L. S. M. Curtin was an avid naturalist, ethnobotanist, and a published author. Her ethnobotanical research was primarily concerned with the use of herbs and plants being used as diet staples and medicine among southwestern ethnic and indigenous groups. She is the author of four published monographs and various journal articles. Her extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork led to the publication of her two most noted works: Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande (1947) and By Prophet of the Earth (1949), which highlights her fieldwork on the Salt River Indian Reservation and the Pueblo Grande Laboratory.
Papers 1930-1953 (bulk 1940-1953) of ethnobotanist, naturalist, and author L.S.M. Curtin include business and personal correspondence, fieldwork, photographs and negatives, maps, printed materials, and a manuscript for her published monograph Prophet of the Earth (1949). The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence pertaining to her professional activities as a published author and her ethnobotanical fieldwork in Arizona, New Mexico, and Michoacan, Mexico.