Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium

Elam T. Bartholomew
(9 June 1852 – 18 November 1934)

Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick
and Lin Fredericksen, State Archives Division, Kansas Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas


The University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU) has catalogued about 80 specimens collected by Elam Bartholomew.  As we continue to catalog our micro-fungi, it is likely that more will be found.  NCU’s mycological collections are being catalogued using funds supplied by the National Science Foundation.  A searchable database of NCU’s mycological specimens can be found at

Other herbaria that curate Bartholomew’s specimens include the Ada Hayden Herbarium of Iowa State University (ISC), the Arthur Fungarium of Purdue University (PUR), the Bell Museum of Natural History Herbarium Fungal Collection at the University of Minnesota (MIN), Brown University Herbarium (BRU), the Center for Forest Mycology Research of the United States Department of Agriculture (CFMR), the Chrysler Herbarium of Rutgers University (CHRB), Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium (CUP), the Farlow Herbarium of Harvard University (FH), Field Museum (F), New York Botanical Garden (NY), Oregon State University Herbarium (OSC), the United States National Fungal Collection (BPI).

Elam Bartholomew spent the last years of his life as a curator at the Fort Hays Kansas State College, and the herbarium is named in his honor and continues to curate many of his specimens.  The Elam Bartholomew Herbarium of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas (FHKSC) was founded in 1929 and has vascular plants of the Great Plains, rust fungi, and Tertiary fossil Poaceae.

Selected publications by Bartholomew:
Bartholomew, Elam (1897-1898)  The Kansas Uredineae.  Transactions of the Annual Meetings of the Kansas Academy of Science 16:  168-196.
-----  (1899)  The Plant Rusts of Kansas [incomplete reference]
-----  (1901-1907)  Fungi Columbiana [incomplete reference]
----- (1921)  Edible mushrooms of Kansas.  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 30:  174-179.
-----  (1927?)  Handbook of the North American Uredinales [incomplete reference]
----- (1927)  The Fungus Flora of Kansas [Ph.D. thesis?]
----- (1928)  North American Plant Rusts [republished 1933?]
----- (1930)  Additions to “The Fungous of Kansas.”  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 33:  82-83.
----- (1933)  Second List of Additions to the Fungous Flora of Kansas.  Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 36:  71.

Elam Bartholomew’s diaries have been digitized by Kansas Memory.

The following information is from the Kansas Historical Society’s webpage on Elam Bartholomew:


Elam Bartholomew

Born: June 9, 1852, Strasburgh, Pennsylvania. Married: Rachel Isabel Montgomery, June 14, 1876.

Died: November 18, 1934, Hays, Kansas.

Elam Bartholomew

Elam Bartholomew was born June 9, 1852, in Strasburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1854 the family moved to Granville, Ohio, and in 1865 to Farmington, Illinois. Bartholomew was interested in natural sciences and in 1873 began teaching school in a nearby district. In 1874 he moved to Kansas, homesteading on 160 acres in Boy Creek Valley, Rooks County. In Farmington, Illinois, Bartholomew married Rachel Isabel Montgomery, June 14, 1876, returned to the Rooks County homestead where they lived in a sod house. They remained on the homestead until 1929, raising seven children. He was a school and town officer, was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and was a clerk of the district court of the county. 

Bartholomew became a well-known horticulturalist and botanist who understood the significance of fungi as the cause of plant diseases. Although Bartholomew had no formal college education, Kansas State University conferred an honorary degree of master of science in 1898, and a doctoral of science degree in 1927. That year he published The Fungus Flora of Kansas, listing 1,829 species in Kansas, only 465 had previously been identified. He published North American Plant Rusts in 1928, considered his most important work, which was republished in 1933. His diary, from 1877 to 1880, reflects his active participation in Republican Party politics, local government, his church, farm organizations, and experimental farming. He served as curator of the mycological museum at Fort Hays Kansas State College.

Bartholomew died November 18, 1934, and is buried in Hays, Kansas. After his death, his original herbarium of about 40,000 specimens was acquired by Harvard University.Bartholomew house

Entry: Bartholomew, Elam

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2014

Date Modified: July 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.


 Specimen label for Puccinia kansensis Ell. & Barth., collected by Elam Bartholomew.  He and J. B. Ellis described this new species in Erythea 4:  1 (1896). 


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University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931


Last Updated: 16 March 2016