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Albert Francis Blakeslee Papers, 1913-1950
3 boxes (1.3 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 42

Abstract:
Professor of Botany and Director of the Smith College Genetics Experiment Station. Contains publications and manuscripts of seminars and talks.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
  • Smith College William Allen Neilson Chair of Research, 1942-43
  • Visiting Professor of Botany and Director of the Smith College Genetics Experiment Station, 1943-54

Albert Francis Blakeslee was born on November 9, 1874, in Geneseo, New York, to Augusta Miranda Hubbard Blakeslee and Francis Durbin Blakeslee, a Methodist minister. Blakeslee attended East Greenwich Academy, and received a BA cum laude from Wesleyan University in 1896. At Wesleyan he received a variety of prizes in academics (mathematics and chemistry), as well as athletics (tennis). He played football, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating, he taught for two years at Montpelier Seminary in Vermont, and at East Greenwich Academy. He received an MA and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1900 and 1904, and the Bowdoin Prize for his discovery of sexual fusion in fungi. In 1907 Blakeslee became a professor of botany at Connecticut Agricultural College (now the University of Connecticut) where he began his famous work on Datura (Jimson Weed) and published his book, Trees in Winter in 1913. In 1914-15, he taught the first organized course in genetics in the United States.

In 1915, Blakeslee was appointed to the staff of the Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution, in Cold Spring Harbor, NY as a resident investigator in genetics. On June 26, 1919 Blakeslee married Margaret Dickson Bridges, Smith College Class of 1906. In 1924 the Carnegie Institution sent him as its delegate to the Pan-American Scientific Congress in Peru. In 1929 he became a member of National Academy of Sciences, and from 1931-33 he was member of the Division of Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council. He served as the director of the Carnegie Station from 1936-41. In 1942 he accepted the position of William Allen Neilson Research Professor of botany at Smith College. The following year he was appointed visiting professor there and became director of the Smith College Genetics Experiment Station, where he conducted his research on Datura, and won prizes from the New York Academy of Sciences, the Palaise de la Decouverte in Paris, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In 1948-49 he became a lecturer at Harvard, and a member of the Visiting Committee for Biology and the Bussey Institution in 1952.

Blakeslee died in Northampton, MA on November 16, 1954, at the age of 80.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Albert Francis Blakeslee Papers contain biographical material on Blakeslee and his career both before and at Smith College; correspondence with fellow botanists; manuscripts notes of various publications; and family photographs, professional photographs, and conference participant photographs. The publications span his career and consist of numerous articles and short publications written by Blakeslee from 1913 through 1953 on an assortment of scientific topics with a focus on botany, as well as manuscripts of seminars and talks given by him. His talks include information and manuscripts from talks given by Blakeslee at the Botanical Society of America and a talk given to Smith College faculty on his trip to India. There is also information on his presidency with the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and his presidency of the Smith College Board of Trustees of Biological Abstracts.

Materials relating to the operation of the Smith College Genetics Experiment Station are found in the records of the Office of the President.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Albert Francis Blakeslee Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The Albert Francis Blakeslee Papers were donated over a period of time to the Smith College Archives from a variety of sources.

Processing Information

Processed by Gayla B. Spaulding.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives

Language
English.