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HUH 752.5

Rollins, Reed C. (Reed Clark), 1911-1998. Papers of Reed C. Rollins : a collection of his writings, 1957-1993 : an inventory

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUH 752.5
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Rollins, Reed C. (Reed Clark), 1911-1998.
Title: Papers of Reed C. Rollins : a collection of his writings, 1957-1993
Date(s): 1957-1993
Quantity: 0.5 cubic feet (2 document boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Reed Clark Rollins (1911-1998), Director of Gray Herbarium and Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany at Harvard University was one of the most important botanists in the twentieth century. He promoted the use of genetics, anatomy, and cytology to solve taxonomic problems and under his direction, Harvard University became a leader in the study of systematic and evolutionary botany. The collection consists of writings, primarily papers published in academic journals, documenting Rollins' scientific research in the field of botany.

Acquisition Information:

The Rollins writings were donated to the Harvard University Archives by Kate (Mrs. Reed) Rollins in 1999.

Processing Information:

Processing included re-housing Rollins' writings in appropriate containers, their arrangement in alphabetical order, and the creation of this finding aid.
Processed in November 2010 by Kurt Shoemaker.

Conditions on Use and Access:

Permission of the University Archives is required for access to the Papers of Reed C. Rollins. Please consult the reference staff for further details. Additional restrictions may apply.

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Biographical Essay

Reed Clark Rollins (1911-1998), Director of the Gray Herbarium (1948-1978) and Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany (1954-1981) at Harvard University was one of the most important botanists in the twentieth century. He promoted the use of genetics, anatomy, and cytology to solve taxonomic problems and under his direction, Harvard University became a leader in the study of systematic and evolutionary botany.
Rollins was born in Lyman,Wyoming on December 7, 1911 to a large Mormon ranching family (twelve brothers and sisters). He entered the University of Wyoming in 1929 and majored in botany, receiving his A.B. degree with honors in 1933. He received his M.S. degree from Washington State University in 1936 and his Ph.D from Harvard University in 1940. Both his master's thesis and doctorate dissertations involved studies of the mustard genus Arabis, a genus he continued to study throughout his career.
Rollins became an assistant professor at Stanford University in January 1941. Two years later he took a temporary position as an associate geneticist to help the United States Department of Agriculture develop a plant-based rubber substitute for the Allies during World War II.
Rollins returned to Harvard University in 1948 as an associate professor and as director of the Gray Herbarium (1948-1978) where he unified the plant and library material of the five botanical institutes (Gray Herbarium, Arnold Arboretum, Farlow Herbarium, Botanical Museum, and Harvard Forest). These collections were later renamed the Harvard University Herbaria. In addition to Rollins' position as director, he also served as the Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany (1954-1981), the Harvard chairman of the Institute for Research in General Plant Morphology (1955-1965), chairman of the Institute of Plant Sciences (1965-1969), supervisor of the Bussey Institution (1967-1978), and chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Farlow Library and Herbarium (1974-1978).
Although Rollins' research covered many areas of taxonomy and genetics, the primary focus of his work during his sixty-year career was centered on the study of the flowering plants in the mustard family, Brassicaceae or Cruciferae.
Rollins died in 1998 at the age of eighty-seven at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
References:

References:

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by title.

Scope of the Collection

This collection of Rollins' writings from 1957 to 1993 consists primarily of papers published in academic journals documenting his botanical research. It also includes memorial tributes to other botanists and reviews of their research written by Rollins. Most writings pertain to Rollins' research on the Cruciferae, a family of flowering plants, and the genus Lesqueralla, a flowering plant in the mustard family. Additional papers discuss plant taxonomy.

General

This document last updated 2016 August 11.

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