Liriodendron tulipifera flower

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


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick
Curator of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU)
Special thanks to Carla Valetich,
Library Experience Assistant, Serials
Acquisitions & Collections of the Chapel Hill Public Library

Cornelia Spencer Love
(5 May 1892- 12 December 1981)

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) curates about twenty fungal specimens collected by Cornelia Spencer Love.  Most were collected near Meeting of the Waters Creek in Chapel Hill ca. 1920, and it appears that the identification of the fungi was done by Dr. William Chambers Coker or by Ms. Alma Holland Beers.


Cornelia Spencer Love, the daughter James Lee Love (1860-1950) and Julia Spencer Love (1859-1920), was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 5 May 1892. 

Her father, James Lee Love (1860-1950), was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University.  He was a mathematician and taught at UNC-CH from 1885 to 1889, then was on the faculty of Harvard University from ca. 1889 to 1911. He returned to North Carolina to join the family textile business.

Her mother, Julia “June” James Spencer Love (1859-1920), came from a family long associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  June’s mother, Cornelia Phillips Spencer (1825-1908), is famous for ringing the campus bell celebrating the re-opening of the University after the American Civil War.

Cornelia Spencer Love was educated at Peabody Grammar School and Cambridge Latin School, then earned her B. S. degree at Radcliffe College in 1914.  From 1915-1917 she studied library science at the New York State Library School, which was founded by John Dewey, famous for the Dewey Decimal Classification System.1  Louis Round Wilson, University Librarian at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, asked the NY State Library Schools for recommendations for filling library cataloging positions at Carolina.  Love said in a 1976 interview, “… the head of my school knew that I had southern affiliations and so he offered it to me.  And my mother thought that it was wonderful for me to go back to Chapel Hill, otherwise, she wouldn’t have wanted me to go so far off.  So, I came down [to Chapel Hill] in the fall of 1917… I had two or three other [job] offers.  I might have gone to the Hispanic Society in New York City, which sounded very interesting, because I had had two years of Spanish.  They offered me a job.”2 

Julia “June” James Spencer Love
and daughter Cornelia Spencer Love, 1899

Cornelia Spencer Love moved to Chapel Hill in 1917, and for one year lodged with Miss Mary Manning, then lodged with “Doc” and Orah Klutzz . “I went [to Carolina] as a cataloger and before too long, [Louis Round Wilson] asked me, but he really told me, to take the order department.  When I went there, there were very few on the staff.  Miss Strudwick and Alma Stone were in charge of periodicals and student assistants, boys, that was it.  [Wilson] was enlarging the staff and so, he gave me the order department and got more catalogers.”2

From 1917 to 1948, Cornelia Spencer Love was a librarian in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.  In 1976 she wrote When Chapel Hill was a Village.  Her papers are curated by The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ms. Love was a dedicated supporter of the Chapel Hill Public Library.  A plaque in the library’s entry way has her photo and states, “Miss Love was a dedicated librarian and member of the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees from its inception in 1958 until 1970.  During that time, she served as Board Secretary.  Her greatest love was Chapel Hill and its libraries.  Her generous spirit lives on today through the support provided by the Love Trust that she created.”  In 1981 a gift of stocks from the Cornelia Spencer Love Trust was given to the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation. “Through good stewardship and fiscal management, the Trust has grown from an initial balance of $300,000 to over $1.2 million today.  The Love Trust provides annual operating support to the Library… In 2015, the Foundation approved a disbursement of $200,000 to contribute to the purchase of an Automated Materials Handler, a major technology investment for the Library and the Town of Chapel Hill that, like the Love Trust, will have a lasting impact.”6 The Cornelia Spencer Love Trust is listed as one of the Library Visionaries.5

Label of fungal specimen collected by Cornelia Spencer Love,
Dacryomitra glossoides identified by Dr. William Chambers Coker.
Specimen curated by NCU.

Cornelia Spencer Love never married.  Her brother, J. Spencer Love, named one of his daughters, Cornelia Spencer “Spencie” Love, after her.  Spencie Love was a journalist, historian, writer, and the Asst. Director of the Southern Oral History Program from 1998-2000.4 

Cornelia Spencer Love died in 1981 and is buried in the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery.


Cornelia Spencer Love’s family home, built in 1887 by her parents, is now the home of the Center for the Study of the American South. 

The Love House & Hutchins Forum at 401 East Franklin Street

1.  Tullos, Allen. (1989) Habits of Industry:  White Culture and the Transformation of the Carolina Piedmont.  Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press.
2.  Oral History
3.  Cornelia Spencer Love.  Find A Grave.  Memorial # 81550382. accessed on 20 March 2018.
4. accessed on 20 March 2018.
5.  Carla Valetich, pers. comm.  Chapel Hill Public Library.  Email to McCormick 20 March 2018.
6. accessed on 20 March 2018.



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


Last Updated: 20 March 2018