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Lamar University Special Collections awarded TexTreasures grant

david lewis 

Lamar University’s Special Collections has been awarded a $3,000 TexTreasures grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will fund the digitization and uploading of 750 images to the portal to Texas History and the Lamar University website. The photographs were all taken by mycologist David Lewis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1972 and a master’s degree in 1978 from Lamar University.

Lewis, utilized his biological study from LU, both in his work as a chemist for more than 30 years and in his scientific study of mushrooms. He has published or co-published in more than 25 scientific papers and a book, “Mushrooms of the Gulf States-A Field Guide to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida,” published by the University of Texas Press, 2019.

Lewis’ photographs, spanning from 1971 to present, document many aspects of the Big Thicket, including both preservation efforts, field trips by LU students and folklife. He also pictorially documented ecological habitats, fauna and flora, including four of the five carnivorous plants of North America found in the Big Thicket.

The grant was endorsed by Thicket of Diversity, which seeks to identify every living species inhabiting the Big Thicket National Preserve; Matthew Pyne in the biology department at Lamar University, who recognized the value of the collection for biology students; and by Bart Buyck of the National Museum of Natural History, who wrote of the value to mycologists throughout the world.     

The grant is funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (Grant Number  TXT-21001).

 

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