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Rachel L. Lowe Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0778

Scope and Contents of the Records

This small collection consists almost entirely of correspondence written to Rachel Lowe, 1917-1959, from various collectors and experts in the study and identification of mosses. The letters are arranged in chronological order although there is some evidence from the collection that Mrs. Lowe may have kept at least part of her correspondence together by correspondent. Envelopes have been kept in most cases because Mrs. Lowe often made notes on them.

Most letters concern identification of specimens collected by Mrs. Lowe. Frequent correspondents were associated with the University of Pennsylvania Botanical Laboratory, the New York Botanical Garden, DePaux University, the University of Washington, the Osborn Botanical Laboratory at Yale, Duke University Department of Botany, and the University of Michigan Department of Botany.


  • Creation: 1917-1959
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1951-1959


Restrictions on Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the Library.

Biographical Note

The collection contains the correspondence of Rachel L. Lowe, a botanist and specialist in the study and identification of mosses.

Rachel Lowe was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1883. She attended Michigan State University, returning to Worcester after three years to care for her father and family. She married Frank Lowe in 1911; they lived briefly in Oklahoma and then moved to Portland, Maine in the 1920's. She lived in Washington, D.C. from 1938 until 1942, then settled in Harrison, Maine. Specializing in mosses and hepatics, she traveled widely and collected many plants on her trips. Her writings have appeared in the Bryologist, the Bulletin of the Josselyn Botanical Society, and the Maine Naturalist. She spent a considerable amount of time identifying and arranging the collection of mosses in the Portland Society of Natural History and contributed an article entitled, "A list of Maine mosses in the herbarium," to the Bulletin of the Josselyn Botanical Society in 1939. In the preface to that article she indicated that the aim of the Portland society was to collect every species of moss from every locality.

She was recognized in 1966 as a distinguished member of the Josselyn Botanical Society for her "scholarly attainments in the field of botany, her devotion to the society and her constant encouragement and helpfulness to others interested in this branch of science." Her collection of moss specimens is represented in the University of Maine Herbarium in Orono.


0.5 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This small collection consists almost entirely of correspondence written to Rachel Lowe, 1917-1959, from various collectors and experts in the study and identification of mosses.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Lowe papers were given to the Special Collections Department, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine by Lois LaBeau in 2001.

Guide to the Rachel L. Lowe Papers
Box And Folder List Available
October 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States