Collection on H.H. Hunnewell
This collection documents the life and estate of Horatio Hollis Hunnewell (1810-1902), one of the most prominent horticulturists in America in the nineteenth century. Practicing horticulture for nearly six decades on his estate in Wellesley, Massachusetts, he was perhaps the first person to cultivate and popularize rhododendrons in the United States. The collection includes biographical material, portraits, published volumes of his letters and diary, and extensive written and photographic description of the Hunnewell Estate in Wellesley, MA.
General Physical Description note
(1 box and 6 volumes)
Terms of Access
This collection is open for research. Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.
The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
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.
Extent2 linear feet
Horatio Hollis Hunnewell (July 27, 1810 – May 20, 1902), was a banker, railroad financier, philanthropist, amateur botanist, and one of the most prominent horticulturists in America in the nineteenth century. Horatio Hunnewell was a partner in the private banking firm of Welles & Co. Paris, France controlled by his in-laws which specialized in trade finance between the two countries. Practicing horticulture for nearly six decades on his estate in Wellesley, Massachusetts, he was perhaps the first person to cultivate and popularize rhododendrons in the United States.
Both the town of Wellesley (founded 1881) and Wellesley College (chartered 1870) are named for Hunnewell's estate, "Wellesley", which he named for the family of his wife, Isabella Pratt Welles. The estate includes a prominent 1852 house and attached conservatory (greenhouse), Walter Hunnewell Arboretum, pinetum, a complex of specialty greenhouses, and one of the first topiary gardens - the 'Italian Garden' - in America, all of which are still standing.
H. H. Hunnewell made a donation in 1873 that helped Asa Gray revise and complete his Flora of North America. He also funded the conifer collection at Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts, and donated the Arboretum's administration building (now Hunnewell Building) in 1892.
Source: H.H. Hunnewell entry on Wikipedia
This collection was assembled by Archives staff.
Processing Information note
Revised Liz Francis, 2013
- I B-1 HH
- Finding aid prepared by Liz Francis
- Language of description
- 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.
Jamaica Plain MA 02130 USA