Oakes Ames papers
- Ames, Oakes, 1874-1950 (Person)
General Physical Description note
Terms of Access
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.
Extent1 linear feet
Biographical material was added to the collection including photographs of Oakes Ames, obituaries, and the publication Oakes Ames: Jottings of a Harvard Botanist 1874-1950, edited by Pauline Ames Plimpton.
Known for his diplomacy and fair-mindedness, Oakes Ames oversaw all of Harvard’s various botanical units. He was Assistant Director (1899-1909) and Director of the Botanic Garden (1909-1922), Curator (1923-1927), Supervisor (1927-1937), Director (1937-1945), and Associate Director of the Botanic Museum (1945-1950); Chairman of the Division of Biology (1926-1935) and Chairman of the Council of Botanical Collections and Supervisor of the Biological Laboratory, the Atkins Garden in Cuba, and the Arnold Arboretum (1927-1935). As a professor, Ames was an instructor in botany (1900-1910), associate professor of botany (1915-1926), professor of botany (1926-1932) and Arnold professor of botany (1932-1935). From 1935 to 1941 he was a research professor of botany, and in 1941 he was appointed a research professor of botany emeritus.
Ames’ tenure as Supervisor of the Arnold Arboretum was marked by the strengthening of research activities at the Arboretum coordinated with the botanical work in Cambridge, as well as greater involvement of Arboretum staff members in teaching at Harvard. His research staff appointments included a plant pathologist, a plant breeder to develop new varieties of trees and shrubs, a plant ecologist, and an experimental taxonomist to broaden the approach of plant classification and distribution. The Arboretum staff taught courses in taxonomy, cytology, ecology, and plant pathology.
Professor Ames was born in North Easton, Massachusetts on September 26, 1874 and he died in Ormond, Florida, on April 28, 1950.
Reference: Sax, Karl. “Oakes Ames, 1874-1950.” Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 31: 335-337, followed by list of publications, 337-349.
- Series I: Biographical Material
- Series II: Correspondence
- Series III: Budgets
- Series IV: Photographs and Ephemera
Other Finding Aids note
Processing Information note
- I B ODA
- Finding aid prepared by Liz Francis
- EAD ID
Part of the Arnold Arboretum Archives Repository
The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library is a specialized collection devoted to the study of temperate woody plants. We collect works on botany, horticulture, floras, urban forestry and taxonomy. The library contains more than 25,000 volumes and 40,000 photographs, and includes an archive that both documents the Arboretum's history and is a repository for 19th, 20th, and 21st century horticultural and botanical collections.
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