D. Walter Steckbeck Papers
STE

Summary Information

Repository
Barnes Foundation Archives
Title
D. Walter Steckbeck Papers
ID
STE
Date
1899-1953
Extent
3.13 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
This collection consists of lecture notes, writings, plant notes, bloom records, and personal journals written and collected by D. Walter Steckbeck, an associate professor of botany at University of Pennsylvania and instructor at the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation.

Preferred Citation

[Description of item], [date]. Arboretum, Directors’ Files, D. Walter Steckbeck Papers. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania. Reprinted with permission.

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Biographical Note

David Walter Steckbeck (1881–1956) was born in Lebanon, PA to John “Moses” Steckbeck and Harriet Steckbeck. He was a graduate of West Chester State Teachers College, formerly known as The Normal School. In 1911, he received a Master of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Although he was originally interested in attending medical school, in June 1915, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in Botany, also from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation was entitled “Comparative Histology and Irritability of Sensitive Plants.”

In 1911, he began teaching botany at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant instructor and was eventually promoted to associate professor in 1935. Sensitive plants, plant anatomy, and plants poisonous to livestock were considered his specialties. He is credited with teaching more than 5,000 students during his more than 40 years of teaching.

He taught botany-related courses at the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation between 1941 and 1953. He focused on the early foundational botany courses, among them, families of flowering plants, monocotyledons, dicotyledons, and the morphology of flowering plants. Notable contemporary instructors during his twelve years at the Arboretum School were Director Laura Barnes, Dr. Edgar Wherry, Dr. John Milton Fogg, and Dr. William Seifritz. In Martha Serene Lewis’s article “Dr. Walter Steckbeck—An Appreciation,” from Bartonia: Journal of Philadelphia Botanical Club, she states: “He enjoyed his teaching there so very much that he once told the Director, Laura L. Barnes, that he would be happy to teach for free.”

Steckbeck was heavily involved in the Botanical Society of Pennsylvania, serving in nearly every office and presenting lectures such as “Plastids” and “Air Feeding and Respiration in Plants.” He served as a council member, secretary, treasurer, first vice president, honorary vice president, and president from 1912 to 1955. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Botanical Club, the Narberth School Board, and a Mason.

Sources

  1. Lewis, Martha Serene. 1959. “Dr. Walter Steckbeck—An Appreciation.” Bartonia: Journal of Philadelphia Botanical Club 29: 13.
  2. “Dr. Weygandt Resigns Duties at Term’s End.” May 9, 1952. Daily Pennsylvanian.
  3. “Dr. D. Steckbeck, Botanist, Dies.” October 15, 1956. Philadelphia Inquirer, Obituaries.

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Scope and Content

This collection ranges in date from 1911 to 1953 and consists of lecture notes, class handouts, publications, journals, and other materials written and collected by D. Walter Steckbeck.

The Lecture Handouts and Notes series consists of three subseries: Families of Flowering Plants, Morphology of Flowering Plants, and Other Courses. The contents of each series is primarily of the handwritten lecture notes and handouts distributed during the courses taught at the Barnes Foundation between 1941 and 1953.

The Plant Notes series includes handwritten and typed notes as well as lists of plants.

The Writings series includes a copy of Steckbeck’s dissertation, “Comparative Histology and Irritability of Sensitive Plants,” as well as writings from other individuals.

The Bloom Records series include bloom (or flowering) dates for plants, sometimes with locations.

The Journals series consists of personal diaries from 1899 to 1913 chronicling the daily weather, personal matters, and sometimes mentioning current events. It has two botany notebooks from 1909 and 1910. It also contains the items found at the back of these diaries, including clippings, receipts, and notes on loose scraps of paper.

This collection also includes eleven books that have been placed in Special Collections.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Barnes Foundation Archives © 2013

Access Restrictions

Amanda McKnight. Finding Aid written by Amanda McKnight, 2012.

Use Restrictions

The D. Walter Steckbeck Papers are the physical property of the Barnes Foundation Archives. The Foundation holds literary rights only for material created by staff of the Foundation and material given to the Foundation with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Paul Gaudin in April 2009.

Processed by

Amanda McKnight. Finding Aid written by Amanda McKnight, 2012.

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Related Materials

Related Collections

Arboretum, Directors’ Files, John Milton Fogg Papers. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.

Arboretum, Directors’ Files, Laura Leggett Barnes Papers. The Barnes Foundation Archives, Merion, Pennsylvania.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Barnes Foundation. Arboretum
  • University of Pennsylvania. Morris Arboretum
  • University of Pennsylvania

Personal Name(s)

  • Steckbeck, D. Walter

Subject(s)

  • Botany
  • Horticulture

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Lecture Handouts and Notes 1911-1953   1.04 Linear feet

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries I. Families of Flowering Plants n.d., 1940-1955 

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

The Angiosperms n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Apocynaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Arales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Arales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Barnes Class Outline 1948-1949   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

For Families of Flowering Plants.

Begoniaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Begoniaceae with handwritten notes 1940   1.0 Folder(s)

Cactales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Caprifoliaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Caryophyllaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Casuarinaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Casuarinaceae with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Chenopodiaceae   1.0 Folder(s)

Chenopodiales with handwritten notes 1940-1945   1.0 Folder(s)

Cruciferae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes scribbled on the back of one copy.

Curbitaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Cucurbitaceae with handwritten notes n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Cucurbitales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Cucurbitales with handwritten note 1942-1955   1.0 Folder(s)

Dicotyledons n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Dicotyledons n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Early Dicotyledonous Families n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Ebenales with handwritten notes 

Ericales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Ericales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Ericaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Fagales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Gentianales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Gentianales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Geraniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Geraniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Gramineae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Graminales with handwritten notes 1940-1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Gramineae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Gramineae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Hippocrastanaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Juglandiceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leguminosae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leguminosae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leguminosae with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Liliaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Liliaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Liliales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Liliales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Linaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Malvales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Malvales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Monocotyledons n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Monocotyledons n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Monocotyledons with handwritten notes 1953   1.0 Folder(s)

Monocotyledonous Families n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Myrtales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Orchidales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Orchidales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Papaverales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Papverales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Parietals 

Parietals with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Polemoniales with handwritten notes 1942-1953   1.0 Folder(s)

Primulales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Ranales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Ranales 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Ranunculaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Rosales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Rosales with handwritten notes n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Rubitales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Rubitales with handwritten notes 1942-1949   1.0 Folder(s)

Santalales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Santalales with handwritten notes 1950   1.0 Folder(s)

Sapindales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Sapindales with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Scitaminales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Scitaminales with handwritten notes 1940   1.0 Folder(s)

Scrophulariaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Solanaceae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Umbellales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Umbellales with handwritten notes 1942-1948   1.0 Folder(s)

Urticales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Urticales with handwritten notes n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Xyridales n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Xyridales with handwritten notes 1942-1951   1.0 Folder(s)

Subseries II. Morphology of Flowering Plants n.d., 1941-1950 

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Anomalous Dictyledons n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flower n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flower with handwritten notes 1946   1.0 Folder(s)

Gymnosperm Stems n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leaves, External Morphology of Foliage Leaves n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leaves, External Morphology of Foliage Leaves 1951-1952   1.0 Folder(s)

Leaves, Internal Morphology of Foliage Leaves n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Morphology with handwritten notes 1941-1950   1.0 Folder(s)

Ornamentals, Annual Plants n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Roots n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Roots n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Stems n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Stems n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Stems n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Stems n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Topical Outline of Lectures 1945-1946   1.0 Folder(s)

Subseries III. Other Courses n.d., 1911-1955 

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Barnes Class Prospectus n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Barnes Class Prospectus 1939-1950   1.0 Folder(s)

Barnes Class Prospectus 1950-1951   1.0 Folder(s)

Class Enrollment 1911-1939   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

From University and other (unlabeled) classes.

Class Outline n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Fertilization with handwritten notes n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Leaf Morphology with handwritten notes 1949-1951   1.0 Folder(s)

Morphology with handwritten notes 1949   1.0 Folder(s)

Scope of Class Studies by J.M. Macfarlane n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Slide List of Root Photographs n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Taxonomy with handwritten notes 1940-1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Taxonomy with handwritten notes 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Steckbeck on Sensitive Plants, Plate V n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Veterinary Botany Notes 1942-1945   1.0 Folder(s)

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Series II. Plant Notes 1923-1942   0.209 Linear feet

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Asparagus n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Blackberries and raspberries n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Botanische Archiv 1926   1.0 Folder(s)

Ceratophyllaceae 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Fuel Oil Consumption 1938-1942   1.0 Folder(s)

General Conclusion n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Leaf Key to Genera of Gymnosperms n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Lirodendron Tulipfera Chart n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Miscellaneous n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Miscellaneous n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Miscellaneous n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Miscellaneous 1923-1935   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Naturalists' Field Club n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Plant Classification Trees n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Plant Lists 1937-1938   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Plants of the Vegetable and Small Fruit Garden n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants Which Serve in Agriculture n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Poisonous Plants in Pennsylvania n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Rhamnales 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Root Sections 1935-1936   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Rutaceae 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Sarraceniales 1942   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Systemative Botany 1938   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Taxonomy of Angiospermae n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Session 1913-1914 by J.M. Macfarlene

U.S.D.A. Classification (Simplified) Coarse Sand n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Miscellaneous Typed Pages n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

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Series III. Writings 1923-1945   0.42 Linear feet

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

"Birds of the Botany Garden, University of Pennsylvania." n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

"The Comparative Histology and Irritability of Sensitive Plants." Thesis n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Reprinted from contributions from the Botanical Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, Vol. IV, No. II

"The Comparative Histology and Irritability of Sensitive Plants." Thesis 1915   1.0 Folder(s)

"Comparative Stem Anatomy of Types of Solanceae." Thesis 1941   1.0 Folder(s)

Early Flowering Plants of Philadelphia Area 1940   1.0 Folder(s)

The Flower n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Grass Family n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

"Key for the Identification of Common Rocks or Stone." n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

"The Most Wonderful Plant in the World." 1923   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Reprinted from Natural History, Vol.XXXIII, No. VI, 1923, pp. 589-596

Roots n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Root Photographs from Thesis n.d.   11.0 Folder(s)

General note

Includes images for the following specimen: magnolia virginiana, magnolia soulangeana, cercidiphyllum japonicum, calycanthus floridus, fagus grandifolia, sassafras variifolium, platanus acerifolia, ulmus campestris, ulmus americana, maclura pomifera, carya glabra, populus alba, populus balsamifera, populus candicans, salix alba, apocynum cannabinum, euphorbia pucherrima, triosteum perfoliatum, robinia pseudo-acacia, cladrastus lutea, pyrus communis, prunus virginiana, viburnum opulus, deutzia scabra, elaeagnus argentea, crataegnus oxycantha, acer negundo, acer pseudoplatanus, halesia tetraptera, koelreuteria paniculata, nyssa sylvatica, liquidambar styraciflua, cedrela sinensis, phellodendron amurense, quercus phellos, quercus ilicifolia, quercus alba, quercus pedunculatachionanthus virginica, fraxinus americana, diospyros virginiana.

Steckbeck on Sensitive Plants Plates n.d.   13.0 Folder(s)

Some Early Flowering Plants of the Plants of the Philadelphia Area n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

The Tree n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Wild Flowers in April 1931   1.0 Folder(s)

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Series IV. Bloom Records 1916-1945   0.209 Linear feet

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Bloom Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Bloom Records 1916-1929   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Bloom Records and Weather 1930-1931   1.0 Folder(s)

General note

Handwritten notes.

Flowering Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates 1934-1942   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates 1936   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Acer rubrium n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Acer rubrium n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Acer saccharinum n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Acer saccharinum 1941   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Botanical garden 1943-1945   1.0 Folder(s)

Flowering Dates, Botanical garden 1938   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom 1939   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom, Botanic garden 1939   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom, Darby Creek 1930   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom, Darby Creek 1938   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom, Guyencourt 1931-1932   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants in Bloom, Street Road - Tanguy to W.C. Pike 1942-1943   1.0 Folder(s)

Plants of Interest, Darby Creek 1937   1.0 Folder(s)

Some Early Flowering Plants of the Philadelphia area and Flowering Dates n.d.   1.0 Folder(s)

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Series V. Journals 1899-1913   1.25 Linear feet

Arrangement note

In box.

Journals 1899-1913   1.0 Folder(s)

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