Helen Margaret Gilkey was born on March 6, 1886, in Montesano,
Washington. She moved with her family to Corvallis in 1903. She received her MA
at Oregon Agricultural College in 1911 and her PhD at University of California
at Berkeley in 1915. From 1915 until 1918, she worked as a scientific
illustrator at Berkeley. Curator of the herbarium at OAC from 1918 until 1951,
Gilkey was also a Professor of Botany. She had 44 publications to her credit,
10 on vascular plant taxonomy and 10 on Tuberales. Gilkey died in 1972.
The papers consist of letters from various colleagues around the U.S.
and other persons, usually wishing to have a plant identified or a copy of one
of her books; scientific illustrations, many drawn by Gilkey; Greenhouse,
Herbarium, and Botany Department histories; notes and notebooks giving detailed
descriptions of botanicals, especially fungi; newspaper columns on weeds; 3
radio scripts; and copies of publications about botanicals, notably Northwest
weeds and subterranean fungi (truffles), including her 1911 master's thesis,