An Overview of the Editors, 1898 to the Present, with History and Practices of the Notes on the Journal and its Society
William D. Reese
Biology Department, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504-2451, U.S.A.
With contributions from
William Louis Culberson
Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706-0338, U.S.A.
THE BRYOLOGIST, which was started in 1898, is the second oldest botanical journal continuously published. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, founded in 1870, is older. (Note, however, that in 1997 the 'Bulletin' was superseded by the Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society). It is appropriate that we pause now to recall something of the history of our journal and its editors.
Since its inception, THE BRYOLOGIST has been served by 13 different editors, two of whom were appointed for brief terms as Acting Editors during World War II. The editors are named below with the volumes for which they were responsible. Brief historical notes are given on the evolution of THE BRYOLOGIST following its birth a century ago as the "Moss Department" of the Fern Bulletin. The Sullivant Moss Chapter of the Aggasiz Association of 1898 went through several name changes to become the American Bryological and Lichenological Society of today, but its journal has always been called THE BRYOLOGIST.
Volumes 1-2, 1898-1899
Editor: ABEL JOEL GROUT
The first two volumes of THE BRYOLOGIST, in four parts each, were published as a "Department" of the Fern Bulletin, and the numbered parts were issued as reprints. Number 1 (four pages!) of Volume 1 was subtitled "Moss Department," but the subsequent numbers of Volumes 1 and 2 were subtitled "A Department of the Fern Bulletin." A detailed history of the early days of THE BRYOLOGIST and of the founding of the Sullivant Moss Chapter of the Aggasiz Association, was recorded in 1917 by Annie Morrill Smith (The Bryologist 20: 1-7; see also the two letters on pages 7-8 of that issue, and page 60 in Volume 11). In 1947, in the 50th-year anniversary volume of THE BRYOLOGIST, Grout (50: 1-3) praised Smith's account and gave some of his own recollections of the origins of the journal and the Society, with interesting comments on the role of Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton. Grout died later in the same year.
Volumes 3-8, 1900-1905
Editors: ABEL JOEL GROUT and ANNIE MORRILL SMITH
With Volume 3(1), THE BRYOLOGIST began "an independent existence." Acknowledgment was made to the Fern Bulletin for its support of THE BRYOLOGIST and of the Sullivant Moss Chapter Contributors to the journal, which now included "most of the prominent moss students of the United States." Annie Morrill Smith was welcomed as "Associate Editor." The issues now had covers, the first cover listing the contents. The first "Recent Literature" list appeared in Volume 4(4), compiled by Annie Morrill Smith.
Beginning with Volume 5, THE BRYOLOGIST was issued in six parts per year. An annual index was published separately each year. Until 1905 THE BRYOLOGIST described itself as the "Official Organ of the Sullivant Moss Chapter of the Aggasiz Association," but beginning with 1906, reference to the Aggasiz association was dropped. (See also page 60 in Volume 11.)
Volumes 9-14(1). 1906-1911
Editor: ANNIE MORRILL SMITH
Annie Morrill Smith became sole editor of THE BRYOLOGIST with the first issue of Volume 9. Sometime after 1907 she compiled, published, and sold (for $1 a copy) an index (undated) to Volumes 1-10 of THE BRYOLOGIST. The index was issued in a sturdy brown cardboard cover bearing Smith's address in Brooklyn, New York. With Volume 11, Grout's name appeared on the cover below Smith's name, with the title of "Associate" and for Volumes 12-14(1) editor Smith's name on the front cover was preceded by "Founded in 1898 by Abel Grout, Ph.D."
Smith's intensive (and personally expensive) involvement with THE BRYOLOGIST and the Sullivant Moss Chapter was explained in detail in THE BRYOLOGIST 20: 1-7; see also the letters on pages 7-8. With number 4 of Volume 11, 1908, THE BRYOLOGIST became the "official organ" of the "Sullivant Moss Society." The change in name from Chapter to Society was explained by Smith in a passage on page 60 of Volume 11. Smith was the only woman to serve formally as the regular editor of THE BRYOLOGIST; however, Frances E. Wynne served as Acting Editor in 1944.
Volumes 14(2)-16(2), 1911-1913
"Editor-in-Chief": ABEL JOEL GROUT
With Volume 14(2), "The Bryologist, Journal of the Sullivant Moss Society," was "conducted and published for the Society by Abel Joel Grout, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief." Four associate editors are also named on the cover: George N. Best, M.D., Alexander W. Evans, Ph.D., John M. Holzinger, M.S., and Lincoln W. Riddle, Ph.D. They also constituted the Advisory Board Members of the Society.
Volumes 16(3)-40, 1913-1937
Editor: O. E. JENNINGS
With Volume 16(3), Otto Emery Jennings became editor-in-chief. Grout's name was added to the roster of Associate Editors. Grout was an associate editor until 1946, along with other distinguished bryologists. Jennings served as editor for 24 years, the longest term of any editor of the journal. His obituary (by M. G. Netting, THE BRYOLOGIST 68: 353-359, 1965) noted that his "personal enthusiasm and private funds carried the Sullivant Moss Society (forerunner of the American Bryological Society) and THE BRYOLOGIST through several years of crisis in the early part of the Depression...".
Volumes 41-57(2), 1938-1954
Editor: WILLIAM CAMPBELL STEERE
While William Campbell Steere was in South America during World War II, searching for quinine for the war effort, there were two acting editors: for 46(3)-47(2), Aaron Jack Sharp, and for 47(3), Frances E. Wynne.
One of Steere's innovations was adding the familiar green covers which, in varied shades, embraced the pages of THE BRYOLOGIST for 55 years, from 1938 until 1993, (except for the anniversary Volume 50, which had golden covers). Another innovation was that beginning with volume 41 the annual index was published as part of the last number issued each year, instead of being distributed separately as had been the practice since 1904. [The annual index appeared throughout Volume 57 (1954); Volumes 58-73 lack an annual index, but the index (compiled by Steere) was restored beginning with Volume 76 (1973).] Volume 45 (1942) was the last to appear in six parts. During Steere's tenure as editor, the Sullivant Moss Society changed its name to the American Bryological Society. The new name first appeared with Volume 52(1). In 1969, the Society again changed its name, to better reflect the actual composition and interests of its membership, and became the American Bryological and Lichenological Society.
Volumes 57(3)-65(3), 1954-1962
Editor: HOWARD CRUM
Volume 61 (1958) was the last to have its front cover decorated with the Society's logo, featuring a shield bearing images of moss and liverwort reproductive structures. The logo first appeared in 1941, with Volume 44(1).
Volumes 65(4)-73(2), 1962-1970
Editor: WILLIAM LOUIS CULBERSON
Culberson was the only lichenologist to serve as editor. With Volume 70 (1967) THE BRYOLOGIST assumed its present-day format, resulting in a substantial increase in page size. Beginning in 1966, poetry and other literary quotations having reference to bryophytes and lichens were regularly used as a space filler. This practice continued through 1975, and was taken up again in 1988-1995.
Beginning with Volume 69(4), the issues had the subtitle "Quarterly Journal of the American Bryological Society" to reflect the Society's new name, but the journal continued to be called THE BRYOLOGIST, in recognition of its long and continuous history. Starting with Volume 76(3), brief manuscripts were grouped together as "short articles" following longer manuscripts.
Volume 73(3), 1970
Editors: WILLIAM LOUIS CULBERSON and WILLIAM D. REESE
Volume 73, 1970 had 740 pages--the largest number of pages in a single volume in the journal's history. Its editing was shared by Culberson and Reese.
Volumes 73(4)-77(3), 1970-1974
Editor: WILLIAM D. REESE
The annual index to THE BRYOLOGIST reappeared with Volume 76, at the instigation of William Campbell Steere, who compiled it.
Volume 77(4), 1975
Editor: WILLIAM D. REESE and DALE M. J. MUELLER
Volumes 78-82, 1976-1979
Editor: DALE M. J. MUELLER
The first color photograph to appear in THE BRYOLOGIST, of William Campbell Steere, was in Volume 80(4), set inside of the back cover. Volume 80 was dedicated to him.
Volume 83(1), 1979
Editors: DALE M. J. MUELLER and RICHARD A. ZANDER
Volumes 83(2)-87, 1979-1984
Editor: RICHARD A. ZANDER
With Volume 83(2) the designation of "Short Articles" was abandoned. Starting with Volume 84(1), journal titles were spelled in full in the literature cited sections.
Volumes 91-98(1), 1988-1995
Editor: WILLIAM D. REESE
With Volume 97(1), the cover of THE BRYOLOGIST changed from its traditional dull "antique" green to a glossy format capable of supporting photographs. The table of contents moved to the back cover. A photograph of Abel Joel Grout was published on the front cover of the first number of Volume 97.
Volumes 98(2)-108(1), 1995-2005
Editor: DALE H. VITT, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
Acknowledgment: Lewis E. Anderson graciously supplied copies of the covers of several early issues of THE BRYOLOGIST from his personal library in support of this project.
Volumes 108(2)-112(4), 2005-2009
Editor: WILLIAM R. BUCK, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY
Starting with vol. 109, the cover format was changed, adding the ABLS logo to it, and the internal format (font and leading) was also changed, both with the advice of a professional designer. With the demise of the Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory, The Bryologist began publishing some more lengthy articles that previously would have been published in that journal. Also, in an effort to get more color into The Bryologist, ABLS decided to charge authors only half what the Society is charged.
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Last modified 05 October 2009