Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: far00009

Cora Huidekoper Clarke correspondence and gall photographs

Scope and Content

The Clarke collection contains correspondence, photographs, and manuscript materials.


  • 1888-1915


Conditions Governing Access

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


1 collection (3 volumes and 1 small box of photographs in 1 carton)


Cora Huidekoper Clarke was born on February 9, 1851 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, one of four children of Anna Huidekoper and James Freeman Clarke, an influential Unitarian minister and anti-slavery activist. In 1854 the family moved to Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Clarke never married and lived at her parents’ home in Jamaica Plain until 1897. After their deaths she moved to Beacon Hill, where she remained until her own death on April 2, 1916.

As a child Clarke suffered from poor health which prevented her from attending school until she was thirteen. Despite her late start Clarke was an excellent student. She attended a horticultural school in Newton before going to the Bussey Institution in Jamaica Plain, where she studied under Professor of Horticulture, Francis Parkman. Although Parkman left the Bussey after only one year Clarke continued her studies independently, corresponding with many prominent botanists of the time including William G. Farlow, Elizabeth Gertrude Britton, and J. Franklin Collins.

In 1875, Clarke became a teacher for the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, a correspondence school founded in Boston by Anna Eliot Ticknor. She served as head of the science department for a year and continued to teach courses until the school was closed in 1897.

Clarke’s botanical interests were primarily cryptogamic. She often went on collecting trips, adding mosses, algae, grasses, sedges, and rushes to her personal herbarium. Clarke was also well known by entomologists for her work with caddisflies and was instrumental in the discovery of several new species of gallflies, five of which were named in her honor -- three by Ephraim Porter Felt and two by Homer F. Bassett. She was active in several clubs and societies, notably the Sullivant Moss Society, the Cambridge Entomological Club, and the Botany Group of the New England Women’s Club.


Agassiz L, Eliot S. 1897. Society to encourage studies at home: Founded in 1873 by Anna Eliot Ticknor. Cambridge (MA): Riverside Press.

Cora H. Clarke. 1916. Psyche. 23(3):94-95.

Read AL. 1916. Cora H. Clarke. Bryologist. 19(5):73-74.

Series Description

The Clarke collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Correspondence. Contains one bound volume of letters and manuscript materials dated 1888 to approximately 1915; Series II. Photographs. Contains approximately 210 photographs of gallfly galls on plants taken around 1914. The original order of the photographs has been preserved.


The provenance of the bound correspondence is unknown.

The photographs were originally mounted in two bound volumes donated by Clarke to the Library of the Gray Herbarium on May 24, 1915. In 2004, the albums were transferred to the Gray Herbarium Archives.

In 2004, the photographs were removed from two bound volumes and rehoused for preservation purposes. The album bindings were retained with original labels intact. After conservation work, the photographs and correspondence were consolidated into one collection in the Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Administrative correspondence of the Gray Herbarium and Harvard University Herbaria, 1890-1965; Botany Libraries photograph collection; Asa Gray correspondence files, 1832-1892.

Clarke, Cora H. (Cora Huidekoper), 1851-1916. Cora Huidekoper Clarke correspondence and gall photographs, 1888-1915: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany specializes in organisms that reproduce by spores, without flowers or seeds. The Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany houses unique resources including personal papers, institutional records, field notes and plant lists, expedition records, photographs, original artwork, and objects from faculty, curators, staff, and affiliates of the Farlow Herbarium.

Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2366