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Bernt Olaf Wolden Papers

Identifier: MsC0407

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Scope and Contents

The papers of B. O. Wolden consist primarily of correspondence that spans some sixty years. Wolden corresponded with some of the nation's most respected botanists including Henry S. Conard and R. I. Cratty. The remainder of the collection is comprised of Wolden's notebooks, in which he recorded such things as weather, appearances of birds, observations of flora, etc. He also kept notes about the history of Wallingford, Iowa.


  • Creation: 1902-1969


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Bernt Olaf Wolden (1886 -- 1968) of Estherville, Iowa, was a rural mail carrier for thirty-five years. However, he was also a writer, naturalist, and historian. He was an ornithologist and a charter member of the Iowa Bird Union. Wolden published many articles on plant studies, concentrating on the botany of Emmet County, Iowa. The Iowa Academy of Science honored his achievements at its 100th anniversary meeting in 1975.


0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Naturalist. Correspondence and notebooks of nature observations.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ronald J. Bonnstetter in 1982.

Related Materials

B.O. Wolden's collection of vascular plants appears (see letter 18 in the 1940 -- 1969 file) to have been deposited in the Herbarium, Botany Department, Iowa; and

B.O. Wolden's collection of bryophyte (and lichen) specimens has been donated to the University of Iowa Botany Department. One packet of moss specimens was transferred to University of Iowa Botany Department for inclusion, at the discretion of the Department, in the B.O. Wolden collection of bryophytes.

I. From the Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science:

B.O. Wolden was first elected to membership (Associate) in 1909. His name did not appear in the membership roster in the years 1910 -- 1913 but reappeared in 1914. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1917 and remained a member for the remainder of his life.

I have searched the author indexes (or equivalent) for all the years from 1909 to 1968 and believe that the following list of papers represents the total of Wolden's contributions to the Proceedings:

Wolden, B.O. 1916. "The White Admiral or banded purple butterfly in Iowa." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 23:269

Wolden, B.O. 1919. "The moss and lichen flora of western Emmet County (an annotated list of the bryophytes and lichens of the High Lake and Des Moines River region)." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 26:259 -- 267

Wolden, B.O. 1932. "The plants of Emmet County, Iowa." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 39:89 -- 132

Wolden, B.O. 1935. "Additions to the lichen flora of Emmet County." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 42:71

Wolden, B.O. 1956. "The flora of Emmet County, Iowa." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 63: 118 -- 156

II. Lawrence J. Eilers ("History of studies on Iowa vascular plants." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 82:59 -- 64, 1975) has listed the following two publications authored by Wolden:

Wolden, B.0. 1911. "Asters." American Botanist, 17:100 --102

Wolden, B.O. 1926. "A bog flora, of northern Iowa." American Botanist, 32:6 --10

III. B.O. Wolden was co-author of the following paper:

Conard, H., and Wolden, B.O. 1932. "A key to the mosses of the Okoboji Region." University of Iowa Studies. Studies in Natural History, Vol. XIV, No. 7

While searching for other materials I found that H.S. Conard had submitted one final manuscript by Wolden to the Iowa Academy of Science. This was published in 1971. We have the notebooks on which this study was based, I believe.

Wolden, B.O. 1971. "Flora of Island Grove and adjacent Iowa prairies before 1908." Iowa Academy of Science Proceedings, 78:2 -- 8

Finding Aid compiled by Jeffrey Dodd, February 2, 1982




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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
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