José Cuatrecasas Arumí Collection

José Cuatrecasas Arumí (Camprodón, 1903 – Washington D.C., 1996) was a pharmacist and botanist who carried out important research on tropical flora, especially on Asteraceae of southern America.

His professional career made him go through various institutions, where he had the opportunity to work as a teacher and carry out his research. That is why his collection is kept in three institutions:

  • Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, where he was the director during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Smithsoninan Institution of Washington (USA), where he worked in the botany department from 1955 until his retirement in 1977 and where, after his retirement, he continued his research as an honorary associate researcher.
  • Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB), due to the close relationship he had with his teacher and founder of the IBB, Pius Font i Quer.

It was Cuatrecasas himself who, in 1994, donated part of his archive and library to the IBB. The Cuatrecasas collection is made up of 12 boxes full of documents that contain 86 simple documentary units, 106 composite documentary units and an extensive photographic collection. More information on the collection can be found in the CSIC Library and Archives Network Catalogue.


Content of the collection

  • Documents that illustrate his first botanical studies resulting from his colaboration with Font i Quer at the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona and as a professor at the Universitat de Barcelona (1924-1931).
  • Documents from his time as a professor and researcher of descriptive botany at the Facultad de Farmacia de Madrid (1931–1939), which include notebooks and diaries of botanical excursions through areas of Spain as well as botanical and phytogeographic studies.
  • Administrative documentation of the Real Jardín Botánico for the period 1937–1939.
  • Studies of the Colombian flora and documents on the botanical expeditions that he carried out as a researcher and professor during his stay at the Facultad de Agronomía del Valle (Universidad de Colombia) from 1939 to 1945. They include the relevant catalogue of explorations in the Amazon areas Plantae Colombianae and other original documents of the studies of Theobroma species and the Compositae family.
  • Photographic collection of the botanical explorations that he carried out in Spain between 1927 and 1938.

Together with Pius Font i Quer and Carlos Pau, Cuatrecasas founded the journal Cavanillesia (1928-1938). This publication, dedicated to botany, is part of the Font i Quer collection that is also kept at the IBB.