Field Notes and Plant Lists

Harvard University Herbaria are known worldwide for the rich collections of type specimens that have been collected and curated by Harvard botanists since the establishment of a University Herbarium in 1864 under the supervision of Asa Gray. Documentation associated with the collections, including field notes, diaries, correspondence, maps, and photographs, are preserved in the well-curated Herbaria archives. These primary sources often enhance and elaborate on specimen label data.

The project includes the field notes of the botanical collectors Richard Alden Howard (1917-2003), Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (1838-1911), Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001), and Charles Wright (1811-1885), as well as field notes that document  a series of botanical expeditions to the Gaspe Peninsula from 1904 through 1923. The Miscellaneous Plant Lists Collection documents the handwritten collection ledgers of the Gray Herbarium from the late 19th through the early 20th centuries. Noted collections include those of August Fendler, Charles Christopher Parry, Benjamin L. Robinson, Robert Allen Rolfe, and Sebastián Vidal y Soler. The number of collectors and lists in each volume ranges from one to as many as seventeen, and comprise 102 lists organized by collector, location, dates, and species.


This collection presents the historic materials from various collections associated with botanical exploration involving Harvard faculty and staff including letters, notes, plant lists, field notebooks, photographs, maps, and illustrations.