These records document the history of the United States National Museum, Division of Plants (1919-1947) and Department of Botany (1947-1949) while Ellsworth Paine Killip
was an aid, assistant curator, associate curator, and curator of the Division and the Department, as well as personal correspondence between Killip and his colleagues documenting
their personal and professional activities. Included are occasional letters and copies of letters to and from William Ralph Maxon that apparently were forwarded to Killip.
For the most part, this material includes loose incoming and outgoing correspondence between Killip and U.S. and foreign botanists; directors and botanists of U.S. and foreign
herbaria; museum curators; colleagues, friends; editors; and scientific societies regarding the examination and identification of botanical specimens; exchange of specimen
collections; explorations and collecting expeditions, especially Killip's expeditions to South America; information on mounting specimens; requests for photographs pertaining
to Killip's publications; requests for publications and reprints; reviewing monographs; checking manuscripts for taxonomy and nomenclature; scientific society meetings; nominations
for officers and membership to scientific societies; evaluation of colleagues for positions; recommendations for job openings; personal matters; also letterpress books containing
references to Killip's collecting expeditions in Colombia; Killip's work on South American plants; determination of plants received; manuscript copies; passports; maps; and
a few copies of outgoing letters from Paul C. Standley, assistant curator, Division of Plants (1921).
Ellsworth Paine Killip, botanist, was born in Rochester, New York, on September 2, 1890. Killip attended the University of Rochester and received an A.B. in 1911. From
1914 to 1917, Killip held the position of associate curator at the Rochester Academy of Sciences.
On July 7, 1919, Killip was appointed as an aid in the United States National Museum, Division of Plants. He became assistant curator of the Division in December 1927,
and on June 1, 1928, became an associate curator. Upon the retirement of William Ralph Maxon in 1946, Killip was made curator of the Division of Plants. During Killip's administration,
the Division of Plants underwent reorganization. The Division was separated from the Department of Biology and raised to the status of a department, becoming the Department
of Botany on July 31, 1947. Killip became head curator of the Department and also held the title of acting curator for the Division of Cryptogams, one of four original divisions
formed under the reorganization. Killip retained both titles until his retirement from the Department in 1950. From 1951 through 1965, Killip continued his research and his
ties with the USNM as a research associate in the Division of Phanerogams.
Killip's main studies were on the taxonomy of South American plants. Some of his expeditions to South America are documented in this collection. Among his publications
is an article, "American species of Passifloraceae," 1938, and a major study on the passionflower family that was published in two volumes.
Killip was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Cosmos Club, and the Washington Biologists' Field Club. He died in California on November
22.74 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (40 document boxes) (3 tall document boxes) (1 oversize folder)
1886-1928 and undated
These papers include official records that document the history of the USNH while Joseph Nelson Rose was assistant botanist at the United States Department of Agriculture
(1888-1896), assistant and associate curator, USNH, United States National Museum (1896-1911), and the Division of Plants, USNM (1917-1928); also personal and official papers
documenting Rose's professional career, including incoming and occasional loose outgoing correspondence after 1910 (watermarks on 1910 and 1911 outgoing loose correspondence
along with virtually nonexistent outgoing letterpress correspondence after 1909 are a result of water damage to the records) with leading foreign and United States botanists;
colleagues; herbarium and nursery curators; florists; agrostologists; field agents; amateur plant collectors; United States Department of Agriculture administrative officers;
Smithsonian Institution administrative officers; agricultural experiment stations; editors; and friends. Correspondence regards examination, identification, and reports on
botanical specimens; identification of specimens for publications; transfer of specimens to the USNH; exchange of specimens; requests to Rose regarding information on the
flora of Texas and Mexico; requests for bulbs, seeds, and plants; purchasing of cacti collections; research and collecting expeditions; authorization for expeditions; nomenclature;
illustrations for journals; collaboration over collecting specimens and publishing; requests for jobs; requests to recommend colleagues to systematize cultivated plants; proposals
for a building to house the USNH in order to expand the collection; meetings of scientific societies; requests for Who's Who autobiographical information; outgoing
letterpress correspondence (1894-1909, 1911-1912) regarding the above; also manuscripts and correspondence pertaining to the joint Cactaceae project with Nathaniel Lord Britton;
manuscripts and correspondence about the joint project with John Donnell Smith regarding Hauyeae; reviews; and occasional newspaper clippings pertaining to botanists whose
letters are located in the correspondence folders.
Joseph Nelson Rose, botanist, was born on a farm near Liberty, Indiana, on January 11, 1862. In 1881 he entered Wabash College, graduating with an A.B. in 1885. Rose
stayed on at Wabash College as its first postgraduate student, receiving his A.M. in 1887 and his Ph.D. in 1889. During his last two years he acted as an assistant in botany
under John M. Coulter, who was to have an influence on his later career.
Rose was appointed as an assistant botanist in the United States Department of Agriculture under George Vasey, working in the United States National Herbarium (USNH), in
August 1888. (For a history of the USNH and George Vasey, see the description for the Hunt Institute collection 105.)
When the USNH was moved back to the Smithsonian in 1896, Rose transferred to the United States National Museum as an assistant curator, Division of Plants. In 1905 he was
made associate curator.
Though Frederick Vernon Coville was honorary curator, USNH and the Division of Plants, in the United States National Museum (while at the same time chief botanist of the
Plant Industry, USDA), it appears that Rose was directly in charge of the National Herbarium. Outgoing letterpress correspondence within these records contains copies of the
USNH report for the Smithsonian Annual Report being transmitted by Coville through Rose and Rose's report on the Division of Plants for the Annual Report being sent to Coville.
At times, Rose signed outgoing correspondence over the title, acting curator. Coville remained Rose's supervisor, however, with correspondence regarding Rose's collecting
activities being transmitted between Smithsonian administrative officers and Coville.
In 1912, Rose transferred from the United States National Museum (USNM) to the Carnegie Institution of Washington as a research associate in order to prepare a monograph
with Nathaniel Lord Britton on Cactaceae of the world. This work was jointly supported by the Carnegie Institution, the New York Botanical Garden, and the USDA. Rose was relieved
of his administrative duties with the Smithsonian. Nonetheless, he retained an office in the Smithsonian and was allowed the use of Smithsonian franking privileges for all
correspondence regarding his project, while retaining the title of custodian of "Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, and Miscellaneous Mexican Collections" in the National Herbarium.
Rose officially returned to the Smithsonian as associate curator, Division of Plants, in 1917, retaining that position until his death on May 4, 1928.
Rose's collecting activities and botanical studies began with the flora, fungi, and pine of Indiana and the Umbelliferae of North America. He was assigned the Mexican collections
gathered by Edward Palmer while assistant botanist at the USDA. This led to 20 years of study of the flora of Mexico and numerous publications, including his "Studies of Mexican
and Central America Plants," published in Contributions from the United States National Herbarium (1897-1911). His important study on Cactaceae of the world with Nathaniel
Lord Britton resulted in the publication of four volumes titled The Cactaceae (1919-1923). Overall, Rose published almost 200 articles and monographs by himself and
in collaboration with other botanists. Besides his own collecting explorations, Rose was instrumental in bringing to the Smithsonian one of its most important gifts, the large
private herbarium and botanical library belonging to John Donnell Smith of Baltimore.
In reward for his botanical investigations and publications, Rose received an LL.D. from Wabash College in 1925. His remarks made during the ceremonies are included in