The University of North Carolina Herbarium
(NCU) has catalogued about forty vascular plants, half a dozen non-vascular
plants, and a dozen fungi collected by Nancy Blair Eliason.
As our collections are catalogued it is likely that more will be found. At
this time, it appears that NCU was Eliason’s sole
Chambers Coker and Alma Holland
Beers were frequent
co-collectors with Ms. Eliason. Dr. Coker’s labels sometimes refer to them
as “Alma and Nancy,” or simply as “the girls.” Ms. Eliason’s
collections are predominantly from two locations in North Carolina: Chapel Hill (as she did her undergrad &
graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and
Highlands (as she spent several summers at the Highlands Biological Station).
Courtesy of Alumni Records, University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Nancy Blair Eliason was born in Statesville,
Iredell County, North Carolina on 19 April 1905 to William Alexander and Mary
Rebecca Hampton Eliason.1 She completed her A.B. at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1928. She continued her studies at UNC-CH with
William Chambers Coker and earned a M.A. in 1931 with her thesis,
“Development of the seed in the morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) and in dodder (Cuscuta arvensis)”.
Ms. Eliason held a number of teaching posts,
including stints at Peace College (now William Peace University) in Raleigh
(1937) and East Carolina College (now East Carolina University) in Greenville
(1958-1959).2,3 In 1959 she joined the faculty of Campbell
College (now Campbell University) in Buies Creek,
North Carolina and spent the rest of her career teaching biology at that
institution. She retired from Campbell
College in 1971.4
Nancy Eliason died in Dunn, Harnett County,
North Carolina in 1991.1
Pine Burr (Yearbook of Campbell College), vol. XXXVI, 1971
Photograph courtesy of Wiggins Memorial Library, Campbell University
NCU would welcome
more information about Ms. Eliason. Please contact Carol Ann McCormick
(mccormickATSIGNunc.edu) with information.
1. Ancestry.com North Carolina, Birth Indexes,
1800-2000 [database on-line]. Provo,
UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Original data: Register of
Deeds. North Carolina Birth Indexes,
Raleigh, North Carolina: North
Carolina State Archives. Microfilm.
College 1937 Yearbook. http://www.e-yearbook.com/yearbooks/Peace_College_Lotus_Yearbook/1937/Page_18.html accessed on 4 December 2013.
3. Faculty Archives, East Carolina
University. http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/archives/facultye.cfm accessed on 4 December 2013.
4. Pers. comm., Brooke Taxakis,
Reference Librarian, Wiggins Memorial Library, Campbell University.