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David D. Keck (1903-1995)

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Records of the Herbarium (RG4)
DAVID D. KECK RECORDS (1930-1958) [Bulk 1950-1958]
2.5 linear feet (4 boxes)


David D. Keck (1903-1995), was appointed head curator of the Garden in 1950, and served as assistant director from 1956 to 1958, and acting director in 1958. Keck was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 24, 1903.  He received a B.A. from Pomona College in 1925 and a Ph.D. in botany from the University of California in 1930. Before his tenure at the Garden, Keck worked from 1925 to 1950 at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, located at Stanford University, where he did pioneer work on the nature of plant species. After leaving the Garden in 1958, he became Program Director for Systematic Biology at the National Science Foundation where he worked until 1970. After living in New Zealand for eight years, Keck moved to Medford, Oregon, and died on March 10, 1995 in Newport Beach, California at the age of 92.

Keck's scientific interests included the taxonomy of angiosperms; genetics; cytology; cytogenetics and cytotaxonomy of Medilinae, Poa, Artemesia, and Potentilla; taxonomy of Penstemon; and the flora of western America, especially California.

David Keck wrote a number of books, authored many scientific articles, and was a member of numerous scientific societies. He was awarded the Mary Soper Pope Medal from the Cranbrook Institute of Science in 1950 for his noteworthy and distinguished accomplishments in the field of plant sciences.


The bulk of the David Keck Records is comprised of correspondence from 1930 to 1958, but predominantly from the years between 1950 to 1958. The remainder of the collection includes notes on species determinations and several manuscripts.


Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Manuscripts
Series 3: Species Descriptions
Series 4: Subject Files

Series l:     Correspondence, 1930-1958
                   2 lin. ft.   Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

The correspondence in this series includes materials relating to Keck's scientific and administrative responsibilities.

Series 2:   Manuscripts
                  1.25 lin.  in.  Arranged alphabetically.

This series contains undated typescripts of four scientific articles, two on madinae, one on betulaceae, and one on taxonomic problems.

Series 3:   Species Descriptions
                  5 lin. in.   Arranged alphabetically.

Materials on six species: calcycadenia, hemizonia, lagophylla, layia, madia, madinae, and a miscellaneous folder.

Series 4:   Subject Files.
                  Arranged alphabetically

A file of bibliographies and another of clippings.


The New York Botanical Garden

RG 4      Herbarium Office Records

Processed December 2000 by Natalie S. Brody 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 Archivist
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
(718) 817-8879

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