Agency history, 1947-

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  • Killip, Ellsworth Paine 1890-
  • Swallen, Jason R (Jason Richard) 1903-1991
  • Stern, William Louis 1926-
  • Hale, Mason E
  • Ayensu, Edward S
  • Wasshausen, Dieter C
  • Littler, Mark M (Mark Masterton)
  • Skog, Laurence E
  • Wagner, Warren Lambert
  • Kress, W. John
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro
  • Faden, Robert B
  • Faust, Maria A (Maria Anna) 1930-
  • Funk, V. A (Vicki A.) 1947-
  • Lellinger, David B
  • Nicolson, Dan H (Dan Henry) 1933-2016
  • Norris, James N
  • Nowicke, Joan W
  • Peterson, Paul M
  • Robinson, Harold Ernest 1932-
  • Shetler, Stanwyn G
  • Wurdack, J. J
  • Zimmer, Elizabeth A
  • Dorr, Laurence J
  • Meñez, Ernani G
  • DePriest, Paula T
  • Schuettpelz, Eric 1977-
  • United States National Museum
  • United States National Museum Division of Plants
  • United States National Museum Division of Cryptogams
  • United States National Museum Division of Grasses
  • United States National Museum Division of Phanerogams
  • United States National Museum Division of Ferns
  • Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Woods
  • Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Plant Anatomy
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Palynology


Agency History


  • This is an agency history. It does not describe actual records. The Smithsonian Institution Archives uses these histories as brief accounts of the origin, development, and functions of an office or administrative unit to set that unit in its historical context. To find information on record holdings, please double-click the highlighted field "Creator/Author", which will open on a brief view of relevant records.
  • Guide to the Smithsonian Archives
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Annual Report of the United States National Museum
  • Smithsonian Year
  • The Department of Botany was established in 1947 as part of a reorganization in the United States National Museum (USNM). At that time, the Division of Plants, USNM became the new Department of Botany. The Department initially consisted of Divisions of Cryptogams, Grasses, and Phanerogams. Other divisions were established at later dates and included Ferns, 1948; Woods, 1960 (abolished in 1962); Plant Anatomy, 1962 (abolished in 1990); and Palynology, 1974. Around 1991, divisions ceased to exist as administrative structures within the Department of Botany.
  • Ellsworth Paine Killip, Curator in the Division of Plants, USNM, was appointed the first Head Curator of the Department of Botany in 1947. In 1964, the title of the administrative head of the Department was changed to Chairman. Head Curators and Chairs of the Department of Botany have included Killip, 1947-1950; Jason R. Swallen, 1950-1965; William Louis Stern, 1965-1967; Mason E. Hale, 1967-1970; Edward S. Ayensu, 1970-1976; Dieter C. Wasshausen, 1976-1982; Mark M. Littler, 1982-1987; Laurence E. Skog, 1987-1992; Warren Lambert Wagner, 1992-1997; W. John Kress, 1997-2006; Warren Lambert Wagner, 2007-2014; Laurence J. Dorr, 2015-2018; and Eric Schuettpelz, 2019- .
  • Curators and research staff of the Department of Botany since 1991 have included Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez, Associate Curator, 1991- ; Robert B. Faden, Associate Curator, 1991-2014, and Emeritus Research Botanist, 2014- ; Maria A. Faust, Associate Curator, 1991- ; V.A. Funk, Curator, 1991- ; W. John Kress, Associate Curator, 1991- ; David B. Lellinger, Curator, 1991- ; Mark M. Littler, Senior Botanist, 1991- ; Dan H. Nicolson, Curator, 1991- ; James N. Norris, Curator, 1991- ; Joan W. Nowicke, Curator, 1991- ; Paul M. Peterson, Associate Curator, 1991- ; Harold Ernest Robinson, Curator, 1991- ; Stanwyn G. Shetler, Curator and Botanist Emeritus, 1991- ; Laurence E. Skog, Curator, 1991- ; Warren Lambert Wagner, Curator, 1991- ; Dieter C. Wasshausen, Curator, 1991- ; J. J. Wurdack, Botanist Emeritus, 1991-1998; Elizabeth A. Zimmer, Associate Curator, 1991- ; Paula T. DePriest, Associate Curator, 1992- ; Laurence J. Dorr, Associate Curator, 1992- ; and Ernani G. Meñez, Curator and Botanist Emeritus, 1992- .
  • For a history of the larger creating unit, refer to "Forms part of" above.

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1947
  • 1947-


  • Botany
  • Plants
  • Botanists


Mixed archival materials

Local number

SIA AH00058

Full Record

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