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About the Project

The story of pioneer ecologist and NC State professor B. W. Wells is told by the wealth of excellent photographs that Wells took to document his research. The NCSU Libraries and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have partnered to preserve, identify, digitize, and display these images.

Much of Wells' work focused on the ecologically unique Big Savannah located in Pender County, North Carolina. Although this landscape was forever lost to the plow in the late 1950s, the recent discovery of a similar site, dedicated as the B. W. Wells Savannah in 2002, created a renewed interest in the ecology of this region and the abundance of plants and flowers that are found there. North Carolina photographer Freda Wilkins has documented them for this project, adding over 1,000 images to the B. W. Wells Collection in the Special Collections Research Center. This site links to an image database containing both sets of images.

You may also browse the images by photographer, season, botanical name, and Wells common name.


The exhibit catalog is available through the NC State Bookstores. The 72-page soft-cover book, with 56 color photographs, is $15.95 or $14 for NCSU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and Friends of the Library members.


Two related titles are also available for the duration of the exhibition at the NC State Bookstores:

    Nature's Champion: B. W. Wells, Tar Heel Ecologist, by James R. Troyer
    The Natural Gardens of North Carolina, by B. W. Wells.