Library Leaves Blog
subscribe to RSS feed

Library Leaves is published online by the staff of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library. In keeping with our mission to educate, support the study of the Arboretum and living collections, and share botanical knowledge, this blog will offer a closer look at our unique collections, upcoming events, and ongoing projects. Keep reading and continue to visit us online and in person! Follow us on Twitter, @AAhortlib.

Migrations: Celebrating Susan Hardy Brown

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, July 15, 2015

Migrations: Celebrating Susan Hardy Brown

Susan Hardy Brown

During her 30 years at Arnold Arboretum, Susan Hardy Brown prepared many thousands of herbarium specimens for staff and researchers. On the occasion of her retirement this month, we spoke with Susan to ask about her curatorial work, her career in the visual arts, and about the history of the Arboretum. Susan first joined us […]

Continue reading


Dawson medals come to the Arboretum Archives

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, May 18, 2015

Dawson Medals Come to the Arboretum Archives

Channing Dawson and Ned Friedman

On May 9, 2015, the Arboretum received a special visit from descendants of Jackson Thornton Dawson (1841-1916), the first Plant Propagator of the Arnold Arboretum and indeed the first person hired by Charles Sargent for the staff of his new arboretum. Great grandson Channing Dawson, his wife, and children came to present the Archives with […]

Continue reading


Meet Joseph Rock in our Visitor Center

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, April 7, 2015

Meet Joseph Rock in our Visitor Center

Joseph Rock on horseback

Joseph Charles Francis Rock (1884–1962) was, among many things, an explorer. He traveled in Asia from 1920 until 1949 collecting plants for various institutions including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Geographic Society and The Arnold Arboretum. Charles Sargent hired Rock to explore China and Tibet for the Arboretum with the assignment to collect […]

Continue reading


A Naturalist in western China

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, February 20, 2015

A Naturalist in Western China, part one

Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) explored the regions Sichuan and Hubei in Western China and borderlands of Tibet four times, in 1899-1902, 1903-1906, 1907-1909, and 1910-1911. The former two trips were executed for the Veitch Nursery Firm in England, the latter for the Arnold Arboretum. The Arnold Arboretum trips were the more important ones, being scientific […]

Continue reading


A close call with Asian Longhorned Beetle

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, January 29, 2015

A close call with Asian Longhorned Beetle

American Forests

Arnold Arboretum featured in American Forests magazine Anyone who remembers our recent scare with the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) may be interested in seeing the Winter 2015 issue of American Forests magazine (Volume 120, number 4). “Eradication Nation” by Tate Williams features Arboretum Director of Operations Stephen Schneider, who provides a behind-the-scenes account of Arnold […]

Continue reading


Portrait of a 125-Year Friendship

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, December 2, 2014

Portrait of a 125-Year Friendship

The Cambridge Plant & Garden Club recently celebrated its 125-year anniversary with a symposium held in the Weld Hill Research Building at The Arnold Arboretum. The CP&GC is the longest active women’s garden club in America, and has enjoyed a long history of partnering with the Arboretum. Club member and writer Annette LaMond provides a […]

Continue reading


Crowdsourcing the Mystery of the Sunrise Ladies

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, October 22, 2014

Crowdsourcing the Mystery of the Sunrise Ladies

sunrise

Metadata is a crucial component for the over 65,000 images curated by the Archives of the Arnold Arboretum. Knowledge is power when harvesting background information about a photograph or a series of photographs. Archivists and artists can never be too careful when we record and curate metadata for an associated visual object for copyright purposes […]

Continue reading


Picturing People: The Photographs of William Purdom

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, September 24, 2014

Picturing People: The Photographs of William Purdom

Charcoal carriers, China

William Purdom (1880–1921) was born in Heversham, Westmoreland, England. He worked in nurseries for Low & Sons in Enfield and later for James Veitch at Coombe Wood, Surrey where he learned the horticultural trade. In 1902, he became a sub-foreman of the Arboretum Nurseries at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and in 1905 enrolled at […]

Continue reading


James George Frazer and The Golden Bough

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, August 18, 2014

James George Frazer and The Golden Bough

Golden Bough

Plant Folklore is a specialized, interdisciplinary field of study. Historical evidence indicates that humankind has sought to divine meaning from the natural world, often by explaining its origins through mythology and folktales. Advances in agriculture and horticulture had an obvious impact on human development, but to study the mythology of a plant in addition to […]

Continue reading


Ernest H. Wilson’s travel documents

by Arnold Arboretum Staff, July 29, 2014

Ernest H. Wilson’s Travel Documents

Ernest Wilson passport 1908

The Arnold Arboretum Archives is fortunate to hold a number of official travel documents relating to Ernest H. Wilson’s expeditions in China from 1899-1911. They provide a glimpse into some of the government paperwork which accompanied a plant collecting trip a century ago. Both the American and British Consulate offices in China issued Ernest Wilson […]

Continue reading