Rexford Daubenmire Ecological Photographs, 1920s

Overview of the Collection

Daubenmire, Rexford F., 1909-1995.
Rexford Daubenmire Ecological Photographs
1920s (inclusive)
.5 Linear feet of shelf space, (1 box), (60 items)
Collection Number
PC 44 (collection)
Research photographs of botanical and geographic features, taken in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana in the 1920s.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Rexford F. Daubenmire was born 12 December 1909 in Coldwater, Ohio. He graduated from Butler University with a bachelor’s degree in 1930, the University of Colorado with a master’s degree in 1932, and received a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1935 in botany under William S. Cooper. He subsequently taught at the University of Tennessee for a year then the University of Idaho for a decade before accepting a position with Washington State College (later Washington State University) in 1946. He remained with WSU for 29 years and was professor emeritus of botany after his retirement in 1975. Daubenmire also held short appointments with several other universities and agencies, including at the Organization of Tropical Studies in Costa Rica, the United States Forest Service, and the Sierra Club. Daubenmire was a member of the Pacific Northwest Science Association, the American Society of Range Management, and the Association of Southeastern Biologists. In 1967 he served as president of the Ecological Society of America and received the society’s Eminent Ecologist Award in 1980, among other honors. Upon his retirement in 1975, Daubenmire moved to Florida with his wife, Jean, where he continued to research and publish until his death on 27 August 27 1995.

Daubenmire was widely recognized as one of the leading scholars in the field of plant ecology during his time. In the 1950s, he introduced a classification scheme for forest and grassland vegetation that the United States Forest Service later adopted. The Daubenmire system emphasized habitat, rather than what vegetation currently existed due to fire and human activity, such as ranching and farming, frequently altering native vegetation. Daubenmire also made significant contributions in explaining the relationship between vegetation and environmental conditions for a better understanding of ecological succession, the migration of plant species in North America over time, the range of tree species, and the impact of fire on plant communities.

Daubenmire published over 100 works in the field of plant ecology, including three widely used textbooks: "Plants and Environment: A Textbook of Plant Autecology," first published in 1947 and revised twice, served as standard text in agronomy, botany, and forestry classes and was translated into several languages, including Polish and Spanish; "Plant Communities: A Textbook of Plant Synecology," published in 1968, also became standard reference for ecologists; and finally "Plant Geography: with Special Reference to North America" published in 1978. Known affectionately as “Dauby” by his former students, Daubenmire supervised over 35 doctoral and 18 master's students in the field of botany during his tenure at WSU, many of whom later took positions as professors and ecologists within universities and government organizations around the world. The Department of Botany and the School of Biological Sciences recognize Daubenmire's contribution to the field and to WSU with the Rexford Daubenmire Award in Botany.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of lantern slides, positive glass plate prints, of botanical or geographic features primarily in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Individual slides are titled, but no item-by-item guide exists. Given the dates of the slides they not taken by Mr. Daubenmire himself, but rather collected by him at some point in his career.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions apply.

Preferred Citation

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Materials are retained in their original order.

Processing Note

Items have been sleeved for protection.

Related Materials

MASC holds other Daubenmire materials, including the following collections:

Rexford F. Daubenmire Ecological Images 1931-1992 (PC 122)

Rexford F. Daubenmire Papers, 1936-1970 (Cage 154)

Rexford F. Daubenmire Papers, 1948 (Cage 4485)

Rexford F. Daubenmire Papers (unprocessed), MS 1997-05.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Plant ecology -- Idaho -- Photographs.
  • Plant ecology -- Montana -- Photographs.
  • Plant ecology -- Oregon -- Photographs.
  • Plant ecology -- Washington (State) -- Photographs.

Personal Names

  • Daubenmire, Rexford F., 1909-1995 -- Archives.