly pertaining to his field trips. The letters are from about 240 correspondents, and date from 1884-1925 with most letters earlier than 1920. By and large they could be described as general botanical correspondence. The photographic materials consist of snapshots, labeled negatives, and lantern slides, all dating from about 1900-1935. The subjects of the photos include: landscapes and cityscapes, field expeditions and excursions, family and friends and their homes, closeups of individual plants and trees. The smaller items include a small notebook containing notes on geography and plants from the 1906 trip to the Gaspé, reports and collection labels related to the 1923 trip to the Gaspé, a plaster model of Mt. Logan (in the Gaspé) and a notebook containing notes on Salix.

James Franklin Collins was born on December 29, 1863 in North Anson, Maine. He was educated in Providence, Rhode Island, and went to work as a silversmith at the Gorham Manufacturing Company. He studied botany in his free time and soon gained the support of William Whitman Bailey, head of the Botany Department at Brown University, who recognized his potential as a diligent taxonomist and field researcher. In 1894 Collins was appointed curator of Brown's Olney Herbarium. Brown awarded Collins an honorary Ph.B. in 1898. The following year he resigned from his position at Gorham to become instructor of botany at Brown. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1905 and succeeded Bailey as head of the Botany Department in 1906, a position he held until 1911. Between 1907 and 1911 Collins simultaneously taught at Brown and studied chestnut blight with the United States Department of Agriculture in the Office of Forest Pathology. In 1913 he was placed in charge of the new Office of Forest Pathology laboratory at Brown. He turned his attention to diagnosis and control of tree and shrub diseases and tree surgery, but continued as curator of the Olney Herbarium and lecturer in botany until his retirement in 1933. Collins was a member in numerous scientific societies, including several local Rhode Island groups, the Josselyn Botanical Society, the Sullivant Moss Society, and the Torrey and New England Botanical Clubs. He made notable collections in Maine and in previously unexplored regions along the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, meticulously documenting his observations. Several of these trips were made with Merritt Lyndon Fernald and other prominent professional and amateur New England botanists.

In recognition of his field work in Canada, the Canadian Geological Survey named Mount Collins in his honor. Collins published over one hundred articles in scholarly journals on such topics as ferns, mosses, local floras, and chestnut blight. He continued with his studies until his death on November 14, 1940 after a long period of declining health.


(Alexander William), , (Edward Blanchard), , (Edward Lothrop), , (James Franklin), , (John Michael), , (William Gilson), , 1831-1920 , 1844-1919 , 1848-1930 , 1853-1929 , 1858-1934 , 1859-1924 , 1863-1940 , 1868-1959 , 1873-1950 , 1878-1925 , 1882-1939 , Botanists , Botany , Britton, Elizabeth G., , Bryophytes , Chamberlain, Edward B , Collins, J. Franklin , Deane, Walter, , Evans, Alexander W , Farlow, W. G , Fernald, Merritt Lyndon, , Field notes , Gasp� Peninsula , Holzinger, J. M , Lantern slides , Macoun, John, , Missouri Botanical Garden , Mount Logan (Qu�bec) , New England , Nichols, George Elwood, , Photonegatives , Photoprints , Pictorial works , Qu�bec (Province) , Rand, Edward L , Trees , Yosemite National Park (Calif.)

BHL Collections

Women in Natural History


OCLC: 40290688


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