Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: gra00011

Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. Carex papers

Scope and Content

The Bailey collection pertains to his work on the genus Carex. The materials are all loosely bound together within one cover, with the exception of several loose inserts. The cover reads: "Studies in the Types of the various species of the Genus Carex. L.H. Bailey. May 25, 1889. also A preliminary synopsis of North American Carices including those of Mexico, Central America and Greenland with the American Bibliogogy [sic] of the Genus. L.H. Bailey. April 14, 1886." This appears to be in Bailey's handwriting.

The volume consists of two annotated reprints (“Studies of the Types of various Species of the Genus Carex", published in Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 1, 1889, and "A Preliminary Synopsis of North America Carices, including those of Mexico, Central America, and Greenland, with the American Bibliography of the Genus" published in Proceedings of the American Academy 22, 1886) with additional notes and correspondence.


  • 1884-1900

Conditions Governing Access

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


0.1 linear feet (1 bound volume)


Liberty Hyde Bailey was born in South Haven, Michigan, on March 15, 1858 to Liberty Hyde and Sarah Harrison Bailey. His interest in the natural world began at a young age and as a child he spent a great deal of time in the forests near his father's farm studying wildlife and plants. He attended a small country school for his early education and entered Michigan State Agricultural College in 1877. Bailey excelled at his studies and earned a B.S. in 1882 after taking a year off due to illness.

Bailey worked briefly as a newspaper reporter in Illinois before going to Harvard in early 1883 to work as an assistant to Asa Gray. In June that year he married Annette Smith. The following year Bailey accepted a position as Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening at his alma mater. He worked concurrently on his M.A., which he completed in 1886. The Baileys’ first daughter, Sara May, was born in June 1887.

In 1888 he was offered the post of Professor of Horticulture at Cornell University. Bailey and his family spent the fall traveling to the most important herbaria in Europe. He began teaching on their return to Ithaca, NY, in 1889. Later that year the Baileys’ second daughter, Ethel Zoe, was born. Bailey was promoted to Director of the College of Agriculture at Cornell in 1903. That same year he founded the American Society for Horticultural Science with Spencer A. Beach.

A State College of Agriculture was founded at Cornell in 1904 and Bailey was appointed Director and Dean. Bailey officially retired in 1913 but remained active in his retirement, traveling extensively to collect and give lectures. Ethel Zoe frequently accompanied him on collecting trips and became a botanist and horticulturist in her own right. In 1920 Bailey established the journal “Gentes Herbarum.” He donated his personal herbarium, library, and the building that housed them to Cornell in 1935. Ethel Zoe managed this collection, called the Bailey Hortorium, until 1957.

In addition to his botanical and horticultural writings, Bailey was a published poet and philosopher. He was predeceased by both Sara May and Annette, who died in 1935 and 1938, respectively. Bailey died at his home in Ithaca on December 25, 1954.


Banks HP. 1994. Liberty Hyde Bailey March 15, 1858--December 25, 1954. Biogr. Mem. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 64:3-32.

Bates DM. 1989. Ethel Zoe Bailey, 1889-1983. Baileya. 23(1):1-4.

Lawrence GHM. 1955. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1858-1954. Baileya. 3(1):26-40.


The provenance of this collection is unknown. Bailey’s papers may have been acquired and donated to the Gray Herbarium by Walter Deane.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria:

  1. Administrative correspondence of the Gray Herbarium and Harvard University Herbaria, 1890-1965
  2. Asa Gray correspondence files, 1832-1892
  3. Botany Libraries photograph collection
  4. Field notes and plant identification records, approximately 1804-2000
  5. George Golding Kennedy papers
  6. Jane Gray autograph collection, 1563-1908
  7. Roland Thaxter papers
  8. Thomas Morong papers
  9. Walter Deane papers
  10. William Gilson Farlow papers

Processed by

Lynn McWhood, 1982 December

Bailey, L. H. (Liberty Hyde), 1858-1954. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. Carex papers, 1884-1900: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Gray Herbarium Library specializes in the identification and classification of New World plants with emphasis on North American plants. The Archives of the Gray Herbarium 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 Gray Herbarium.

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