This study will investigate how a community of botanists used the findability inherent in botanical localities to rediscover species that were previously lost to botany. This article will look at the literature that announced the rediscovery of three species in the vicinity of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. These species are Heuchera hispida, Phlox buckleyi, and Gaylussacia brachycera. These three plants were rediscovered over a short period of time, about 13 years from 1919 to 1932. This study will draw from the announcement of these rediscoveries. In each of these cases there was a surrounding literature that preceded or followed these rediscoveries. This article will borrow the concept of findability from information science. Findability will show that these rediscoveries involved the use of an information storage and retrieval system, the botanical locality. If these localities acted as an information storage and retrieval system then we can understand how localities aided in the rediscovery of species.
"The Found World: The Role of Findability in the History of Botany,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 18:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol18/iss1/5
Botany Commons, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Commons, Philosophy of Science Commons