Archives and Manuscript Collections
KENT PARSONS DUMONT RECORDS (1962-1982)
7.5 linear feet (6 boxes)
Parsons Dumont (1941-) is a taxonomic mycologist. He was Curator of Fungi
at The New York Botanical Garden and Assistant Professor of Botany at Lehman
College, City University of New York from 1977 to 1978, and he was Associate
Curator of Fungi at the Garden from 1969 to 1977. His fields of research
were the Sclerotiniaceae and Leotiaceae. His treatment of
published by the Garden in 1971.
Dr. Dumont was born on July 10, 1941, at Newburyport, Massachusetts.
He received his A.B. from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
His advanced education was at Cornell University, from which he earned
his M.S. (1965) and Ph.D. (1970).
At Cornell he studied with Richard P. Korf, with whom he maintained
a mentor relationship for the duration of his career. While at Cornell
he worked with fungal pathogens of onions. In 1966, as part of his field
work in Asia, he advised the University of the Philippines on the reorganization
of their herbarium.
Along with his position in the Garden's Cryptogamic Herbarium, Dumont
taught Botany and Mycology at Lehman College through the joint CUNY-NYBG
program. He served as Scientific Director for Cryptogams with the Organization
for Flora Neotropica, and coordinated two programs for the Second International
Mycological Congress. As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Project
Flora Amazonica, he assisted in the preparation of the original grant proposal,
led expeditions, and developed a system for the handling, sorting, and
distributing of cryptogamic collections made on the expeditions.
His work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation,
Organization of American States, and Bristol-Myers Corporation. Dumont
understood Spanish and much of the correspondence from his South American
colleagues is in that language. He had close working relationships with
Pablo Buriticá, Gary Samuels, and Steven Carpenter. He worked hard
to facilitate the exchange of information and faculty between the Garden
and centers of study in South America.
In 1983 Dr. Dumont requested and was granted a leave of absence from
the Garden. He did not return and made no further contributions to the
Scope and Content Note
The Kent Parsons Dumont Records, 1962-1982, document the administrative
and research career of Dumont at The New York Botanical Garden. Their informative
value lies in the documentation of the academic and financial issues faced
by a typical graduate student of the sciences in the mid-twentieth century.
The bulk of the material consists of correspondence generated in Dumont's
capacity as Assistant Curator and Curator of Fungi, manuscripts for his
taxonomic research in the Sclerotiniaceae and Leotiaceae,
and grant applications. The manuscripts offer a rare opportunity to follow
a work from first through final drafts. Papers of Richard Korf, Dumont's
mentor, are found in the Personal Files, Correspondence, Manuscripts, and
Cornell series. An autobiography of A. J. G. H. Kostermans is filed with
correspondence from E. H. Walker. A hand-drawn map of land use in Colombia
is located in the Correspondence series in the E (Misc.) folder. Other
materials are: lists of species related to his expeditions, research and
determinations; legal documents regarding the importation of soil samples
and copyrights; postcards; photographs; and specimens. The collection is
arranged into ten series.
Series 1: Personal Files
Series 2: Correspondence
Series 3: Research Proposals
Series 4: Societies, Clubs, and Associations
Series 5: Manuscripts
Series 6: Herbarium Business
Series 7: New York Botanical Garden Business
Series 8: Expeditions
Series 9: Collections
Series 10: Cornell
Series 1 Personal Files, 1969-1977
1.5 lin. in. Arranged chronologically.
This series contains materials related to Dr. Dumont's life and volunteer
activities in Brewster, New York. One file contains letters from his family
sent during his field expeditions. Another folder contains material from
the anti-Vietnam War movement.
Series 2 Correspondence, 1963-1982
1.7 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 2 consists of professional correspondence related to Dr.
Dumont's responsibilities as Curator of Fungi and his research, and includes
specimen lists, inquiries, and some field reports. The Richard Korf files
document Dumont's relationship with his mentor and are the only extant
collection of his papers. Scattered throughout the files are photographs
and scenic postcards from the countries of his correspondents. Correspondence
is also found in all other series, as transmittal documents and reference
material filed with the subject. The E. H. Walker file contains a copy
of A. J. G. H. Kostermans's typescript autobiography.
Series 3 Research Proposals, 1965-1981
8 lin. in. Arranged chronologically.
This series contains proposals written by Dumont and others for NSF
funding of field and herbarium research, as well as contains information
on NSF International Cooperative Science programs. A proposal for a travel
grant for colleagues to attend the Second International Mycological Conference
can be found in Series 4: Societies, Clubs, and Associations.
Series 4 Societies, Clubs, and Associations,
2 lin. in. Arranged alphabetically.
This is a collection of brochures and newsletters distributed
by professional societies with which Dumont was associated. Dumont was
an organizer of the Second International Mycological Conference and the
files are rich with materials relating to the development of the conference
and the contributions of its participants.
Series 5 Manuscripts, 1965-1980
2.25 lin. ft. Arranged chronologically.
This series contains the written record of Kent Dumont's research, from
his student work through his tenure at the Garden. Most of the articles
are presented in multiple drafts with notes and correspondence, showing
the development of Dumont's ideas and work. Original illustrations by Gail
Dumont and others are found with the relevant manuscripts.
Series 6 Herbarium Business, 1965-1980
4.5 lin. in. Arranged alphabetically.
Herbarium Business constitutes records and reports related to Dumont's
administration of the Garden's Herbarium and the loan and exchange of mycological
materials. Also in this series are lists of the specimens studied by Dumont
during his research.
Series 7 New York Botanical Garden Business,
0.5 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically.
This series contains New York Botanical Garden records and reports relevant
to Dumont during his term at the Garden. Material related to the
Garden's education initiatives with SUNY and CUNY-Lehman is also included
here. Dumont was also a professor of Botany at Lehman and his lectures
are contained in this series.
Series 8 Expeditions, 1971-1978
0.5 lin. ft. Arranged chronologically.
Expeditions contains notes, correspondence, receipts, and expense records
of Dumont's field expeditions. Legal permissions between Colombia and the
Garden relating to travel and the export of botanical material are also
Series 9 Collections, 1971-1982
1.35 lin. ft. Arranged chronologically.
Here can be found determinations and records of distribution of Dumont's
Series 10 Cornell, 1962-1972
0.5 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 10 contains records of Dumont's student research at Cornell University.
Dumont went on two field expeditions during this time. His expedition to
the Philippines involved his consulting with the University of the Philippines
in the reestablishment of their herbarium.
Processed July 1999 by Laura Zelasnic 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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