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COLLECTION Identifier: gra00055

David LeRoy Topping notebook

Scope and Content

This collection consists of one bound notebook containing correspondence, collecting lists and plant identification records, a diary, clippings, and pressed plant material. A letter from Elmer Drew Merrill to Charles Alfred Weatherby dated 1940 November 1 is inserted at the beginning of the notebook. Collecting lists and clippings are inserted and pasted into the notebook, pages 1-99. The diary is of a trip to Kina Balu, British North Borneo (now Sabah, Federated States of Malaysia), made with Joseph and Mary Strong Clemens, dated 1915 October 2-1915 December 13, pages 100-175.


  • 1904-1940


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.


0.1 linear feet (1 bound volume in file cabinet 11)

Biographical note

David LeRoy Topping was born on November 2, 1861, in North Harpersfield, New York. He was an active amateur naturalist who worked for the Philippine government from 1902-1922. Topping was particularly interested in ferns and fern allies. In addition to collecting in the Philippines, he also collected in East and South Asia, and in Borneo with Joseph and Mary Strong Clemens.

Topping worked with the American Red Cross in Siberia after the First World War. After retiring in 1922 he moved to Hawaii, where he spent the rest of his life. He was a charter member of the Hawaii Academy of Science. Topping died in Honolulu in July 1939. He left his personal herbarium to the United States National Herbarium.


Hawaiian Academy of Science. 1939. Necrology. Proc. Hawaiian Acad. Sc. 34:32.

David LeRoy Topping notebook, 1904-1940, Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

Physical Location

File Cabinet 11 - Field notes and plant lists, alphabetical


The Topping notebook was sent by Otto Degener to Elmer Drew Merrill, who gave it to Charles Alfred Weatherby for the Gray Herbarium Library in 1940.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Mary Strong Clemens materials are in the Administrative correspondence of the Gray Herbarium and Harvard University Herbaria, 1890-1965 and the Botany Libraries photograph collection.

Other related material at Harvard University: Elmer Drew Merrill (1876-1956) papers, 1920-1956. Archives of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Related material at other institutions:

Mary Strong Clemens Papers (PP), Archives, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Joseph Clemens diaries, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Processing Information

Processed by Lynn McWhood

Topping, David LeRoy, 1861-1939. David LeRoy Topping notebook, 1904-1940: 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
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