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Mary L. Bowerman papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Research files

Field notes

Student papers


Biographical materials

Contact us about this collection

Mary L. Bowerman papers, 1915-2000 | University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley

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Collection Overview

Title: Mary L. Bowerman papers, 1915-2000Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1925-1989

Primary Creator: Bowerman, Mary L. (Mary Leolin) (1908-2005)

Extent: 7.5 Linear Feet


Arranged in five series, one of which has been further arranged in three subseries.

Series 1: Research Files, 1915-2000

          Subseries 1: Mount Diablo, 1915-2000

          Subseries 2: British Columbia, 1933-1948

          Subseries 3: Botanical research, 1929-1936

Series 2: Field Books, 1927-1983

Series 3: Student Papers, 1925-1937

Series 4: Correspondence, 1946-1989

Series 5: Biographical Materials, 1952-1981

Date Acquired: 08/16/2010

Subjects: Botanists - California, Botany - British Columbia, Botany - California - Mount Diablo, Bowerman, Mary L. (Mary Leolin) - Archives, Conservationists - California, Diablo, Mount (Calif.), University of California, Berkeley., Women in science

Forms of Material: Botanists - California - Archives, Correspondence, Field notes

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These papers document the professional and personal life of Mary L. Bowerman, California botanist, author of Flora of Mount Diablo, and cofounder of Save Mount Diablo. The collection, which dates from 1915 to 2000, includes research files, scientific notes and data, correspondence, student work, photographs, and personal memorabilia. The collection documents Bowerman's extensive research on the flora of Mount Diablo, which began when she was a graduate student in botany with Willis L. Jepson at the University of California. The collection also documents her work with the conservation community to preserve and protect the Mount Diablo area.

Biographical Note

Mary Leolin Bowerman (1908-2005), botanist, conservationist, and expert on the flora of Mount Diablo, was born on January 25, 1908 in Toronto, Canada to Lindley Bowerman and Ada Sarah Wesson Bowerman. As a child she lived in England and moved to Pasadena, California as a teenager. She attended Pasadena High School and Junior College, where she developed an interest in natural history and botany. She enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley at 1928 and received her A. B. in botany in 1930. She choose to continue her studies in botany at Berkeley and planned to obtain her  M. S. degree under the direction of Dr. Willis Jepson, but switched to a Ph. D. based on the complexity of her studies. Her botanical work focused on the flora of Mount Diablo, a project she began as a senior at the suggestion of Dr. Herbert Mason.  She collected data on climate, soils, geology, paleobotany of Mount Diablo and visited the area extensively between 1930 and 1935. After receiving her Ph. D. in 1936, she was able to continue devoting herself to botanical studies, publishing her doctoral dissertation, "A phytogeographic analysis of the vascular plants of Mount Diablo, California" in 1944 as The flowering plants and ferns of Mount Diablo, California; their distribution and association into plant communities. Her next botanical project was a flora of British Columbia based on the specimens of Thomas T. McCabe. However, this work was never finished, partly as a result of McCabe's death in 1948.

She moved from Berkeley to Lafayette, California in 1954 and was active in the Sierra Club and the California Native Plant Society. In 1971, with Art Bonwell, Bowerman became concerned about the encroachment of development on Mount Diablo and founded the group Save Mount Diablo. She served as the Save Mount Diablo vice president until 1995  and was on the Lands Acquisition Committee until her death in 2005. The group was able to expand the state park's boundaries from 6788 acres in 1971 to more than 20,000 acres in 2005. For her work to save Mount Diablo she was awarded a State of California Golden Bear Award, the John Muir Conservation Award, the Contra Costa County Women's Hall of Fame, and the Daughters of the American Revolutions' National Conservation Medal among many other honors. On May 22, 1982, the trail at the summit of Mount Diablo was named the Mary Leolin Bowerman Fire Interpretative Trail. In 2002, she collaborated with Dr. Barbara Ertter, Curator of Western North American Flora at the Jepson Herbarium, to produce an updated and expanded version of her book, The flowering plants and ferns of Mount Diablo, California.

Mary Leolin Bowerman passed away on August 21, 2005 at her home in Lafayette, California.

Subject/Index Terms

Botanists - California
Botany - British Columbia
Botany - California - Mount Diablo
Bowerman, Mary L. (Mary Leolin) - Archives
Conservationists - California
Diablo, Mount (Calif.)
University of California, Berkeley.
Women in science

Administrative Information

Repository: University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Copyright has not been assigned to the University and Jepson Herbaria Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University and Jepson Herbaria Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the publisher.

Preferred Citation: Mary Bowerman Papers, University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Research files, 1915-2000],
[Series 2: Field notes, 1927-1983],
[Series 3: Student papers, 1925-1937],
[Series 4: Correspondence, 1946-1989],
[Series 5: Biographical materials, 1952-1981],

Series 2: Field notes, 1927-1983Add to your cart.
This series contains Mary L. Bowerman's field notes documenting her botanical collecting activities from 1927-1981.  Her field work took place primarily in the United States (primarily California), Canada, and England. Her appointment books for 1982 and 1983 are also included in this series.
Item 1: Botanical notes, 1927-1929Add to your cart.
Includes lists of species and collections #43-169. Observations are from California.
Item 2: Book I, 1928-1931Add to your cart.

Collections 1-184 and 221-555, made between December 31, 1928 and March 8, 1931.

Collections are from the following locations in California:

1-23: Berkeley Hills

24-37: Muir Woods

38-44: Berkeley Hills

45-72: Carmel and Carmel Area

73-86: Twin Peaks

87-94:  Lake Merced

95: Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley

96-115: Arroyo Mocho

116-124: Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley Hills

125-145: Nortonville

146: Grapevine

147-157:  Sausalito Hills

158-164: Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley Hills

165-168: Berkeley Campus

169: Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley Hills

170: Fort Bragg

171: Mount Diablo (Erodium macrophyllum)

172: Sonora

173: Monterey

174: Mendocino County

175-180: Carmel

181-184: Monterey

221-222: Tomales

223-555: Mount. Diablo

Item 3: Book II, 1931-1932Add to your cart.

Collections #556-1174, collected between March 7 and March 31, 1932.

Collections are from the following locations in California:

556-573: Mount Diablo

574-583 Corral Hollow

584-818: Mount Diablo

819-821: Arroyo Mocho

822-846: Mount Hamilton

847-930: Mount Diablo

931-945: Trinity Alps

945-950: not recorded

950-1017:  Sierra Nevada

1018-1028: Mount St. Helena

1029-1145: Mount Diablo

1146-1174:  Los Banos to Mojave Desert

Item 4: Book III, 1932-1933Add to your cart.

Contains collections #1175-1431, 1515-1829, collected between March 31, 1932 and May 4, 1933.

Collections are from the following areas of California:

1175-1318 Mojave desert to Hollister

1319-1431: Mount Diablo

1515-1550: Mount Diablo

1551-1577: Colfax, Tahoe, Ebbetts Pass

1578-1603: Mount Diablo

1604-1628: Dillon Beach, Marin County

1629-1692: Mount Diablo

1692a-1715: Camp Meeker, Sonoma County, Fort Ross

1716-1722: Mount Diablo

1723-1745 Lake County, Mt. Konocti

1746-1777: Mount Diablo

1778-1829: Mount Hamilton

1830-1993: Mount Diablo

Item 5: Book IV, 1932-1935Add to your cart.

Collections #1450-1513, 1994-2733, collected between May 30, 1932 and March 16, 1935.

Collections are from England and the following areas of California:

1450-1513:  England

1994-2199: Mount Diablo

2200-2221: Shasta County, Redwood Highway

2222-2284: Mount Diablo

2285-2321: Sierra Nevada

2322-2342: Mount Diablo

2343-2385 Lassen County

2386-2388 Marin County

2389-2396: Mount Diablo

2397-2411: Lake Tahoe, Echo Lake

2412-2450: Mount Diablo

2451-2458 Pt. Reyes

2459-2474: Mount Diablo

2475-2477: Mount St. Helena

2478-2483: Mount Diablo

2484-2489: Pittsburg

2490-2492: Nortonville

2493-2530: Rio Linda

2531-2549: Mount Diablo

2550-2714: Sierra Nevada

2715-2722: Mount Hamilton

2723: Dumbarton Bridge

2724-2729: Arroyo Mocho, Cedar Mountain

2730-2733: Mount Diablo

Item 6: Field Book, #3241-3749, 1935-1940Add to your cart.

Contains collections #3241-3749, collected between August 6, 1935 and March 25, 1940.

Collections are from the following locations in the western United States and Canada:

3241-3327: Donner Lake


3331-3344: Mount Diablo

3345: Lake Lagunitas

3346-3355: Mount Diablo

3356-3403: Santa Lucia Memorial Camp, Santa Maria, Point Sal

3404-3417: Mount Diablo

3418-3428: Eureka, Nevada

3429-3447: Yellowstone National Park

3448-3522: Canada trip (See itinerary following no. 3522)

3523-3548:Mount Diablo

3549-3564: Mount St. Helena, Snow Mountain, Clear Lake

3565-3579: Yuma, Arizona

3580-3581: San Diego

3582-3583: Mount Diablo

3586-3617: Utah, Arizona

3618-3628: San Gabriel Mountains

3629-3655: Mount Diablo

3656-3675: Mount Hamilton Range

3767-3720: Mount Diablo

3721-3723: Sacramento Valley

3724-3742: Mount Diablo

3743: Saratoga

3744: Salton Sea

3745-3746: Berkeley

3747-3749: Death Valley

Item 7: Field Book, #3750-4334, 1940-1954Add to your cart.

Collections #3750-4334 collected between March 23, 1940 and June 27, 1954.

Collections are from the following areas of the United States:

3750-3772: Death Valley

3775-3799: Vermont

3800-3812: New Jersey

3813: Virginia

3814-3820: North Carolina

3821-3836: New Mexico

3837-3838: Berkeley

3839-3853: Mount Diablo

3855-3890: Strawberry, U.S. 50

3891-3897: Mount Diablo

3900-4079: Palm Springs

4080-4085: Mount Diablo

4086-4181: Joshua Tree National Monument

4182-4241: Cuyamaca Peak, Borrego Valley, Death Valley

4242-4248: San Juan Bautista Junction

4249: Mount Diablo

4250-4300: Lot 13, Berkeley Woods Addition

4301-4302: Marin County

4303-4319: Palm Springs

4320-4322: Paso Robles

4325: Fort Ross

4326-4332: Coalinga

4334: Fort Ross

Item 8: British Columbia Field Book, #4500-5040, 1949-1950Add to your cart.
Contains collections #4500-5040, made in British Columbia between June 17, 1949 and August 6, 1950.
Item 9: British Columbia Field Book, #5041-5081, 1950Add to your cart.
Includes collections #5041-5081 made in British Columbia between August 6 and August 9, 1950. Trip itineraries for 1949 and 1950 trips to British Columbia can be found at the back of this notebook.
Item 10: Field Journal I, 1930Add to your cart.
Diary from visits to Mount Diablo between August 24, 1930 to May 21, 1931.
Item 11: Field Journal II, 1931-1932Add to your cart.
Diary for visits to Mount Diablo between May 23, 1931 and March 23, 1932
Item 12: Field Journal VAdd to your cart.
Diary from visits to Mount Diablo between June 7, 1933 to May 21, 1931.
Item 13: Field Journal V, 1933-1935Add to your cart.
Diary from visits to Mount Diablo between June 27, 1933 and June 1, 1935.
Item 14: unlabeled Field Journal, 1926-1981Add to your cart.
Field observations made between April 23, 1926 and April 12, 1981.
Item 15: Loose notesAdd to your cart.
Miscellaneous notes.
Item 16: Appointment book, 1982Add to your cart.
Item 17: Appointment book, 1983Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Research files, 1915-2000],
[Series 2: Field notes, 1927-1983],
[Series 3: Student papers, 1925-1937],
[Series 4: Correspondence, 1946-1989],
[Series 5: Biographical materials, 1952-1981],

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