Charles Sprague Sargent

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
August 7, 2014

Charles Sprague Sargent

Charles Sprague Sargent

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927), Director of the Arnold Arboretum, 1872-1927. Three-quarter view. 22.5 x 15.5 cm. (photograph), 24 x 30 cm. Gelatin silver process on paper.

Photograph by George Collins Cox (n.d.), photographer
ca. 1890

A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University Library’s catalog.

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927), was the founding director of the Arnold Arboretum. Born to a prominent Boston family, Sargent contributed his tenacity, horticultural knowledge, and commitment to education to shaping the Arnold Arboretum in its first fifty years.

Sargent published extensively, including The Silva of North America in twelve volumes, and inaugurated the Arboretum’s program for plant exploration. His influence on silviculture and forestry was felt nationally and influenced efforts to conserve American forests, particularly in the Catskills and Adirondacks. Sargent also created The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library in 1893 with a donation of over six thousand volumes.

The Archive Collection of the Arnold Arboretum also holds the Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927) papers, 1868- , in addition to his voluminous correspondence. You can read the writings of Sargent in Arnoldia, and in Arboretum Publications.

We also highly recommend Charles Sprague Sargent and the Arnold Arboretum by S. B. Sutton. This is the definitive biography of a pioneering figure in horticulture, plant exploration, and natural history.

Copyright 2004 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

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