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William A. Weber papers

Identifier: COU:1676

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of book manuscripts, drafts of book manuscripts, research files for future book projects, botanical drawings, and an extensive research file collection spanning multiple areas of interest.


  • 1946 - 2016

Biographical / Historical

William A. Weber is Professor Emeritus in Botany and was the University of Colorado Boulder Museum of Natural History Herbarium Curator from 1946 until his retirement in 1990. He is perhaps best known for authoring the definitive field guide to Colorado's flora, and for the foundation of the University's Herbarium, which he considers to be his greatest contribution. Weber spent decades of work scouring Colorado and international locations to find new flowering plants, mosses, and lichens. There are approximately 30 species of lichen that are named after Weber. In 2018, Weber turned 100 years old, and received three lifetime achievment awards in botany. They include the Achairus Medal for Oustanding Contributions to Lichenology from the International Association for Lichenology, which is the highest honor a scientist can recieve in this field. In addition, he is the first-ever recipient of Chicita Culberson Award for Lifetime Achievement in Lichenology and the Elizabeth Britton Awared for Lifetime Achievement in Bryology from the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. The latter award is named after the same famed botanist Elizabeth Britton, who kicked out a much younger Weber from a New York public garden for attempting to steal a leaf from a skunk cabbage for show-and-tell at his school.

His books "Colorado Flora: Eastern" and "Western Slope" respectively have been in continuous pulication with expanded editions since 1953. The Univeristy of Colorado Museum of Natural History Herbarium is the official floral state repository, with over half a million cataloged specimens. Weber's legacy continues in the countless students and peers whose understanding of science and nature has been cultivated in his work in the field and lab.


10 linear feet (8 record boxes)

Language of Materials



The William A. Weber papers include a range of materials including mansucripts and drafts of his published books, research subject files for future projects, biographies and obituaries of his scholarly contemporaries, professional and personal correspondence, and botanical drawings.

In Progress
Kalyani Fernando, February 2020
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States