Collection - Hans Gruen Mycology Collection

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Hans Gruen Mycology Collection

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  • 1927-1992 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

0.67 m textual material (3.5 boxes)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Hans Edmund Gruen was born in Berlin, Germany, on 20 October 1925. He attended primary and middle schools in Germany and Switzerland, and during World War II (from 1942-1946) he attended high school in Montevideo, Uruguay. Gruen became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 1950 and attended university in the United States, receiving his B.Sc. from Brooklyn College in 1951 (majoring in Biology) and both his M.Sc. (1953) and Ph.D. (1957) from Harvard, specialising in plant physiology and mycology. He did postdoctoral work at the Biological Laboratories, Harvard from 1956-1959, and from 1959-1964 was a research fellow at Harvard's Farlow Herbarium with the exception of seven months in 1963 (March - September) when he was a Lalor Foundation research fellow in the Biological Institute of the College of General Education, University of Tokyo. In 1964 Gruen accepted a teaching position in the Department of Biology of the University of Saskatchewan; by 1973 he had been made full professor. While on sabbatical leave he returned three times to the University of Tokyo as visiting research scholar, during the 1971-72 and 1978-79 academic years at the College of General Education, and in 1985-86 at the Institute of Microbiology, College of Agriculture. He also served as associate editor (1980-1983) and acting co-editor (Nov. 1982 - May 1983) of the Canadian Journal of Botany. On 1 July 1993 the University of Saskatchewan awarded Gruen the title of Professor Emeritus. Hans Gruen died in Saskatoon on 7 September 2000.

(courtesy University of Saskatchewan Archives)

A passionate student of Japanese history, language, and culture, Prof Gruen built a large library devoted to those subjects, as well as Japanese books on mycology and mushroom culture, and significant collections of Japanese picture postcards and Japanese folk art. He began donating his library of books on Japan to the UofA Library in 1997, with the remainder coming as a bequest in 2001. His collection of Japanese folk art he bequeathed to the Royal Alberta Museum, while his post card collection and personal papers are preserved in the Univ of Saskatchewan Archives.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of reprints and clippings from various scholarly journals, conference proceedings, speeches, lectures, theses, dissertations, and other sources relating to mycology and plant physiology. Items are in English and German, with a few French works. The bulk of the collection consists of German reprints (Series 2) and reprints/clippings of works by Kenneth Vivian Thimann, a highly respected scholar in the field of plant physiology.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Hans Gruen, 1997-2001.


Items have been artificially arranged by language; however, where possible, the original order of the collection has been retained. English Reprints and German Reprints have been retained in Gruen's original arrangement: alphabetically by author's last name. A typed bibliography of the reprints, compiled by Gruen, is included in the physical collection, Series 2, Folder 5. Reprints and clippings of Kenneth Thimann's works were partially arranged by date; this arrangement has been continued, in addition to alphabetical arrangement by the titles of publications the articles were derived from.

Materials have been separated into six series, based on language and form:

Item list available for some files.

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Location of originals

The Hans Gruen Mycology Collection is housed at the University of Alberta Library's Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF). It is available to students, staff, and the general public for use at a supervised reading room at RCRF or Bruce Peel Special Collections. To request items from this collection please use the links in the catalogue record.

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There are no access restrictions on this collection.

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Associated materials

The Hans Gruen Postcard Collection (ca. 1880s-2000) is held by the University of Saskatchewan Archives. The extent of the collection is 10.38 metres of textual records, 4 400 postcards, and 6 300 photographs and slides. The collection contains materials relating to Gruen's academic research in applied mycology and botany, and documents his personal interest in Japan, in philately, and on the uses of fungi as tinder for early methods of fire making. It contains personal correspondence, including diaries, as well as material documenting his early life and education.

Retrieval number: Fonds 116

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Written by Stacey Sokolan, August 08, 2005

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