Archives and Manuscript Collections
GERTRUDE SIMMONS BURLINGHAM PAPERS (1890-1951)
5.4 linear feet (22 boxes)
Gertrude Burlingham (1872-1952) was a mycologist and specialist in the
genera Lactarius and Russula. She was born in Mexico, New
York on April 21, 1872 and received her B.S. (1898) from Syracuse University
and Ph.D. (1908) from Columbia University after graduate studies in mycology,
plant physiology, and the taxonomy of the Agaricaceae. In 1906 she
began studies of Lactarius in Windham County, Vermont and initiated
correspondence and specimen exchanges with Charles H. Peck of the New York
State University. During this time she also pursued studies at The New
York Botanical Garden.
Dr. Burlingham was a biology teacher in Binghamton, New York from 1898
to 1905 and at the Eastern District High School in Brooklyn from 1909 to
her retirement in 1934. She pursued a parallel, unpaid career as a mycologist,
making significant contributions to the field. In 1908 she published her
doctoral thesis, A Study of the Lactariae of the United States
The Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club. From 1914 she made
Vermont a second home where she collected substantial numbers of Lactarius
and Russula specimens that became part of the Gertrude S. Burlingham
Collection of The New York Botanical Garden Cryptogamic Herbarium.
Dr. Burlingham used the genus name "Lactaria" (cf. "Lactarius"
used here) in conformance with the "American Code" of botanical nomenclature
promulgated by Nathaniel Lord Britton. "Lactaria" was retained due
to its chronological priority, though "Lactarius" remained a legitimate
homonym. In surveying the genus she conducted fieldwork on the Pacific
coast, in Sweden with Lars Romell, and in Denmark with Jakob Lange. During
her career she published 19 scientific papers and described several new
species of Lactarius and Russula. She remained actively involved
in mycology after her retirement in Florida, where she died in 1952.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Gertrude S. Burlingham collection consists of correspondence, research
papers, photography, personal papers, and watercolor illustrations of fungi
composed by her colleague Ann Hibbard, covering her 50-year career in mycology.
Her field notebooks are separated and held in The New York Botanical Garden
Collectors' Field Notebook Collection.
Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Research Papers
Series 3: Manuscripts and Typescripts
Series 4: Photographic Material
Series 5: Watercolor Illustrations
Series 6: Personal Papers
Series 1 Correspondence, 1904-1944
0.25 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically.
This series consists of 32 files of correspondence with mycologists
including Henry C. Beardslee, C. H. Kauffman, Howard Kelly, Jakob Lange,
Charles H. Peck, Lars Romell, Rolf Singer, Alexander H. Smith, and others.
There is one file of unidentified letters.
Series 2 Research Papers, 1906-1937
1.25 lin. ft. Arranged by subject.
There are 26 files and 2 boxes of index cards pertaining to studies
of Lactarius, Russula, Amanita, and Lepiota.
Materials include species descriptions, dichotomous keys, bibliographies,
laboratory records, and annotated notes with pencil sketches, attached
spore prints, and literature citations. There is an index to Russula
species in the Burlingham collection of The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium
and 3 files of notes on the effects of magnesium sulfate on the growth
of seedlings published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Series 3 Manuscripts and Typescripts, 1917-1936
1.0 lin. in. Arranged by subject.
There are 4 manuscript files. One, New or Noteworthy Species of Russula
and Lactaria, includes annotated descriptions of species in Dr. Burlingham's
1918 paper on the subject.
Series 4 Photographic Material, 1911-1951
3.5 lin. ft. Arranged by subject; then, chronologically.
There are 16 boxes of photographic material consisting of several hundred
black-and-white photos with corresponding negatives. Nine boxes of negatives
are glass. Subjects are primarily of mushroom specimens (Russula,
and Lepiota) as well as scenic views and group photos of the 1935
foray of the Mycological Society of America taken by Lars Romell. There
are a few photos taken by Henry C. Beardslee with his accompanying descriptive
notes. Most photography dates from the late 1930's and 1940's. All corresponding
photos and negatives have been cross-referenced with a note posted on the
Series 5 Watercolor Illustrations, 1915-1924
0.20 lin. ft. Arranged by species.
There is 1 file of 60 watercolor illustrations by Ann Hibbard who collaborated
with Dr. Burlingham in the study of Lactarius and Russula.
All illustrations are watercolor paintings over pencil sketches, primarily
of species of Russula.
Series 6 Personal Papers, 1886-1924
1.0 lin. in. Arranged by subject.
The 6 files in this series include an address book, elementary-school
teaching certificates, and incidental items.
Processed May 1999 by David Rose under a grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-23141-98 and a grant from
the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation.
For more information and a complete description contact:
Susan Fraser, NYBG
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
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