Archives and Manuscript Collections
PERCY TRAIN PAPERS (1926-1958)
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.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
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
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
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