Collection Number: 05558

Collection Title: William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 400 items)
Abstract William R. Burk is the former head of the John N. Couch Biology Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His areas of research include the history of the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina. Alma Holland Beers was the first woman research assistant in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina. From 1926 to 1944 she taught courses in general botany, classification and morphology of ferns, and the history of botany. Beers collaborated on two books with Department of Botany Chairman William Chambers Coker: The Boletaceae of North Carolina, 1943; and The Stipitate Hydnums of the Eastern United States, 1951. The collection consists of William R. Burk's research materials on Alma Holland Beers and her role in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina, including biographical materials, journal articles, papers, and presentations by Burk, and correspondence with Beers' nieces concerning her genealogy, scholarship, papers, travel, family, and life in Chapel Hill. There are also materials concerning publications co-authored with Coker, her china pattern design for the Carolina Inn, and her involvement in the Chapel Hill Garden Club. Photographs are copy prints of original images, and include portraits of Beers at various ages, a snapshot of Beers taken in Coker Arboretum, and photographs of the Alma Holland Beers daylily in bloom.
Creator Burk, William R.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials #5558, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from William R. Burk in March 2013 (Acc. 101763).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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William R. Burk is the former head of the John N. Couch Biology Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His areas of research include the history of the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina. Alma Holland Beers was the first woman research assistant in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina. She was born 10 January 1892 in Moore County, N.C. Beers studied botany at the University of North Carolina while working as an undergraduate assistant to Department of Botany Chairman William Chambers Coker, and received the A.B. degree in 1925. Within the Department of Botany, her duties included mounting and classifying plants in the herbarium, general laboratory work, acquisition of botanical books, and collecting mushrooms and plants. From 1926 to 1944 she taught courses in general botany, classification and morphology of ferns, and the history of botany. She served as editorial assistant for the Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society from 1918 to 1946, and as executive editor from 1947 to 1951. Beers collaborated on two books with Coker: The Boletaceae of North Carolina, 1943; and The Stipitate Hydnums of the Eastern United States, 1951. Beers was also an accomplished artist and drew many of the illustrations in Coker's publications. She was an active member in garden clubs in Chapel Hill and other locations in North Carolina. Alma Holland Beers died in Chapel Hill, N.C., 31 October 1974.

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The collection consists of William R. Burk's research materials on Alma Holland Beers and her role in the Department of Botany at the University of North Carolina. Biographical materials include journal articles and papers by Burk, notes, photocopies of newspaper articles regarding Beers' retirement, and photocopies of correspondence from the Department of Botany regarding the Alma Holland Beers Scholarship in Botany. Also included are photocopies of pages from a photograph album belonging to Sara V. Holland, Alma Holland Beers' sister, and photocopies of botanical illustrations by Beers. There are also materials on the china pattern Beers designed for the Carolina Inn and on her involvement in the Chapel Hill Garden Club. Correspondence consists chiefly of letters and emails from Alma Holland Beers' nieces, Margaret Adams, Sara McBride, and Betty Holland to William R. Burk, concerning her genealogy, scholarship, papers, family, and life in Chapel Hill. There are also photocopies of correspondence from Beers to various colleagues and family members, as well as photocopies of her travel journal from 1945 to 1963. Also included are notes, publicity materials, and slide shows from presentations given by William R. Burk on Alma Holland Beers in 2003 and 2008. There are materials concerning publications and reviews of books Beers co-authored with William Chambers Coker, including a copy of The Boletaceae of North Carolina. Photographs are copy prints of original images, and include portraits of Beers at various ages, a snapshot of Beers taken in Coker Arboretum, and photographs of the Alma Holland Beers daylily in bloom.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated.

Folder 1

Biographical and research materials, 2002-2008 and undated #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

China design, circa 1950s and 1999 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence: Margaret Adams, 1985-2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Correspondence: Alma Holland Beers (photocopies), 1941-1974 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Correspondence: Betty Holland, 2006-2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

Correspondence: Sara McBride, 2002-2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 6

Folder 7

Correspondence: Other, 2002-2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 7

Folder 8

Chapel Hill Garden Club, 1939-1961 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

Presentations, 2003, 2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 9

Data Compact Disc DCD-5558/1

"Alma Leonora Holland Beers: The First Woman Botanist at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill," 2003 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." DCD-5558/1

Data Compact Disc DCD-5558/2

Alma Holland Beers presentation, 7 November 2008 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." DCD-5558/2

Folder 10

Publications and reviews, 1930-2005 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 10

Folder 11

Travel journal (photocopy), 1945-1963 #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." Folder 11

Image Folder PF-5558/1

Photographs, undated #05558, Series: "William R. Burk Collection of Alma Holland Beers Materials, 1930-2008 and undated." PF-5558/1

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Processing Information

Processed by: Amanda Loeb, December 2014

Encoded by: Amanda Loeb, January 2015

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