University of Arizona

Students, faculty, staff, and the public are now welcome to visit Special Collections without an appointment from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. 

Homer Shantz Photograph Collection

Close-up black and white image of a Lemaireocereus thurberi or organ pipe cactus

Dr. Homer L. Shantz (1876-1958) was a leading American botanist and former president of the University of Arizona. He was born in Michigan in 1876, was educated at Colorado College, and received his PhD from the University of Nebraska in 1905. He performed many important duties during his lifetime, including research with the Department of Agriculture, guidance of the botany department of the University of Illinois, President of the University of Arizona, and became the first director of the United States Forest Division of Wildlife Management in 1936, he served in until 1944. In 1956 he traveled one more time to Africa as a member of the Geography Branch of the Office of Naval Research. In this trip he re-photographed many of the sites he had documented earlier. In 1958 he published Photographic Documentation of Vegetational Changes in Africa Over a Third of a Century, which culminated his work in Africa. Homer Shantz died in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 23, 1958.

The Homer Shantz photograph collection is composed of glass plates, photographs, and negatives documenting distinct environments around the world. Images from the 1919-1920 Smithsonian African Expedition and the 1913 International Phytogeography Expedition are featured in this collection. The collection also contains negatives and prints by Jack McCormick and Walter S. Phillips.