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COLLECTION Identifier: arn00010

George Russell Shaw papers

Scope and content

This collection contains field notes, illustrative material, research notes, reprints, clippings, photographs, and correspondence relating to Shaw’s work on the genus Pinus.

Notebooks: three notebooks contain field notes from trips to Mexico in 1904 and 1905; one notebook contains notes on pines collected in the Philippines by George Patrick Ahern, David LeRoy Topping, and Elmer Drew Merrill; one notebook consists of notes on specimens consulted at Kew.

Reprints: annotated copies of Shaw’s books, “The pines of Mexico” and “The genus Pinus.” Photographs and correspondence are inserted.

Clippings: mounted clippings of Shaw articles and reviews of his publications as well as annotated copies of three articles on pines by other botanists.

Correspondence: letters from R.H. Beach (1 letter, 1929), Paul Henri Lecomte (1 letter, 1931), Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (8 letters, 1902-1904), William B. Richardson (1 letter, 1917), Renato Robelli (1 letter, 1931), and James Robert Weir (1 letter, 1915); plus one typed letter from Shaw to Charles Sprague Sargent (undated).


  • 1904-1931


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide valid photo identification. Please contact for additional information.


1 collection

Biographical note

George Russell Shaw was born on October 28, 1848, in Parkman, Maine, to Samuel Parkman Shaw and Hannah (Buck) Shaw. He received an A.B. from Harvard College 1869 and went on to study architecture at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1873 he opened an architecture firm in Boston. Soon after he formed a partnership with Henry S. Hunnewell. Their firm was responsible for designing many residences and public buildings around Boston as well as Pierce Hall at Harvard. Shaw married Emily Mott in Paris in 1874. Between 1875 and 1878 the couple had three children, Francis, Isabel, and Thomas. In 1902 Shaw retired from architecture to focus on botany. He worked on the genus Pinus at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum and made four trips to Mexico and four to Europe to consult collections. Shaw moved with his family to Concord, Massachusetts in 1910. He continued his work with pines and published “The genus Pinus” in 1914. He also wrote and illustrated a book on ornamental knots. Shaw died in Concord on January 15, 1937.


George R. Shaw, Architect, Dead. Boston Daily Globe, 1937 Jan. 16: 15.

Lawrence, RM, Hall, WS, Pickering HG. 1919. Eleventh report of the Class of 1869 of Harvard College. Cambridge (MA): Riverside Press.

Hall, WS, Morison, RS. 1908. Tenth report of the Class of 1869 of Harvard College. Boston (MA): Houghton Mifflin Company.


The provenance of this collection is unknown.

Shaw, George Russell, 1848-1937. George Russell Shaw papers, 1904-1931: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Arnold Arboretum Library (Cambridge), Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Arnold Arboretum Library in Cambridge specializes in the identification and classification of Old World plants with emphasis on Asia. The Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge) houses unique resources, primarily field notes related to the plant specimens housed in Cambridge.

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