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COLLECTION Identifier: far00010

Lincoln Ware Riddle and Gertrude Hollister Riddle papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists of correspondence between Lincoln Ware Riddle and his wife, Gertrude Hollister Riddle (née Paine), and various botanists. It also contains collecting and identification lists of lichen specimens.


  • 1902-1939


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact for additional information.


1 collection (1 box, 1 volume, 1 oversize folder)


Lincoln Ware Riddle was born on October 17, 1880 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to Charles Wisner and Mary Brastow Riddle (née Ware). He became interested in botany while attending Roxbury Latin School. Riddle graduated from Harvard in 1902, going on to earn A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard in 1904 and 1906.

In June 1906, Riddle married Gertrude Hollister Paine. That fall he was appointed instructor in botany at Wellesley College, filling in for Clara E. Cummings while she was on leave. After her death the following spring Riddle remained at Wellesley, taking over management of her lichen herbarium and eventually becoming full professor in 1917.

Riddle was appointed assistant professor of cryptogamic botany at Harvard in 1919, a position he held only one year before becoming ill. Riddle died on January 16, 1921, in Cambridge. Gertrude died in 1976.
Sources U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2014.

Fink B. 1921. Lincoln Ware Riddle, Lichenologist. Bryologist. 24(3):33-36.

Thaxter R. 1921. Lincoln Ware Riddle. Rhodora. 23(272):181-184.

Series Description

The Riddle papers is arranged into three series.

Series I. Lincoln Ware Riddle correspondence. This series contains a previously bound volume of correspondence to Lincoln Ware Riddle, dated 1902-1922, and loose correspondence, dated 1919-1922. Letters are arranged chronologically. Correspondents include Nathaniel Lord and Elizabeth Gertrude Britton, Alexander Evans, William Gilson Farlow, Merritt Lyndon Fernald, Bruce Fink, Benjamin Lincoln Robinson, Roland Thaxter, and other American and European botanists and scientific societies.

Series II. Gertrude Hollister Riddle correspondence. Contains loose correspondence to Gertrude Hollister Riddle and carbon copies of her typed replies, dated 1919-1939. Letters are arranged chronologically by sender. Notable correspondents include A. Leroy Andrews, Edwin B. Bartram, Alexander W. Evans, Abel J. Grout, Aaron J. Sharp, Brother Arsène Brouard, and Irenee Thériot.

Series III. Botanical Papers. This series contains collecting and identification lists of lichen specimens.


The Riddle Correspondence was given to the Farlow Herbarium by Riddle’s widow, Gertrude H. Riddle. In May 2013 the "Miscellaneous Notes on Lichens" volume was transferred from the Botany Farlow Library to this collection.
Riddle, Lincoln W. (Lincoln Ware), 1880-1921. Lincoln Ware Riddle and Gertrude Hollister Riddle papers, 1902-1939: A Guide.
Archives, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Herbaria
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Repository

Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2366