The Poland Collection

The Poland Collection
Deerfield Area Collections

ROBERTA G. POLAND (1899-1989)

Robert B. Poland

Roberta Poland taught mathematics and physics at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield MA from 1943 until her retirement 1968. She was an active and dedicated botanist who worked and consulted with other botanists including Harry E. Ahles, Stuart K. Harris, Jerry C. Jenkins, Robert B. Livingston, Frank C. Seymour, Henry Svenson, and Peter F. Zika. She collected extensively, often in conjunction with field trips of regional botanical societies such as the Vermont Bird and Botanical Clubs, and the Josselyn Botanical Society. However, much of her botanical activity was focused on the flora of Deerfield which, accompanied by many friends, she studied, collected, and catalogued for over 40 years. Because she collected in the same area over such a long period of time, she was able to document both stability and changes in the flora. She noted that "Many plants that were here in the 50's have been wiped out by buildings, roads and other improvements.''

This catalogue is based on the specimens from the Deerfield area that were in her house at the time of her death. It includes specimens collected every year from 1944 to 1988; specimens that were to be the basis of a checklist for Deerfield. The numbered specimens were mounted and labeled and represented her best examples. However, she kept meticulous notes either in notebooks or on filing cards. These data along with information written on the newspaper sheets containing the specimens were used to generate labels for almost all the other specimens she had collected. This catalogue includes only specimens that were accessioned and retained at MASS. Duplicates from this collection were sent to BRIDW, CONN, NHA, and NEBC as well as some European herbaria. Names generally follow Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist, 1991, "Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada", 2nd edition. Her original names followed Fernald, M. L. 1950, "Gray's Manual of Botany", 8th edition.

The photograph is from the Deerfield Academy Archives.