Paul Silva papers, 1932-2014
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Brief Description: The Silva papers houses the personal papers of Paul C. Silva. This collection, which dates from 1932-2014, consists of correspondence, writings, subject files, professional papers, field notes, diaries, and a small amount of photographs and biographical material.  The collection documents the professional and personal life of Paul C. Silva, noted phycologist at the University of California, Berkeley. The collection highlights Silva’s expertise in phycology and nomenclature, his research on the genus Codium, his work to develop an international phycological community, and his creation of the Index Nominum Algarum.
Held at:
University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley ,  University and Jepson Herbaria
1001 Valley Life Sciences
Berkeley, CA 94720 2465
Email: akasameyer [at]
Created by: Silva, Paul C. (1922-2014)
Volume: 50.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: 01/01/2017.

Collection is arranged into eight series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1939-2013

Series 2: Writings, 1950-2013

Series 3: Subject files, 1932-2012

Series 4: Professional papers, 1950-2008

Series 5: Societies, 1952-2005

Series 6: Travel and conferences, 1953-2009

Series 7: Notes and diaries, 1981-2004

Series 8: Personal papers, 1932-2011

Biographical Note for Silva, Paul C. (1922-2014) :

Paul Claude Silva, world renowned marine biologist, was born on October 31, 1922 in San Diego, California. Silva was an expert on the seaweed genus Codium and the creator of the Index Nominum Algarum. He grew up in San Diego and became interested in botany and natural history at a young age.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South California in 1946. He served in the U. S. Navy on the U.S.S. Darby during World War II. After the war he received his M.S. from Stanford University in 1948; he studied the seaweeds of the California Big Sur coast with Gilbert Morgan Smith. He then received his Ph.D. in Botany from UC Berkeley in 1951, where he studied the genus Codium with George F. Papenfuss. At Berkeley, he met his life partner, Lawrence Heckard, a fellow student in the Botany Department. Silva taught at the University of Illinois until 1960 when he returned to UC Berkeley as a research botanist and curator of Algae at the University Herbarium.  At Berkeley he developed a research program dedicated to phycology and botanical nomenclature. He participated in expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, the Gulf of California, and the California Channel Islands and collaborated with phycologists around the world.

He was a founding member of the International Phycological Society and served as the editor of Phycologia from its inception until 1968. He was the author of more than 90 research papers.  He developed the Index Nominum Algarum, the only comprehensive index of scientific names of algae, both living and fossil, at all ranks.

He passed away in Berkeley, California, on June 12, 2014. Prior to his death he left a generous bequest to fund the Silva Center for Phycological Documentation at the University Herbarium, UC Berkeley. The center continues his life’s work on the systematics of algae.

Access Restrictions: Researchers must request access to this collection from Richard Moe at the University and Jepson Herbaria. Please contact the Herbaria at least two weeks in advance of your visit to arrange an appointment.
Subject Index
International Phycological Society
Marine algae
Silva, Paul C., 1922-2014
University of California, Berkeley. - Herbarium.
Genres/Forms of Material
Field notes
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Material may be protected by copyright.