Archives and Manuscript Collections
Records of the Herbarium (RG4)
MARSHALL AVERY HOWE RECORDS (1897-1936)
[bulk dates 1901-1934]
6.75 linear feet (15 boxes)
Avery Howe (1887-1936) was born in Newfane, Vermont on June 6th,
1867. The eldest of 5 children he was named after his father Marshall Otis
Howe and his maternal grandfather Avery Joseph Dexter and was insistent
on using his full name. Marshall Avery Howe graduated from the University
of Vermont in 1890, where he was room mates with his life long friend Dr.
Abel Grout. On leaving college, Howe taught for a year in the Brattleboro
High School but left in the summer of 1891 to become an Instructor in Cryptogamic
Botany at the University of California at Berkeley. At the end of the 1895-96
college year, Howe resigned to accept a fellowship at Columbia University
where he studied Hepaticae with Lucien Underwood. He received his Ph.D
from Columbia in 1898 and from 1898 to 1901 was Curator of the University
Herbarium. During this time, the plans for the creation of the New York
Botanical Garden were materializing and the Columbia University Herbarium
was deposited at the NYBG. In 1901 Howe became a member of the NYBG scientific
staff and in 1906 became curator. From 1901 until his death in 1936, Howe
was associated with the NYBG being appointed Assistant Director in 1923
and Director in 1935 after the resignation of Elmer Drew Merrill.
During his 35 year association with the New York Botanical Garden,
Marshall Avery Howe served as a plant collector, participating in numerous
expeditions, he arranged exhibits, he distributed plant specimens primarily
of algae and hepaticae, he was a taxonomist, a morphologist, an editor,
an administrator as well as an expert on, and cultivator of dahlias and
other ornamental plants.
Throughout his scientific and administrative career Marshall
Avery Howe continued his research work primarily in Hepaticology, Phycology
, Algae and the cultivation of Dahlias. His work was done meticulously,
with insight and thoroughness.
His home life was quiet and dignified. He made his home in Pleasantville,
New York where he was an active member of the "Garden Club", and served
as secretary and later President of the Board of Trustees of the Pleasantville
Free Library. He married Edith Morton Packard in 1909 and had two children
Gertrude Dexter Howe and Prentiss Mellen Howe.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Marshall Avery Howe Records documents career with the New York Botanical
Garden, especially his research on Algae, Hepatics and the cultivation
of Dahlias. It contains correspondence, research notes and administrative
memoranda and specimen identifications, exchanges and loans, photographic
prints and lantern slides. The collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Correspondence and Research Notes
Series 2: Photographic material and Memorabilia
Series 3: Lectures, Speeches and Addresses
Correspondence and Research Notes. 1898-1937
4. 5 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically
The papers contained in Howe's correspondence series are arranged alphabetically
by correspondent and are then arranged in chronological sequence. The series
contains an assortment of letters received and carbon copies of letters
sent, bibliographies, research notes, field reports and manuscript materials.
The assortment of materials in this series is because the documents are
glued together in meticulous fashion. In addition to scientific papers,
this series includes some correspondence concerning Howe's administrative
duties at the New York Botanical Garden, his term as President of the New
York Academy of Sciences as well as some personal matters of a varied nature.
Photographic Material and Memorabilia
1.75 lin. ft. Arranged alphabetically by geographic location.
Howe documented many of his expeditions with photographs which are arranged
alphabetically by place. Other photographs in the series include portraits
of individuals and groups Howe was associated with and photographic prints
documenting some his expeditions .
Lectures, Speeches and Addresses. 1901-1936
5 lin. in. Arranged chronologically.
This series contains lectures, speeches and addresses given by Howe
at various venues. Each lecture is dated and arranged by year. Howe spoke
at many dinners and gave formal lectures at Garden clubs and NYBG events.
His lectures were usually accompanied by a presentation of slides although
only one slide lecture remains intact. Photographic prints document some
his expeditions .
New York Botanical Garden
RG3 Records of the Chief Executive Officer
RG2 Records of the Board of Managers
PP Marshall Avery Howe Papers
Processed February 1999 by Susan Fraser, under a Grant
from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA-23141-98) and a
grant from the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation.
For mote information and a complete description contact
Susan Fraser, NYBG
The LuEsther T.Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
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