Shortly after earning his doctorate in plant pathology from Cornell in 1954, the internationally known phytopathologist, Francis W. Holmes began his career at UMass Amherst. Working in the Department of Plant Pathology (1954-1991) and later as Director of the Shade Tree Laboratories, Holmes became a leader in the study of Dutch elm disease, and he conducted important research on injury to trees from road salt and the relationship between salt injury and Verticillium wilt disease. During Holmes’s tenure, the Shade Tree Labs tested nearly 250,000 elm samples for Dutch elm disease and diagnosed a great variety of other diseases on more than 150 other types of trees. While on a Fulbright fellowship in the Netherlands, he devoted his free time to preparing a monograph on six Dutch women scientists who discovered the source of Dutch elm disease in the 1920s and 1930s. Holmes retired from the University in 1991 and remained in Amherst until his death in 2007.
The papers document Holmes’s research on shade trees and his tenure as a professor of microbiology. The collection includes some professional correspondence (1954-1977), awards, research notes and publications, and memorabilia. Holmes’s translations of phytopathological works from Dutch to English may be of interest to scholars of Dutch elm disease.
- Dutch elm disease
- Shade Trees
- University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant Pathology
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. Shade Tree Laboratories
- Holmes, Francis W