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COLLECTION Identifier: far00021

David Hunt Linder papers

Scope and Content

The Linder collection consists of correspondence, specimen lists, manuscripts, illustrative matter and plate proofs, and photographs pertaining to Linder’s mycological research and curatorship of the Farlow Library.


  • 1919-1946


Conditions Governing Access

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


8.95 linear feet (7 record cartons, 1 half document box)

Biographical Note

David Hunt Linder was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on September 24, 1899, to John Farlow Linder and Mary Louise Linder (née Hunt). He spent most of his early childhood in Canton, Massachusetts where the family home had a conservatory, greenhouse, and vegetable and flower gardens. Linder’s father was an enthusiastic amateur botanist and horticulturist. His great-uncle was Harvard mycologist William Gilson Farlow. Both men encouraged Linder’s early interest in botany.

Linder attended the Noble and Greenough School for Boys in Dedham. He entered Harvard College in 1917 and completed a B.A. in 1921. With the help of Farlow’s widow, Lilian, he traveled to Europe that summer and resumed his studies at Harvard in the fall. He was awarded an M.A. in 1922 and worked as a field assistant to Merritt Lyndon Fernald in Nova Scotia during the summer. Linder spent the next academic year studying fungi in British and Dutch Guiana and the British West Indies on a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1926.

Linder returned to the United States after several months in Liberia and the Belgian Congo with the Harvard African Expedition and was offered a position as instructor in botany at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He held this position from 1927-1931 and also worked as a mycologist at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He married Elinor Alberts, an orchidologist at the Garden, in 1928.

At the urging of William Henry Weston, Linder returned in 1931 to Harvard to become instructor in cryptogamic botany. He and Elinor settled in Canton and he began his curatorship of the Farlow Herbarium the next year. During his 14 years as curator, Linder was responsible for significantly increasing the herbarium and library collections. He continued his field research on summer collecting trips with the Mycological Society of America. A year after Elinor’s death in 1938 Linder remarried and moved to Wakefield with his second wife, Dorothy M. Flannigan.

Linder was internationally known for his research, in particular his monographic studies of the conidial fungi. He contributed to more than 40 papers and founded the journal “Farlowia” in 1943. Linder was a member of the New England and Torrey Botanical Clubs as well as of several scientific societies. He suffered a heart attack and died on November 10, 1946.


Rusden PL. 1947. David Hunt Linder: September 24, 1899-November 10, 1946. Mycologia. 39(2):133-144.

Weston WH. 1947. David Hunt Linder. Farlowia. 3(2):141-154.

Series Description

This collection is divided into four series: Correspondence, Manuscript Material, Notes, and Administrative Records.

Series I. Correspondence: contains correspondence and related materials sent to Linder. Materials are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

The following folders were listed as empty or missing in the collection inventory and have not been included in the container list of this finding aid:
  1. Box 2, Folder 69 - Missing (gap between April and December 1940)
  2. Box 3 folder 64 - Missing (gap between July 1939 and March 1940)
  3. Box 4, Folder 102 - Empty
  4. Box 4, Folder 125 - Empty
  5. Box 6, Folder 8 - Empty

The folders listed as “Missing” may be missing. The folders listed as “Empty” were not found in the collection. It is unclear if the “Missing” and “Empty” folders actually existed or if there was a numbering mistake at some point.

Series II. Manuscript Material: contains drafts, page proofs, galleys, and illustrative matter for articles written by Linder for various publications as well as articles written by others and submitted to Linder in his capacity as editor of “Farlowia.” Arranged alphabetically by journal title, then by author last name, then chronologically. Illustrative matter consists of approximately 150 pencil drawings primarily pertaining to Sapromyces and Helicosporeae and is filed at the end of the series.

Series III. Notes: contains identification and collecting information for plant specimens, laboratory procedure notes, advertisements, and receipts, as well as notes pertaining to undetermined botany courses.

Series IV. Administrative Records: primarily correspondence; also includes receipts and financial documents, applications, and notices pertaining to Linder’s administration of the Farlow Herbarium. Original folder headings have been retained.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Botany Libraries photograph collection; Rolf Singer papers.

Linder, David H. (David Hunt), 1899-1946. David Hunt Linder papers, 1919-1946: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

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

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany specializes in organisms that reproduce by spores, without flowers or seeds. The Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany houses unique resources including personal papers, institutional records, field notes and plant lists, expedition records, photographs, original artwork, and objects from faculty, curators, staff, and affiliates of the Farlow Herbarium.

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