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L. H. (Lois Hattery) Tiffany papers

Identifier: RS 13/5/20

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The collection (1940-2010, undated) contains Tiffany's professional papers. Starting with her own course notes and dissertation research, the collection spans her entire professional career. The collection contains field notes, conference proceedings, academic writings, departmental committee minutes, and many notes and photographs used in her teaching career.

The papers also include notes from Tiffany's many professional organizations, records from her long tenure as advisor to the Botany Club, her many summers teaching at the Lakeside Laboratory, and her participation in Campus Girl Scouts. Also included are records from the Ten Year Morel Study conducted with George Knaphus.

The collection also contains a series of 35 mm photographic negative strips with no corresponding prints which are housed in the vault. The negative series are: Neg. #0102853, Neg. #0102885-0102897, Neg. #0102904-0102928, and Neg. #0102937.


  • 1940-2010, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research. This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the department at least 3 working days in advance.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Lois Hattery Tiffany was born March 8, 1924, in Collins, Iowa. She received her B.S. (1945), M.S. (1947), and Ph.D. (1950) in plant pathology all from Iowa State College (University). She joined the Botany faculty at Iowa State as an Instructor (1950-1956). Tiffany was promoted to Assistant Professor (1956-1958), Associate Professor (1958-1965), Professor (1965-1994), and Distinguished Professor (1994-2002). She also served as Chair (1990-1996) of the Botany Department. She retired from the department in 2002 and was named Emeritus Distinguished Professor.

Tiffany, informally known as "The Mushroom Lady," taught mycology and botany classes at both Iowa State University and the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. Her research included studies of fungal diseases of native prairie plants in Iowa, a 10-year survey of Iowa's morels, and a study of the fungus flora of Big Bend National Park in Texas. She also participated in the Midwestern mushroom aflatoxin studies of both corn and soybeans. Her continuing commitment to research led to the naming of a recently discovered Iowa truffle in her honor. The fungus, named Mattirolomyces tiffanyae, was discovered in 1998 in several locations of Story County's oak woods.

Tiffany was a member of many professional organizations, including the Iowa Academy of Science, the Mycological Society of America, the American Phytopathological Society, and the Iowa Natural History Association. She also served on committees for the Living Roadway Trust Fund and the Prairie States Mushroom Club, among many other professional affiliations.

Tiffany also made much advancement for the place of women in the sciences despite the challenges of sexism in the early years of her career. She was the first woman president of the Iowa Academy of Science, the first woman president of the Osborn Club, and the first woman scientist in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to be awarded the title of Distinguished Professor.

Tiffany dedicated her professional life to helping students. She advised hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and was the long-time advisor of the Botany Club, taking students on field trips all over the country with her colleague George Knaphus. Tiffany also was a supporter of the Girl Scouts, and helped to found and advise a collegiate chapter at Iowa State. Her dedication to her students is evident in the number of her students who went on to careers in the botany field.

Tiffany married F. H. Tiffany on May 16, 1945. They had 3 children, Ray, David, and Jean. Lois H. Tiffany passed away on September 6, 2009.


28.17 Linear Feet (20 records center cartons, 1 document box, 1 oversized box, and 1 map case folder)


The collection is organized into seven series:

Series 1, Biographical Information, 1946-2010, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2, Correspondence, 1952-2009 (alphabetical)

Series 3, University Work, 1960-2009, undated (alphabetical)

Series 4, Professional Work, 1947-2009, undated (alphabetical)

Series 5, Research, 1940-2007, undated (alphabetical)

Series 6, Subject Files, 1952-2009, undated (alphabetical)

Series 7, Illustrations, undated (alphabetical)

Series 9, Artifacts, undated

Physical Location

This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the Special Collections and University Archives at least 3 working days in advance.

Items in related collections

RS 13/5. Iowa State University. Department of Botany records, 1886-2014

Related collection materials

Related collections in the University Archives, Iowa State University Library include:

George Knaphus Papers, RS 13/5/58

Iowa State University Botany Club Records, RS 22/5/0/31

Iowa State University Botany Department Records, RS 13/5

Lakeside Laboratory Records, RS 1/5

Dr. Tiffany's specimen collections are located at the Ada Hayden Herbarium, Iowa State University.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/5/20. L. H. (Lois Hattery) Tiffany papers, 1940-2010, undated
July 1, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672