BW Wells - header



The vision for this web site and its accompanying exhibition and catalog originated in the spring of 2004 at a university Capital Campaign meeting where Joseph O. Taylor, Jr., Co-Chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Achieve! Campaign, told the compelling story of Professor B. W. Wells and the Big Savannah. Although the abundant plants and wildflowers of the original Big Savannah site had been lost to development, this story came to a happy ending with the discovery and subsequent dedication, in 2002, of the ecologically similar B. W. Wells Savannah in Pender County, North Carolina. When Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Susan K. Nutter and Dean Johnny C. Wynne of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences heard this unusual tale, they recognized the potential for a partnership between the NCSU Libraries, which already held Wells' papers, and the College, particularly its Department of Plant Biology, which had carefully stored Wells' camera, glass lantern slides, and botanical specimens for decades. This partnership comes to fruition with the opening of the creation of a digital image collection based on Wells' work, and the expansion of the B. W. Wells Collection in the Special Collections Research Center, as well as the creation of an exhibition in D. H. Hill Library and the publication of a catalog.

This project could not have been accomplished without the help of many collaborators. From the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, its Department of Plant Biology, and its Foundations and Development Office, we would particularly like to thank Dean Johnny C. Wynne, Dr. Margaret Daub, Dr. William A. Hoffmann, Dr. Jon M. Stucky, Dr. Thomas R. Wentworth, Dr. James R. Troyer, Donna S. Wright, and Chris Cammarene-Wessel. The curator is especially grateful for the wealth of biographical information available in Dr. James R. Troyer's biography of Wells, Nature's Champion: B. W. Wells, Tar Heel Ecologist, and Dr. Troyer's willingness to share his years of research and photographs. We are also grateful to Donna S. Wright for her expertise and effort in providing botanical information for the development of the digital B. W. Wells Collection. Dr. Wentworth deserves special mention for his authorship of the catalog essay, "Savannahs Lost and Found," and for his extensive consultation on the exhibit themes and text. We appreciate the assistance provided by Dr. Alexander Krings from the NCSU Herbarium and their generous loan of plant specimens. From the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, we thank Dr. Arthur W. Cooper, and from the Department of Entomology, we thank Dr. Micou Browne. We are grateful to Joseph O. Taylor, Jr. for supporting the project with funding for the services of photographer Freda Wilkins, whose collaboration and contributions have been extremely valuable. We appreciate the contributions of Brian Bockhahn, Ranger at Falls Lake State Park and Past President of the B. W. Wells Foundation. From the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, we gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Janice Allen and Michael Scisco.


Department of Plant Biology
subject matter consultants:

Dr. William A. Hoffmann
Assistant Professor
Tropical Ecology

Dr. Alexander Krings
Extension Assistant Professor
Director of the Herbarium

Dr. Jon M. Stucky
Associate Professor
Wetland Plant Biology


Dr. James R. Troyer
Professor Emeritus

Dr. Thomas R. Wentworth
Professor, Plant Community Ecology

Donna S. Wright
Teaching Technician

Subject matter consultant
Alan Weakley
Curator, UNC Herbarium
Adjunct Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Catalog editor
Monica McCormick
Director of Digital Publishing
NCSU Libraries

Digital collection editor
Amy Rudersdorf
Digital Technologies Librarian for
Special Collections
NCSU Libraries

Exhibition curator
Kevin P. Schlesier
Exhibits and Outreach Librarian
NCSU Libraries

Oral historian
Chad Morgan
TRLN Fellow
NCSU Libraries


Freda Wilkins

Photography consultant
David Blevins

Project coordinators
Carolyn D. Argentati
Associate Vice Provost and Donald E. Moreland Deputy Director of Libraries
NCSU Libraries

Gregory K. Raschke
Associate Director for Collections
and Scholarly Communication
NCSU Libraries

Web Team
Angie Ballard
Web Services and Training Librarian
NCSU Libraries

Zach Gillan
Web Services Assistant
NCSU Libraries

Shirley Rodgers
Associate Head of Information Technology
NCSU Libraries

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