Walter Tennyson Swingle (1871-1952) was a renowned botanist and one of the twentieth century's foremost authorities on citrus plants. In 1943, after 50 years of service to the United States Department of Agriculture, he was given a position on the faculty of the University of Miami by President Bowman F. Ashe, who was impressed with Swingle's vision of tropical botany. Swingle was given the title Consultant of Tropical Botany and set up the Plant Research Laboratory in the old Botany building in Coral Gables.
At UM, Swingle completed his monograph The Botany of Citrus and its Relatives of the Orange Subfamily, which remains the premier reference for the taxonomy, morphology, and anatomy of these plants. With his staff, he began the ambitious project that became the Swingle Plant Anatomy Reference Collection, carefully preparing thousands microscope slides of plant structures from tropical crops and their wild relatives. The Walter Tennyson Swingle Collection, University of Miami Libraries Special Collections, contains Swingle's articles, manuscripts, diaries, and most of Swingle's correspondence between 1885 and 1951.
Selected images, articles, and other materials from the Walter Tennyson Swingle Collection have been digitized and are available online. The photographs in this online collection are from the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Archives.