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Collection Number: 05317

Collection Title: Henry Ashby Rankin Papers, 1920-1949

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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 FAQ section for more information.


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Size 3.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2000 items)
Abstract Henry Ashby Rankin was born in Fayetteville, N.C., and spent most of his life as the owner of a sawmill and plywood business in Cumberland County, N.C. After retirement, he ran a nursery that specialized in native plants of North Carolina. He was an avid amateur botanist and corresponded regularly with members of the botanical community, with whom he exchanged specimens. Two of his botanical achievements were the discovery of a new species of Gelsemium and the re-discovery of a plant first collected and described by the French botanist Andre Michaux and then lost for 125 years. He was a long-time member of the Gray Memorial Botanical Association. He died in 1947. The collection contains correspondence, Rankin's writings and notes on plants, papers pertaining to Rankin's plant nursery, printed materials pertaining to flora, clippings of garden columns and other articles, and copies of the Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1933-1944. Correspondence is chiefly between Rankin and fellow botanists such as W. C. Coker, John K. Small, and William Lanier Hunt; his children; nursery owners with whom he did business; and others.
Creator Rankin, Henry Ashby, 1872-1947.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 Henry Ashby Rankin Papers #5317, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Dorothy Rankin and Douglass Rankin, October 2006 (Acc. 100604).
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Henry Ashby Rankin was born on 15 June 1872 in Fayetteville, N.C., to Samuel Rankin and Mattie Thomas. He spent most of his life as the owner of a sawmill and plywood business Cumberland County, N.C. After retirement, he ran a nursery that specialized in native plants of North Carolina. He was an avid amateur botanist and corresponded regularly with members of the botanical community, with whom he exchanged specimens. Two of his major achievements as a botanist were the discovery of a new species of Gelsemium, Gelsemium rankinii, and the re-discovery of a plant first collected and described by the French botanist Andre Michaux, and then lost for 125 years, the Carolina Grass-of Parnassus, or Parnassia caroliniana. Rankin was a long-time member of the Gray Memorial Botanical Association, at one point serving as president and at another as editor of the Association's bulletin. He died on 21 June 1947.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains Cumberland County, N.C., businessman and botanist Henry Ashby Rankin's correspondence; writings and notes on plants; papers pertaining to his plant nursery; printed materials pertaining to flora; clippings of garden columns and other articles; and copies of the bulleting of the Gray Memorial Botanical Association, 1933-1944. Correspondence is chiefly between Rankin and fellow botanists such as W. C. Coker, John K. Small, and William Lanier Hunt; his children; nursery owners with whom he did business; and others.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1920s-1940s.

About 2000 items.

Arrangement: by type of material.

The original arrangement of the correspondence files, along with original file labels, has been maintained.

Folder 1-4

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Correspondence, 1920s #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 1-4

Folder 5-11

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Correspondence: Botanical, late 1920s-early 1940s #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 5-11

Folder 12-20

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Correspondence: Botanical, mineral, and personal, 1940s #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 12-20

Folder 21-24

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Correspondence: Nursery and personal, 1940s #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 21-24

Folder 25-27

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Writings and notes on plants #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 25-27

Folder 28

Plant nursery papers #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 28

Folder 29

Printed materials #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 29

Folder 30-31

Folder 30

Folder 31

Clippings #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 30-31

Folder 32

Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter Bulletin articles #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 32

Folder 33

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1933 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 33

Folder 34-35

Folder 34

Folder 35

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1934 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 34-35

Folder 36

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1935 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 36

Folder 37

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1935-1936 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 37

Folder 38

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1936 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 38

Folder 39

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1936-1937 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 39

Folder 40

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1937 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 40

Folder 41

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1938 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 41

Folder 42

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1938-1939 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 42

Folder 43

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1939-1940 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 43

Folder 44

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1941-1942 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 44

Folder 45

Gray Memorial Botanical Association Bulletin, 1942-1944 #05317, Series: "Papers, 1920s-1940s." Folder 45

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Processing Information

Processed by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007

Encoded by: Margaret Dickson, July 2007

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