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COLLECTION Identifier: far00029

George E. Francis fungi scrapbook and notebooks

Scope and content

This collection consists of a scrapbook labeled “American Fungi” containing illustrations and information on fungi, particularly mushrooms. There is some manuscript material but the scrapbook is predominantly illustrations. Some illustrations are full book plates while others are clippings from books adhered to loose paper with a handwritten citation. The scrapbook was on loose leaves in a binder, organized alphabetically by species, with a few exceptions. Original order has been maintained.

The collection also contains 31 notebooks of published fungi plates compiled by George E. Francis. The notebooks were likely a study guide and are arranged by genus. The plates are from M.C. Cooke's publication British edible fungi : How to distinguish and how to cook them, 1891.


  • circa 1880-1895

Conditions Governing Access

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


0.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Biographical note

George Ebenezer Francis was born on May 29, 1838, in Lowell, Massachusetts. He earned an A.B. from Harvard College in 1858 and continued his studies at Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1863. That year he married Rebecca N. Kinnicutt; they had one daughter. Francis eventually returned to Harvard to complete an A.M. in 1872.

Francis served as a volunteer surgeon in the United States Army before being appointed assistant surgeon in the Navy in 1861. He left the Navy to open a private medical practice in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1865.

Francis had wide-ranging interests outside of his work as a physician. He was a prominent member of the Worcester County Horticultural Society, serving as president for three years and as vice president for 19 years. He was known for his expertise on native mushrooms and flowers. Francis was also a member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the American Antiquarian Society and was active in the public schools and library in Worcester. He died on November 20, 1912.


Annual members. In: Trans. Mass. Hort. Soc. 1886:421-423.

Harvard University. 1900. Quinquennial catalogue of the officers and graduates of Harvard University, 1636-1900. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

Hixon AA. The presidents of the society. In: Transactions of the Worcester County Horticultural Society secretary’s report for 1910. Worcester (MA): Commonwealth Press; 174-175.

Utley S. 1913. Obituaries: George Ebenezer Francis. Proc. Amer. Antiq. Soc. 23:10-11.


The materials were a gift from V.A. Clarke of Clarke University, Worcester, MA.

Related Materials

Other related material at Harvard University: George Ebenezer Francis, Lowell, Massachusetts (1838-1912) [portrait]. Object 2.2002.1986. Harvard Art Museums.

Conservation note

The Mycology in a City manuscript was conserved at the Weissman Preservation Center in April 2022.

Francis, George E. George E. Francis fungi scrapbook and notebooks, circa 1880-1895: 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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