Townshend Stith and Katharine Layne Brandegee papers, 1871-1926
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Brief Description: The Townshend Stith and Katharine Layne Brandegee Papers document the professional lives of the Brandegees, noted California botanists associated with the California Academy of Sciences and the University of California at Berkeley. From 1894 to 1906 the Brandegees lived in San Diego, where they developed an extensive herbarium and library, donated to the University Herbarium after they moved back to Berkeley in 1906.  While in San Diego Townshend, accompanied occasionally by Katharine, made frequent trips to Baja California and became an expert on the flora of the Cape region. The Brandegee papers consists of correspondence, research notes, manuscripts, printed material, photographs, and personal papers. Noted correspondents include Alice Eastwood and Edward Lee Greene. Photographs include portraits of the Brandegees, their house and herbarium in San Diego, and photographs from their explorations in Baja California.
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: Brandegee, Katharine Layne (1844-1920), Brandegee, Townshend Stith (1843-1925)
Volume: 5.35 Linear Feet
Acquired: 05/13/2009.
Arrangement: This collection is arranged in five series: Series 1: Correspondence; Series 2: Notes; Series 3: Printed material; Series 4: Photographs; Series 5: Personal papers.
Biographical Note for Brandegee, Katharine Layne (1844-1920) :

Katharine Brandegee, physician, herbarium curator at the California Academy of Sciences, and noted Californian botanist, was born Mary Katharine Layne on October 28, 1844 in western Tennessee to Marshall Bolling Layne and Mary (Morris) Layne. Her family lived in Missouri and Utah before moving to a farm near Folsom, California in 1853. In 1866 she married Hugh Curran, who passed away in 1874. After her first husband's death she attended medical school in San Francisco at the University of California, receiving her M. D. in 1878. In school she studied botany under Dr. Hans Hermann Behr and worked with Albert Kellogg, curator of the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences.  She began collecting plants in 1882, often traveling by rail, and collected extensively in California, and also in Nevada and Baja California. After Kellogg's retirement in 1883, she was hired as the curator, and she continued to botanize throughout the state. While there she instigated the publication of the Bulletin of the California Academy of Sciences and founded the biological journal Zoe.

She married Townshend Stith (T.S.) Brandegee, a fellow botanist and surveyor who had recently received an inheritance, in San Diego on May 29, 1889 and for their honeymoon they walked back to San Francisco, collecting plants along the way. She became friends with Alice Eastwood of Denver in 1891, and took a reduction in pay so that Eastwood could be hired as co-curator of the Herbarium in 1892. Eastwood took over her position when Brandegee resigned in 1894 so that she and Townshend could move to San Diego and devote their time to botanical study.

In San Diego the Brandegee's developed a extensive herbarium, botanical library and garden. When they moved to Berkeley in 1906, they donated their herbarium and lbrary to the University of California and both volunteered in the University Herbarium. Katharine Brandegee died in Berkeley on April 3, 1920.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Botany - Mexico - Baja California (Peninsula)
Eastwood, Alice, 1859-1953
Greene, Edward Lee, 1843-1915
Women botanists
Genres/Forms of Material
Botanists - California - Archives
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/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.
PreferredCitation: Townshend Stith and Katharine Layne Brandegee papers, University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley.