Botanical Databases
Other Botanical Links
Library Collections

Walter Deane (1848-1930)

Scope and Content:

The Walter Deane collection is large and varied, including diaries and other personal materials, photographic negatives, manuscripts and records pertaining to Deane's botanical pursuit, personal correspondence and an autograph collection.

Diaries and Personal Materials: 22 small format diaries, 1908-1929, including a variety of clippings and memoranda; 54 large format diaries or journals, 1882-1929. After about 1916, the large format diaries seem to be mostly pertaining to summers in Shelburne, N.H. The large format diaries often include temperature records and have assorted clippings of articles that struck Dean'es fancy (also obituaries) pasted in. Other personal materials include a dozen letters sent to Deane on his 50th birthday, notes pertaining to a funeral, membership certificates, items pertaining to financial matters and contributions, and a bundle of blank picture postcards.

Photographs: About 350 numbered negatives, appear to be mostly pictures of people and places; also 1 phot thought to be of Fernal and Kennedy, on metal. [Note: the Walter Deane collection originally included a large number of photographs of botanists. These were indexed and integrated into the Gray Herbarium portrait collection before this inventory was prepared.] Two portrait albums belonging to Deane are in manuscript case, Box BB.

Botanical Papers:
General notes and plant records: General botanical notes, 1881-1887; notes on the distribution of plants in New England, 1903; notes on botany, birds, weather and visits to Shelburne, 1915-1918; record of grasses and sedges sent to Rudolph Blaschka; catalog of grasses in USDA reports, 1878-1883; catalog of Dean herbarium.

Manuscripts of Articles and Talks: Ms and letters relating to Euphorbia Cyparissias L. in fruit; letters relating to the difference between Canadian Foxberries and Swedish Lingon; letters relating to preliminary lists of New England plants; ms drafts of talks or articles pertaining to seashore plants, salt marsh plants, the study of botany, native ferns; a few bird notes.

Flora of the Blue Hills: Card indexes and manuscript notes and letters

Correspondence: Approximately 3 file drawers of letters, mostly to Walter Deane, from almost 500 correspondents. Most of the lettes are from botanists, but there are also letters from relatives of Deane, companies with which he dealt, botanical and ornithological organizations, etc. Major correspondents (over 100 letters) include Liberty Hyde Bailey (over 800 letters), William Whitman Bailey (560 letters), Charles Reid Barnes (123 letters), Michael Schuck Bebb (175 letters), Albert B. Carr (102 letters), Curtis Gates Lloyd (150 letters); Thomas Morong (183 letters), Maria Louisa Owen (255 letters), and Joseph Nelson Rose (155 letters; a note indicates that Deane destroyed most of his correspondence with Rose because it was personal). Other important correspondents (20-100 letters) include Rudolph Blaschka (maker of Harvard's glass flowers, 73 letters), Ezra Brainerd (82 letters), Agnes Chase (60 letters), Joseph Richmond Churchill (25 letters), E.H. Eames (34 letters), Oliver Takins Farwell (23 letters), Edwin Faxon (86 letters), Edward Lee Greene (27 letters), Alice J. Heading (27 letters), George Golding Kennedy (20 letters, Joel Lunell (37 letters), William H. Munter (Coast Guard officer interested in birds, 37 letters), Lucy A. Paton (47 letters), Arthur Stanley Pease (85 letters), William T. Putnam (farmer and entrepreneur of Washington and Oregon, 63 letters), Lou Sims Rose (wife of J.N. Rose, 27 letters), John Herman Sandbert (26 letters), Susan Sheppard (30 letters), A.C. Sprague (34 letters), Emily Hitchcock Terry (74 letters), Charles Wendell Townsend (30 letters), Lester Frank Ward (28 letters), Robert Allison Ware (29 letters), Charles Alfred Weatherby (51 letters), and Emile Francis Williams (22 letters).

The correspondence was originally arranged alphabetically by sender in several chronological segments, with the letters of a few individuals pulled out as separate collections. (See provenance section for more details). The letters are currently filed in one alphabetical sequence. A number of letters that would originally have been in the correspondence files were moved by Deane to his autograph collection files. Dean's criteria for selecting letters for the autograph collection are unclear, and a few letters in the correspondence sequence seem like they should have been filed with the autographs.

Autograph Collection: One file carton of letters and autographs from almost 600 people, primarily botanists, both amateur and professiona. Many of the letters were originally addressed to Walter Deane, but a large number were obtained from other sources. The autograph collection of M.S. Bebb was included in this collection, and Deane also obtained letters from Thomas Morong (including letters to J.W. Robbins), Lester F. Ward, C.G. Lloyd, Benjamin Pickman Mann, J.M. Coulter, N.L. and E.G. Britton, L.H. Bailey, W.W. Bailey, Mrs. Owen, J.N. Rose, Horace Mann, George E. Davenport and others. Of special interest are a number of letters given to Deane by Asa Gray and Sereno Watson, which should fill gaps in the Gray Herbarium files. Deane also purchased some letters and autographs from dealers and went to some lengths to acquire special letters, such as a fragment of a letter from John James Audubon and two letters from HEnry David Thoreau, from other individuals. Deane's object seems to have been to find sample letters from one individual to several different correspondents. He documented his collection carefully; the letters from each sender were enclosed in a paper on which the name of the sender was written, the names of recipients which weren't clear from the letters themselves were noted, and information about the source and date of acquisitions of the letters was recorded.

Separate from the main collection are sheets which appear to have come from someone else's autograph collection, possibly Ben W. Austin's. Letters are mounted on large sheets of paper, accompanied by biographical information and, often, portraits. Twenty-nine botanists are represented in this collection.


Biographical Note


Series Description

Container List

Notebooks & Diaries
Photographs & Albums
Blue Hills Flora
Botanical Papers

Autograph Collection


A-B | C-D | E-G | H-K | L-M | N-Q | R-S | T-Z


| Gray Herbarium Archives Home Page |
| Botany Libraries Home Page | Harvard University Herbaria Home Page |

Last Updated June 2002
Copyright 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College