Frances W. Horne Papers (PP)

Archives, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
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Collectors: Horne, Frances Worth, 1873-1967.
Title: Frances W. Horne Papers (PP)
Dates: 1924-1966
Dates: 1930-1935
Quantity: 7.5 linear inches; 2 boxes
Call Phrase: Horne (PP)

Biography of Frances W. Horne

Frances Worth Horne (1873-1967) was a botanical illustrator who composed watercolors of Puerto Rican flora for Nathaniel Lord Britton's unfinished work, Flora Borinquena. She was born in Watkins Glen, New York and obtained a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and a master's degree in languages from Cornell University. She began her career as professor of classical languages at Westminster College in Colorado. She and her husband, Charles E. Horne, relocated to Puerto Rico in 1918 where they lived until Mr. Horne died in 1963. During her years on the island she created hundreds of watercolor illustrations of its flora and bird life, and her botanical artwork gained an international reputation.

In 1922 Mrs. Horne wrote to Britton expressing her interest in contributing watercolors of Puerto Rican flowering plants to The Botany of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He was unable to include her illustrations in this publication, but she eventually contributed her artwork to the NYBG journal, Addisonia. At Britton's death in 1934, Flora Borinquena was left unfinished though Mrs. Horne had completed over 700 watercolors of native and naturalized Puerto Rican plant species for the work. In 1963, Mrs. Horne presented her collection as a gift to the NYBG. She also painted the Caribbean bird life and contributed illustrations to Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (1967) by Elbert Little, Frank Wadsworth, and Jose Marrero. She died at the age of 94 in Albany, New York.

Scope and Content

The Frances Horne Papers consists of photocopied typescripts, correspondence, research notes, and related artwork One typescript is collected in a bound volume. The artwork has been separated from the collection and transferred to the NYBG Art & Illustration Collection #35.


The collection is organized into seven series:
Series 1: Correspondence. 1924-1966. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 2: Research Papers. ca. 1935. Arranged by subject.
Series 3: Manuscripts and Typescripts. ca. 1933. Arranged by subject.
Series 4: Botanical Illustrations. Arranged by subject.


Access restrictions

This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Botanical Artists.
Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934.
Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934. Flora Borinquena.
Cactaceae--Puerto Rico.
Horne, Frances Worth, 1873-1967--Archives.
New York Botanical Garden Archives.
New York Botanical Garden--Exhibitions.
Plants--Puerto Rico--Illustrations.

Related Material

New York Botanical Garden

PP-- Percy Wilson Papers

RG4-- Nathaniel Lord Britton Records

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Frances W. Horne Papers (PP), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift of Frances W. Horne.

Processing Information

Originally processed by David Rose, Archives Assistant, May 1999 with grant funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA 23141-98) and the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation. Converted to EAD in June 2006 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) PA-50678-04.

Container List


Series 1. Correspondence.

Scope and Content:

Contains five files of correspondence with NYBG scientific and administrative staff.

Folder Title
1.1 Britton, N. L. (photocopy)
1.2 Steere, William C. (photocopy)
1.3 Steere, William C. (original)
1.4 Wilson, Percy (photocopy)
1.5 NYBG memoranda

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Series 2. Research Papers.

Scope and Content:

Consists of an index, table of contents, and lists of plants for Flora Borinquena.

Folder Title
1.6 Index to Flora Borinquena
1.7 Descriptions, Plants of Puerto Rico
1.8 Arrangement for Flora Borinquena
1.9 Native and Naturalized Flowers of Puerto Rico
1.10 Miscellaneous notes

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Series 3. Manuscripts and Typescripts.

Scope and Content:

Consists of 2 photocopied typescripts, a bound volume, and 7 files of plant descriptions.

Folder Title
2.1 History of the Proposed Publication, Flora Borinquena (photocopy)
2.2 An Undescribed Cactus of Porto Rico by N. L. Britton (photocopy)
2.3 Flora Borinquena (bound volume, carbon copy)
2.4 Flora Borinquena, "Horne Copy" (6 files)

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Series 4. Botanical Illustrations.

Scope and Content:

All artwork has been transferred to the NYBG Art & Illustration Collection #35.

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