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Biographical entry Clemens, Mary Strong (1873 - 1968)

3 January 1873
New York, United States of America
13 April 1968
Chermside, Queensland, Australia
Botanical collector and Explorer


Mary Clemens, with her husband Joseph, were prolific collectors of botanical specimens in the Philippines, Borneo and New Guinea. Mary continued collecting after Joseph's death in 1935. In 1941 she was evacuated from New Guinea to Queensland at the onset of the war and remained there until her death. Clemens travelled throughout Queensland amassing a vast number of specimens which are housed in herbaria around the world. There are over 2000 at the Queensland Museum alone. The New York Botanical Gardens holds an archival collection of some of her personal papers.

Archival resources

Queensland Herbarium

  • Mary Strong Clemens - Records, 1941 - 1968; Queensland Herbarium. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Conference Papers

  • Conn, Barry J., 'Mary Strong Clemens: a Botanical Collector in New Guinea (1935-1941)', in History of Systematic Botany in Australasia: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the University of Melbourne, 25-27 May 1988 edited by Short, P.S. (Melbourne: Australian Systematic Botany Society, 1990), pp. 217-230.. Details

Edited Books

  • McKay, Judith ed., Brilliant Careers: Women Collectors and Illustrators in Queensland (Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1997), 80 pp. Details


McCarthy, G.J.