Archives > Online Collection Guides

ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS

John William Harshberger Papers
1886-1929

UPT 50 H324

4.0 Cubic feet
Prepared by Kaiyi Chen
September 1996

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

 

PROVENANCE

Transferred from Yale University in 1977, from Jane Snyder (for Joan Gotwals) in 1989, and from the David Bishop Skillman Library of Lafayette College in 1995. 

 

Return to the top

ARRANGEMENT

The papers of John William Harshberger have been organized into four series. They are Personal papers, 1886-1929; Lectures and notes, 1915; Manuscripts, 1925-1929; and Publications, 1892-1929. The manuscripts and publications have been arranged chronologically. 

 

Return to the top

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

John W. Harshberger was born in Philadelphia on January 1, 1869. He graduated from Central High School of Philadelphia with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1888 and entered the University of Pennsylvania the same year. While at Penn, he showed great interest in plant life and received a certificate of proficiency in biology in 1890. During the summer of 1890 Harshberger studied the trees and shrubs in the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. In the following fall, before completing his undergraduate requirements, he was appointed Assistant Instructor in Botany at Penn. Harshberger and a group of enthusiastic Penn undergraduates founded the University Naturalists Field Club in 1891. In 1892 Harshberger obtained his B.S.; he received his Ph.D. the next year. 

Upon graduation, the University appointed him Instructor in botany, biology and zoology. The University promoted Harshberger to the rank of Assistant Professor in 1907 and Professor of Botany in 1911. Simultaneously he held teaching positions with the American Society for Extension of University Teaching (1896) and the Pennsylvania Farmers' Institute (1904-1906). In addition, Harshberger directed the nature study at the Pocono Pines Summer School from 1903 to 1908, the section of ecology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, for ten summers from 1913 to 1922, and the botanical work of the Maria Mitchell Association on the Island of Nantucket, during the summers of 1914 and 1915. 

As a botanist, Harshberger traveled widely in North America. He botanized in Eastern and Northwestern states, Southern Florida, Alaska, Arizona, Utah, and California. Overseas, his research trips extended through Europe, Brazil, Argentine, Chile and Mexico. 

Harshberger was a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Natural History Society, the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, and many other academic societies. He served as president of both the Botanical Society of Pennsylvania (1921-1929) and the Pennsylvania chapter of the Wild Flower Preservation Society. He died in 1929. 

 

Return to the top

SCOPE AND CONTENT

This collection, 1886-1929, primarily documents the professional activities and career of John W. Harshberger, a well-known botanist at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Personal papers, though small in size, include several interesting files--Harshberger's autobiography, a high school catalog, a family photo album and two sets of drawings. Harshberger attached numerous notes and clippings to his autobiography. These attachments contain important biographical and bibliographical information. His high school catalog contains information on Central High School of Philadelphia as well as Harshberger's grade reports. 

His career may be traced through his lectures and notes on plant geography and ecology, his manuscripts, and his publications. These publications consist of articles and reprints (1892-1929) as well as monographs (1893 to 1920). Harshberger interleaved many of the monographs with notes and clippings added after the book was published. These represented Harshberger's new findings from his research and teaching, which he expected to incorporate in future editions. 

Other sources: The Botany-Zoology Library of the University of Pennsylvania sent to the Bowman's Hill Wild Flower Preserve thirteen volumes of bound scrapbooks of Harshberger's in 1963. The scrapbooks consist in large part of clippings of photographs of various vegetation types. 

 

Return to the top

CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Corporate Name(s)

  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
  • American Philosophical Society.
  • Botanical Society of Pennsylvania. Office of the President.
  • Central High School of Philadelphia. -- General subdivision--Alumni.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Alumni.;
  • University of Pennsylvania. -- General subdivision--Faculty.;

Genre(s)

  • Clippings.
  • Manuscripts.
  • Notes.
  • Reprints.

Subject(s)

  • Biology--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Botany teachers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Botany--Study and teaching--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Phytogeography--North America.
  • Phytogeography--Scandinavia.

Return to the top

 

INVENTORY

 

Personal 

Box

Folder

Autobiography, "The Life and Work of John W. Harshberger, Ph.D." autobiography, with notes and clippings, 1928-1929 

1

1

Central High School of Philadelphia, Catalogue, with grade reports, 1886-1888 

1

2

Drawings in water color and pencil, loose sheets, n.d. 

1

3

Photo album, n.d. 

1

4

Sketch book, 1888 

1

5

Return to the top

 

Lectures and notes 

Box

Folder

Lectures on Plant Geography and Ecology 

Vol. 1, 1915 

1

6

Vol. 2, 1915 

1

7

Vol. 3, 1915 

1

8

Vol. 4, 1915 

1

9

Notebooks on animals (3 small volumes), n.d. 

1

10

Return to the top

 

Manuscripts 

Box

Folder

1925 (3 items) 

1

11

1928 ("Tundra Vegetation of Alaska Directly under the Arctic Circle") 

1

12

1929 (3 items)Box 1 

1

13

Botany as an Avocation, n.d. 

1

14

The Development of Workmanship, n.d. 

1

15

Miscellaneous, n.d. 

2

1

The Plant Geography of Cultivative Land in South-east Pennsylvania, n.d. 

2

2

Recent Scandinavian Work on Phytogeography, n.d. 

2

3

Respiration in Plants, n.d. 

2

4

The Vegetation of the Screes, or Talus Slopes of Western North America, n.d. 

2

5

A Visit to the Native Home of the Atlas Cedar, n.d. 

2

6

The Water-storing Bracts of Mendoncia Coccinea Vell of Brazil, n.d. 

2

7

Return to the top

 

Publications 

Box

Folder

Articles and Reprints 

Papers in combined volumes, Vol. I, 1893-1903 

2

8

Papers in combined volumes, Vol. II, 1903-1912 

2

9

1892 ("An Abnormal Development of the Inflorescence of Dionaea") 

2

10

1894 ("An Additional Poisonous Plant") 

2

11

1895 ("The Purposes of Ethno-botany") 

2

12

1896 (3 items) 

2

13

1897 (5 items) 

2

14

1898 (6 items) 

2

15

1899 (2 items) 

2

16

1900 ("An Ecological Study of the New Jersey Strand Flora") 

2

17

1901 (5 items) 

2

18

1902 (7 items) 

2

19

1903 (10 items) 

2

20

1904 (4 items) 

2

21

1905 (7 items) 

2

22

1906 (3 items) 

2

23

1907 (3 items) 

2

24

1908 (5 items) 

2

25

1909 (5 items) 

2

26

1910 (4 items) 

2

27

1911 (4 items) 

2

28

1912 (2 items) 

2

29

1913 (3 items) 

2

30

1914 (2 items) 

2

31

1915 (3 items) 

2

32

1916 (4 items) 

2

33

1917 (2 items) 

2

34

1918 (3 items) 

2

35

1919 (4 items) 

2

36

1920 (2 items) 

2

37

1921 (3 items) 

2

38

1922 (3 items) 

2

39

1923 (4 items) 

2

40

1924 (9 items) 

2

41

1925 (4 items) 

2

42

1926 (7 items) 

2

43

1927 (book review) 

2

44

1928 (5 items) 

2

45

1929 (13 items) 

2

46

n.d. (10 items) 

2

47

Maps, "Vegetation of the Pine-Barrens of the Southern Part of New Jersey" (two maps, first proof and second proof), 1915 (Vault, Map File 20) 

2

48

Monographs 

Maize: A Botanical and Economic Study, article in Contributions from the Botanical Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, 1893, Vol. 1, No. 2 

2

49

Maize: A Botanical and Economic Study, 1893 

2

50

Maize: A Botanical and Economic Study, an interleaved copy, [1893-1919] 

3

1

Botanists of Philadelphia and Their Work, author's copy, 1899 

3

2

Botanists of Philadelphia and Their Work, an interleaved copy, [1899-1925] 

3

3

Strand Flora of New Jersey, an interleaved copy, [1900-1928] 

3

4

Pine Barren Flora of New Jersey, by Witmer Stone and arranged by John Harshberger, 1910 

3

5

Phytogeographic Survey of North America, an interleaved copy, 1911 

3

6

Illustrations of Historic Trees, an interleaved copy, 1911 

4

1

Vegetation of South Florida, an interleaved copy, 1914 

4

2

Vegetation of South Florida, 1914 

4

3

The Vegetation of the New Jersey Pine-Barrens, 1916 

4

4

Mycology and Plant Pathology, an interleaved copy, [1917- 

4

5

American Food Plants, Old and New, an interleaved copy, 

4

6

Pastoral and Agricultural Botany, Text book, 1920 

4

7

Pastoral and Agricultural Botany, an interleaved copy, [1920-1924] 

4

8

Return to the top