Rollins, Reed C. (Reed Clark), 1911-1998

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Reed Clark Rollins was born in Lyman, western Wyoming on 7 December 1911, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 27, 1998. He was one of the most influential botanists of his generation.

From the description of Papers of Reed Rollins, 1940-1998 (inclusive) (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 175317158

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.

Al-Shehbaz, Ihsan A. Reed Clark Rollins 1911-1998. Biographical Memoirs 78 (2000) : 3-16. Al-Shehbaz, Ihsan A. Reed Clark Rollins (7 December 1911-28 April 1998) Taxon 48 (May 1999) : 225-256.

From the guide to the Papers of Reed C. Rollins : a collection of his writings, 1957-1993 : an inventory., (Harvard University Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harvard University. Herbaria. Combined records of the Arnold Arboretum and the Gray Herbarium, 1850- Harvard University, Gray Herbarium
referencedIn Wiggins, Ira L. (Ira Loren), 1899-1987. Ira L. Wiggins papers, 1926-1985. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881-1964. Correspondence and compositions, 1870-1963 Houghton Library
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf Rollins, Reed C. (Reed Clark), 1911-1998. Papers of Reed Rollins, 1940-1998 (inclusive) Harvard University, Gray Herbarium
referencedIn Stanford University Press archival book copies, 1900-2012 Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn American Society of Plant Taxonomists. Records, 1938-1983. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Papers of Reed C. Rollins : a collection of his writings, 1957-1993 : an inventory. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Arnold Arboretum. Collection lists and expedition itineraries, 1910- Harvard University, Gray Herbarium
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Society of Plant Taxonomists. corporateBody
associatedWith Anderson, William R. person
associatedWith Arnold Arboretum. corporateBody
associatedWith Barghoorn, Elso S. person
associatedWith Bye, Robert A. person
associatedWith Campbell, Christopher S. person
associatedWith DeDecker, Mary. person
associatedWith Ertter, Barbara. person
associatedWith Goodrich, Sherel. person
associatedWith Greene, Craig William. person
associatedWith Harvard University. Herbaria. corporateBody
associatedWith Henderson, Douglass Miles, 1938- person
associatedWith Holmgren, Patricia K. person
associatedWith Kartesz, John T. person
associatedWith Lesica, Peter. person
associatedWith Lichuar, Robert W. person
associatedWith Nilson, Karen. person
correspondedWith Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881- person
associatedWith Peterson, J. Scott. person
associatedWith Pinzel, Ann. person
associatedWith Plitman, Uzi. person
associatedWith Porter, Duncan M. person
associatedWith Raven, Peter H. person
associatedWith Rodman, James E. person
associatedWith Schnell, Charles E. person
associatedWith Southwell, Mary F. person
associatedWith Spellenberg, Richard. person
associatedWith Stafleu, Frans Antonie. person
associatedWith Stanford University. Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Tiehm, Arnold. person
associatedWith Wagner, Warren Lambert. person
associatedWith Weber, William A. (William Alfred), 1918- person
associatedWith Weston, William Henry, 1890-1978. person
associatedWith Wiggins, Ira L. (Ira Loren), 1899-1987. person
associatedWith Williams, Louis Otho, 1908- person
associatedWith Williams, Margaret, 1917- person
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1911-12-07

Death 1998-04-28





Ark ID: w6cc1qht

SNAC ID: 30406522