Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938

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John Kunkel Small (1869-1938), taxonomist, botanical explorer, author of 15 floras, 2057 genera, species and binomials, numerous field guides and more than 400 journal articles served the New York Botanical Garden from 1898 until his death in 1938. He was Curator of the Museums and Herbarium from 1898-1906, Head Curator from 1906-1934 and Chief Research Associate and Head Curator from 1934 until 1938. His early warnings on the ecology of Florida were the impetus for Everglades National Park. He worked with Thomas A. (Thomas Alva) Edison towards developing a synthetic rubber from Solidago.

From the description of John Kunkel Small records 1892-1938. (New York Botanical Garden). WorldCat record id: 41829557

From the description of John Kunkel Small records, 1892-1938. (New York State Historical Documents). WorldCat record id: 155483604

John Kunkel Small was renowned for his research on the flora of southeastern United States and concentrated his efforts on the study of the flowers, bulbs, and herbs of Florida. His writings on botanical subjects included more than 450 books and papers.

After receiving his doctorate from Columbia University, Small became the curator of the herbarium of Columbia University. His doctoral thesis, Flora of the Southeastern United States, was described as the most sumptuous American botanical thesis ever published and won him a reputation as one of the foremost taxonomic botanists of the world. In 1898, he became curator of the newly founded New York Botanical Garden, where he devoted his life's work.

Small traveled to Florida for the first time in 1901. He explored and photographed the forests of tropical hardwood trees and the interesting variety of tropical plants scattered throughout the state. Through the patronage of Charles Deering, whose father helped found the International Harvester Corporation, Small continued his Florida research for the next thirty-six years. His book, From Eden to Sahara - Florida's Tragedy, received acclaim in 1929 for documenting the destruction of Florida's natural environment.

From the description of Papers and photographs, 1902-1938. (Florida State Archive). WorldCat record id: 32413076

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934. Nathaniel Lord Britton records, 1875-1934. New York State Historical Documents
referencedIn Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931. Thomas Alva Edison papers, 1880-1964. New York State Historical Documents
creatorOf Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938. Papers and photographs, 1902-1938. Florida State Archive
referencedIn New York Botanical Garden. Library. Office of the Bibliographer. Harold William Rickett records, [ca. 1920-1973] Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Rankin, Henry Ashby, 1872-1947. Henry Ashby Rankin papers, 1920-1949. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938. John Kunkel Small records, 1892-1938. New York State Historical Documents
creatorOf Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938. [Collected reprints] Cornell University Library
referencedIn H. Harold Hume Collection, 1898-1962, 1937-1960 Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
creatorOf Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934. Nathaniel Lord Britton records 1875-1934. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
referencedIn Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931. Thomas Alva Edison papers 1880-1964. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
referencedIn Georgia Botanical Society. Administrative Records, 1900-2000. Atlanta History Center, Kenan Research Center / Cherokee Garden Library
creatorOf Lewis, Clarence, 1876-1959. Clarence McKenzie Lewis papers 1915-1991. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
referencedIn Papers of James Franklin Collins, 1884-1935 Botany Libraries
creatorOf Small, John Kunkel, 1869-1938. John Kunkel Small records 1892-1938. New York Botanical Garden, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
referencedIn Georgia Botanical Society. Georgia Botanical Society Records, 1900-2007. Atlanta History Center, Kenan Research Center / Cherokee Garden Library
referencedIn Hume, H. Harold (Hardrada Harold), 1875-1965. Collection, 1898-1962 (bulk 1937-1960). University of Florida
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Ames, Oakes, 1874-1950. person
associatedWith Bailey, L. H. (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954. person
associatedWith Barnhart, John Hendley, 1871-1949. person
associatedWith Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934. person
associatedWith Coker, William Chambers, 1872-1953. person
associatedWith Eaton, Mary E. person
associatedWith Edison Botanical Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Edison Botanical Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931. person
associatedWith Everglades National Park (Fla.) corporateBody
associatedWith Everglades National Park (Fla.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fairchild, David, 1869-1954. person
associatedWith Georgia Botanical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Harper, Roland McMillan, 1878-1966. person
associatedWith Hume, H. Harold (Hardrada Harold), 1875-1965. person
associatedWith Lewis, Clarence, 1876-1959. person
associatedWith New York Botanical Garden. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Botanical Garden. Library. Office of the Bibliographer. corporateBody
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Rankin, Henry Ashby, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith St. John, Harold. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pennsylvania--Lancaster County
Florida
North America
East (U.S.)
South Atlantic States
Louisiana
Northeastern States
East (U.S.)
West Indies
Florida
Florida
Louisiana
Texas
Cuba
Everglades National Park (Fla.)
United States
Pennsylvania--Lancaster County
Southern States
Texas
West Indies
Florida
South Atlantic States
Southern States
North America
Northeastern States
Subject
Opuntia--Identification
cactus
Ferns
Indians of North America
Compositae--Pictorial works
Botanists
Botany
Climbing plants
Louisiana Irises--Culture
Louisiana irises--Pictorial Works
Palms
Naturalists
Goldenrods--Economic aspects
Botany--Classification
Ferns--Classification
Seminole Indians
Cycads
Convolvulaceae
Agriculture
Louisiana irises
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1869

Death 1938

Americans

English

Information

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