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Papers of Frederick Orpen Bower

Collection Summary

Reference Code

GB 0248 DC 002



Extent and medium of the unit of description

1.6 metres

(1 volume and 9 boxes)

Existence and Location of Originals

This material is original.

Name of creator

Bower | Frederick Orpen | 1855-1948 | regius professor of botany, University of Glasgow

Biographical History

Biographical History

Frederick Orpen Bower (1855-1948), researched and published widely on the Pteridophyta, particularly ferns and was one of the principal exponents of the "interpolation theory" of alternation in their life-cycle.

After graduating with a first class degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, Bower attended the Universities of Würzburg, Germany, and Strasbourg, France. He returned to take up the position of lecturer in botany at the University College, London, where he made anatomical studies of plants. He was then appointed Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow in 1885. He actively enjoyed teaching and under his 40 year direction, the school gained a world-wide reputation for morphological botany. He nurtured an active interest in the new field of palaeobotany highlighting the relationship between modern and fossil plants. He continued to publish after his retirement and his major publications include: The Origin of a Land Flora, (1908) , The Ferns, (1923-1928)and Primitive Land Plants, (1935). He acted as Dean of Faculties for the University from 1929-1940.

Bower was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1891 and awarded the Linnean Medal in 1909, the Royal Medal in 1910, and the Darwin Medal in 1938. He was President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1919-1924 and the British Association in 1930. He was awarded the ScD by the University of Cambridge, the DSc by Dublin and Sydney and the LLD by the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. His University of Glasgow LLD was awarded in 1925 for his work as professor of botany.

Scope and Content

Scope and Content

The papers of Frederick Orpen Bower consist of:

  • correspondence between Bower and colleagues worldwide
  • material on the administration of Glasgow University Botany Department
  • correspondence (1885-1948)
  • press cuttings (1919-1941)
  • obituaries (1948)
  • teaching records (1882-1932)
  • testimonials (1883-1885)




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Components of this collection