The Ethel Bailey Higgins Papers consists of botanical research material including plant lists, correspondence, and manuscript
material assembled by Higgins during her tenure as curator of botany at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Ethel Bailey Higgins (1866–1963) was the curator of botany at the San Diego Natural History Museum from 1943 to 1957 and associate
curator from 1957 to 1963. Higgins is the author of Our Native Cacti (1931), Annotated Distributional List of the Ferns and Flowering Plants of San Diego County, California (1949), and other popular works on plants of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Born Ethel Phoebe Bailey
in Vassalboro, Maine on May 10, 1866, she moved to Los Angeles, California with her parents in 1900, where she worked as a
photographer, specializing in botanical subjects. She married John C. Higgins in 1914, and the couple moved to San Diego in
1915; that year, she exhibited photographs during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. She joined the San Diego
Natural History Museum staff in 1933 and became Curator of Botany in 1943 succeeding Frank Gander. In 1957, she was succeeded
as curator by Reid Moran and continued her work with the Museum as associate curator into her mid-90s. Higgins died on March
9, 1963 in San Diego, California.