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COLLECTION Identifier: gra00047

John Lewis Russell drawings

Scope and Content

This collection consists of loose drawings and notes pertaining to natural history. Materials are grouped by subject: Scenery, Botany, Entomology, and Conchology. Some drawings are copies of published illustrations, some are microscopic views.


  • Creation: 1852-1859


Conditions Governing Access

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


0.1 linear feet (1 folder)


John Lewis Russell was born on December 2, 1808, in Salem, Massachusetts. He was educated in Salem, Newburyport, and Amesbury and earned an A.B. from Harvard College in 1828. He later studied at Harvard Divinity School and was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1831. From 1831-1853 he served as minister in various places in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Massachusetts. Russell married Hannah Buckminster Ripley in 1853 and returned to Salem, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Russell was interested in botany and natural history for most of his life. His botanical interest was in cryptogams, particularly lichens. He joined the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1831 and was professor of botany and horticultural physiology there from 1833 until his death. He was appointed librarian and cabinet keeper of the Essex County Natural History Society when it was formed in 1833 and was elected president in 1845. When the Society merged with the Essex Historical Society to form the Essex Institute in 1848, Russell was elected vice president. He held this position until 1861.


Wilson EB. 1874. Memoir of John Lewis Russell. Essex Inst. Hist. Coll. 12(3):163-178.


The provenance of this collection is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Lynn McWhood

Russell, John Lewis, 1808-1873. John Lewis Russell drawings, 1852-1859: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Gray Herbarium Library, Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Gray Herbarium Library specializes in the identification and classification of New World plants with emphasis on North American plants. The Archives of the Gray Herbarium 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 Gray Herbarium.

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