Dr. Eula Whitehouse’s Family Visits BRIT Library

The BRIT Library had the pleasure of welcoming members of the Eula Whitehouse family this week. Eula Whitehouse was a botanist and one of the first to publish on Texas wildflowers. Her collection of papers, correspondence, field books, botanical illustrations, and publications, reflecting her life’s research on lichens and wildflowers, is a central part of the Library’s Collection.

Steve and Tracy Tarlton, Eula Whitehouse’s great nephew and niece, as well as Steve’s wife Marylynn, visited BRIT this past Tuesday, October 22, 2019. With them they brought additional items of Eula’s for inclusion in the Library’s Archive. While telling stories of their father collecting plants with Eula, his aunt, when he was young, they unpacked two large boxes containing original botanical paintings, illustrations, correspondence, printing proofs, a travel journal, photograph prints, and papers. 

Among all of the wonderful piles of materials spread out across the Library tables, one item in particular stood out. This is an unusually sized leather-bound album with black and white photographs printed on matte paper and hand painted by Eula.

In many ways this visit was icy on the cake, or really a cake unto itself, for a week that had begun with the arrival of the botanical field photographs of Eula Whitehouse. Two packages were delivered on October 19, 2019, which were sent by Kenneth Lawrence, also a great nephew of Eula Whitehouse, from Tulsa Oklahoma. These were sent independently of the Tarleton’s visit from Golden, Colorado and San Antonia, Texas. 

The field photographs taken by Eula are Kodachrome slides and amount to approximately five-hundred in total. Their timeframe spans the 1950s and 1960s and include her botany field research in Texas and across the U.S. as well as throughout Mexico, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe.

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