The New York Botanical Garden International Plant Science Center
Mertz Library
Science Home ... Mertz Library ... Archives and Manuscripts

Library Collections & Resources

Finding Guide

Archives and Manuscripts

Books and Journals

NonBook Collection

Circulating Collection

Searchable Databases and Electronic Resources

Archives and Manuscript Collections

Personal Papers
6.2 linear feet (5 boxes)


Percy Train (1876-1942) was a botanist and collector of Nevada plants and fossils. He was born in Helena, Montana and attended the (Butte) Montana School of Mines. After a period of time in business as a mining engineer, he turned to experimental botany and fossil collecting in southern Nevada. From 1926 to 1932 he gained a reputation as an expert fossil hunter and worked on contract for colleges and museums. In 1932, with his wife Agnes Hume Scott, he excavated Miocene fossil leaves in Oregon for Dr. Chester A. Arnold of the University of Michigan. In 1935 Mr. Train collected desert plants in Death Valley for William R. Maxon of the Smithsonian Institution. Two years later the Trains began a project to study medicinal uses of plants among the aboriginal cultures of Nevada, including Shoshone, Paiute, Washoe, and Moapa Paiute cultures. They conducted ethnobotanical fieldwork from 1937 to 1941, collecting specimens and researching the native uses of plants. From this "Indian Medicine Project" Mr. Train published Medicinal Uses of Plants by Indian Tribes of Nevada (1941) with James R. Henrichs and W. Andrew Archer.  This work was issued by the United State Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industry in conjunction with the Work Projects Administration and the University of Nevada.


The collection consists of notebooks, research papers, index cards, and photographic material pertaining to plant specimen collection for Percy Train's ethnobotanical research on medicinal uses of plants in aboriginal cultures of Nevada.


Series 1: Research Papers
Series 2: Photographic Material

Series 1    Research Papers, 1926-1958
                  6.0 lin. ft. Arranged by media, thereunder alphabetically by subject.

There are 21 files of papers and 22 bundles of index cards pertaining to plant collection and ethnobotanical research in Nevada. The files contain information on plant surveys, identification, and specimen collections. There are three notebooks titled "Indian Plant Project - Nevada" and eight files titled "Nevada Project: field collection data for herbarium specimens." Both titles consist of independent sequences of filed collection numbers. The index cards consist of a systematic list of Nevada plant species, specimen collection data, and literature citations.

Series 2    Photographic Material, 1937-1940
                  0.2 lin. ft. Arranged by subject.

This series consists of photographs and corresponding negatives of Nevada plants and plant habitats used as prints for a Works Project Administration writer's program "Guide to Nevada" (1940) and for Mr. Train's "Indian Plant Project" as described above. Original envelopes with detailed collection information have been retained for reference.


The collection was acquired by Dr. Arthur Cronquist of the New York Botanical Garden as part of the publication series Contribution toward a Flora of Nevada, a project of the Work Projects Administration of Nevada, USDA Agricultural Research Service Bureau of Plant Industry, and University of Nevada Department of Botany.

Processed June 2000 by David Rose under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH PA-23141-98) and a grant from the Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation.

For more information and a complete description contact:
Susan Fraser, NYBG Archivist
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
(718) 817-8879

  Back to Top

NYBG Home  |  Science Home  |  About Us  |  Site Map  |  Participate  |  Contact Us
© 2003 The New York Botanical Garden  |  Photo Credits
Terms of Use  |  We welcome your feedback and suggestions.