Migrations: Celebrating Susan Hardy Brown

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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


Hunnewell Building, summer, library, 1927

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
July 9, 2015

Hunnewell Building, summer, library, 1927

Reading room of the library in the Hunnewell Building

Hunnewell Building, summer, library reading room, 1927 Alternate Title: Reading room of the library in the Hunnewell Building Photograph by Jan Tijs Peiter Bijhouwer (ca. 1927, Dutch) Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States 1927 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s Hollis+ catalog. Jan Tijs Peiter Bijhouwer was […]

Continue reading


Meet Joseph Rock in our Visitor Center

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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, part one

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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


Portrait of a 125-Year Friendship

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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


Picturing People: The Photographs of William Purdom

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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 Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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 Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
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


Photographs from Nature by Arthur Irving Emerson

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
June 24, 2014

Photographs from Nature by Arthur Irving Emerson

Arthur Irving Emerson

Our Trees: How to Know Them, was originally printed in 1905 as a guide to native trees in America by the naturalist and instructor Clarence Moores Weed (1864-1947). His descriptions of each species are written in non-technical language, clearly with the amateur arborist or those with horticultural hobbies in mind. But what truly draws the […]

Continue reading


Galen Clark and the Mariposa Grove

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
March 31, 2014