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Collection Number: 03843

Collection Title: H. R. Totten Papers, 1912-1973

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 section for more information.


This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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Size 8.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 5,000 items)
Abstract H. R. (Henry Roland) Totten was a professor of botany at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1913-1963; realtor; and Army Reserve officer who served in France during World War I and at Camp Blanding, Fla., during World War II. The papers include correspondence, orders, completed forms, memoranda, announcements and circulars for Totten's World War I, World War II, and army reserve service, along with information about the University military science curriculum and the Carolina Volunteer Training Program. During his long association with botanist William Chambers Coker, Totten became interested in the development of Coker's Chapel Hill, N.C., property. He eventually took over management of the sale of this land and joined the Chapel Hill Board of Realtors. There are detailed accounts of real estate transactions, correspondence concerning all phases of the development of the property, and surveys, land plots, and maps. Totten's University of North Carolina papers include correspondence, reports, mimeographed notices, memoranda, minutes, diagrams and plans, financial records, and publications related to his work in the Botany Department as a teacher, administrator, director of the arboretum and botanical gardens, his association with the Highlands (N.C.) Biological Station, and his co-authorship of Trees of the Southern States, Trees of the Mountains, and Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. Also included are reports on three of Totten's botanical projects, including a drug garden, propagation of mentha citrata, and mushroom culture, and a number of botanical photographs.
Creator Totten, H. R. (Henry Roland), 1892-1974.
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 H. R. Totten Papers, #3843, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens Foundation and the Botany Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1974 and 1975.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A copy of the original finding aid for this collection is filed in folder 1a.
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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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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

H. R. (Henry Roland) Totten (1892-1974) was a professor of botany at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1913-1963; realtor; and Army Reserve officer. Totten was born in Matthews, N.C., to William Theophilus and Jeannette Barham Totten. He was educated at Yadkin Collegiate Institute, where his father was principal, and went on to earn multiple degrees in botany from the University of North Carolina. He taught at the University from 1913 to 1963. His primary interests and responsibilities were in field botany, pharmacology, and dendrology. He was closely associated with Dr. William Chambers Coker and co-authored Trees in North Carolina with him in 1916 and Trees of the Southeastern States in 1934. He was also instrumental in the development of the Botanical Garden and served on the Building and Grounds Committee.

Totten was an active member of the United States Army Reserves and took leave from the University to serve in World Wars I and II. During World War I he served with the American Expeditionary Force in France and was at Camp Blanding, Fla., during World War II.

Totten was also apparently involved in the breeding and showing of pedigreed dogs.

He was married to Adelaide "Addie" Williams of Stedman, N.C., in 1923.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The papers include general and professional correspondence, military papers, and organizational records of H. R. Totten. General correspondence includes letters to and from botanical associates, many of whom were also personal friends, and from amateur botanists and admirers of his work. Among the most frequent correspondents are Dr. and Mrs. William Chambers Coker, Roland Harper, Lionel Melvin, and Thelma Howell. There are a few family items, cirriculum vita, and other related materials filed at the beginning of the papers.

There are correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, announcements, and publications related to the Highlands (N.C.) Biological Station with which Totten was associated throughout his career at the University, and similar but less extensive materials related to other scientific associations, especially the North Carolina Academy of Science, North Carolina Wildflower Preservation Society, and Association of Southeastern Biologists. The papers also include correspondence, plant lists and reports about three of Totten's botanical projects: a drug garden, propogation of mentha citrata, and mushroom culture. There are also a number of botanical photographs.

Papers related to Totten's military involvement include correspondence, orders, completed forms, memoranda, announcements and circulars along with information about the University of North Carolina military science curriculum and the Carolina Volunteer Training Program.

There are also papers related to the development of William Chambers Coker's Chapel Hill, N.C., property including detailed accounts of real estate transactions, correspondence concerning all phases of the development, and surveys, land plats, and maps.

Totten's University of North Carolina papers include correspondence, reports, mimeographed notices, memoranda, minutes, diagrams and plans

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated.

Includes correspondence and other papers categorized by H. R. Totten into groupings by correspondent or subject. Also included is general biographical and professional information about H. R. Totten, material related to his education at Yadkin Collegiate Institute and to his time spent in France during World War I.

Folder 1a

Original finding aid #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 1a

Folder 1

Biographical information #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

Professional information #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

Non-botanical speeches and writing #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

Yadkin College #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Correspondence about dogs #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 5

Includes correspondence related to H. R. Totten's involvement with pedigree dog breeding and showing.

Folder 6-11

Correspondence: Lionel Melvin, 1953-1973 #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 6-11

Folder 12

Correspondence: Roland Harper #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

Correspondence: T.A. Harbison #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

Correspondence: Miscellaneous, undated #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

Retirement correspondence #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 15

See also Folder 199: Volume 16.

Folder 16-19

French correspondence, 1917-1938 #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 16-19

Folder 20

French miscellany #03843, Series: "1. Special Categories, 1912-1973 and undated." Folder 20

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. General Correspondence, 1912-1973 and undated

General correspondence includes letters to and from botanical associates, many of whom were personal friends of the Tottens, and from amateur botanists and admirers on botanical topics.

Folder 21-61

General correspondence, 1912-1973 #03843, Series: "2. General Correspondence, 1912-1973 and undated" Folder 21-61

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Photographs

Includes photographs of people, buildings, plants and nature, plants with people, official occasions, and French scenes and postcards. Also included are labeled slides and negatives.

Folder 62-67

Image Box IB-3843/1 Oversize Image Folder OP-PF-3843/1b

Photographs #03843, Series: "3. Photographs" Folder 62-67, Imagebox IB-3843/1

Folder 68

Labeled slides #03843, Series: "3. Photographs" Folder 68

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Scientific Associations and Research

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Army Papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Real Estate

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. University of North Carolina Papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Volumes

Folder 184

Volume 1: Army class notes, 1918 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 184

Folder 185

Volume 2: Army class notes, 1918 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 185

Folder 186

Volume 3: Army class notes, 1918 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 186

Folder 187

Volume 4: Army class notes, 1918 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 187

Folder 188

Volume 5: Army class notes, 1918(?) #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 188

Folder 189

Volume 6: Address book, 1919 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 189

Contains miscellaneous military notes, including a record of Totten's military assignments, also enclosures.

Folder 190

Volume 7: Pharmacy student's notebook, 1919 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 190

Folder 191

Volume 8: Army class notes, 1924 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 191

Class notes for Army short courses in recruiting, mobilization, army botany, map reading and other subjects.

Folder 192

Volume 9: Hilldale Mushroom Farm records, 1927-1928 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 192

Folder 193

Volume 10: Army class notes, 1929 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 193

Folder 194

Volume 11: Military notes, circa 1942-1943 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 194

Primarily records of men tried for Absent Without Leave (AWOL) offenses.

Folder 195

Volume 12: Military notes, circa 1942-1943 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 195

Includes lists of men in various military police units.

Folder 196

#03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 196

See Adelaide Totten Papers, #4122, for Volume 13.

Folder 197

Volume 14: Scrapbook with enclosures, 1913-1945 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 197

Chiefly clippings, invitations, programs, and other ephemera, 1943-1945, related to Totten's service, first as post adjutant later as Director fo Individual Services, at Camp Blanding, Fla. Also includes letters of congratulation to Totten on his promotion to major in 1943 and other incoming correspondence. Also clippings, correspondence, and ephemera related to Totten's work with the Carolina Volunteer Training Corps, 1941-1942, and slight, scattered miscellaneous personal clippings, 1913-1943, mostly related to dogs.

Folder 198

Volume 15: Orange [County] Rent Advisory Board records, 1947-1951 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 198

Includes minutes, correspondence, and government bulletins of the Orange [County] Rent Advisory Board of which Totten was chairman.

Folder 199

Volume 16: Letterbook, 1963 #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 199

Bound volume of letters, 1963, written to and about Totten by his students, friends and professional colleagues on the occasion of his retirement after 50 years of service at the University of North Carolina.

Folder 200

Volume 17: Military notes, undated #03843, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 200

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, September 2009

This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.

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