William H. Weston, Jr. (1890-1978) Papers

William H. Weston, Jr. was born in New York, N.Y. in 1890 and died in August of 1978. He received a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College in 1911, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University from 1912 and 1915. He spent several years working at Western Reserve University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but returned to Harvard in 1921 as an Assistant Professor of Botany. Weston, known as "Cap" to both colleagues and graduate students, would remain an instructor in the department until his retirement in 1960. He was appointed Professor of Cryptogamic Botany in 1928 and was the chairman of the department of botany from 1927 to 1932. He was beloved by his graduate students as a humorous and inspiring teacher. Weston's skill at teaching is honored with the Mycological Society of America's William H. Weston Award for excellence in teaching, established in 1979.

After his retirement in 1960, Weston continued teaching. He worked for several years with the Elementary Science Study of Educational Services (a program for grade-school children), and also hosted a science television program for children.

Weston's expertise was also in demand from sources outside of Harvard. He consulted for corporations and also for the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. For his work with the Army, Weston was given the Civilian Distinguished Service Award in 1962.

Weston was the first president of the Mycological Society of America, a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Botanical Society of America, the American Phytopathological Society, and was president of the New England Botanical Club from 1931-1933.

Sources used:

Pfister, Donald H. "Who was Cap Weston?" Inoculum 51, no. 6 (2000)
Pfister, Donald H., Rolla M. Tryon, Ralph E. Wetmore, Carroll M. Williams, and Reed C. Rollins. "William H. Weston [Faculty of Arts & Sciences Memorial Minute]." Harvard Gazette, 16 January 1981, 7.
Wilson, Charles M. "William H. Weston (1890-1978)." Mycologia 71, no. 6 (1979): 1103-1106.


Scope & Content:

Collection consists of correspondence, handwritten manuscript material by Weston and others, reprints, student theses, photographs, and drawings. The bulk of the materials were collected during Weston's time at Harvard (1921-1960), with additional materials relating to his activities after his retirement.


Series Descriptions:

The collection is broken down into ten series.

Series I: Correspondence. Correspondence dates from 1924 to 1977 and is contained in 47 folders.
Series II: Notes. Notes are by Weston (subseries I) or his students (subseries II). They are contained in 11 folders.
Series III: Drawings. Drawings are non-scientific and include block print designs by Weston. They are contained in 4 folders.
Series IV: Photographs. Photos are of Weston, Thaxter, Long Island, and specimens and are contained in 3 folders. See also "Oversize" series.
Series V: Manuscript material. Manuscript materials are by Weston and by others, and are contained in 10 folders.
Series VI: Publications. Publications are divided into subseries I (publications by Weston) and subseries II (publications by others). They are contained in 32 folders.
Series VII: Miscellaneous. These materials are divided into 8 subseries: Elementary Science Study materials (subseries I), materials relating to Farlow and Thaxter (subseries II), financial records (subseries III), materials relating to a Thaxter memorial (subseries IV), meeting programs and abstracts (subseries V), advertisements and flyers (subseries VI), mail (subseries VII), and miscellaneous materials (subseries VIII). This is contained in 24 folders.
Series VIII: Photographic plates. These are plates of Thaxter and G.R. Lyman and are contained in 3 folders.
Series IX: Oversize: These are larger materials, including drawings, photographs, and glass slides, contained in one large box and one small wooden box (glass slides). Here also is a commemorative volume presented to Weston in 1956 by his former students.
Series X: Student theses: Here are 18 bound student theses dated from 1935 to 1949.


Provenance: Some of these items were left in Dr. Weston's office in the Herbarium. The remainder were given to the Farlow by Mrs. Weston after Dr. Weston's death.


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