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COLLECTION Identifier: gra00060

Alice A. Gray collection of Asa Gray papers and artifacts

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Asa Gray scrapbooks and clippings compiled by Alice Gray. The collection also contains artifacts that belonged to Asa Gray.


  • 1862-1927


Conditions Governing Access

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


0.5 linear feet (2 scrapbook boxes, 5 folders in shared box 3, and artifacts )


Alice A. Gray was born in January, 1850, to Moses Miller Gray and Emily Townsend Gray in Oneida County, New York. She spent much of her life in Sauquoit, New York, and later lived in Utica. She was close to her uncle and aunt, Asa and Jane Loring Gray, and was familiar with their home at the Harvard Botanic Garden.

Gray started her career at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts around 1874 where she was curator of the Department of Textiles. She became the custodian of the John Whipple House in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1898. Gray died on April 5, 1930.


Museum of Fine Arts. 1899. Report of the Executive Committee. Annual Report of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 23:5-10.

Ware WR, editor. 1900. “The Georgian Period", being measured drawings of colonial work, 7. New York: The American Architect.

Waters TF. 1915. The John Whipple House in Ipswich, Mass. and the people who have owned and lived in it. Ipswich (MA): Ipswich Historical Society.

Series Description

This collection is arranged in three series:
  1. Series I: Scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks that Alice Gray compiled about Asa Gray
  2. Series II: Clippings. Collection of magazine and newspaper clippings on botanical subjects
  3. Series III: Asa Gray Artifacts


Alice Gray gave several of Asa Gray’s belongings to the Gray Herbarium in 1913. The gift included a silver pen, gold watch, magnifying glass, ink bottle, and pocket Bible.

Clippings were given to the Gray Herbarium in June 1922.

A third gift in 1927 included a plate of the John Bartram house, a scrapbook, and a silk waistcoat.

Related Materials

Gold watch purchased by Asa Gray in 1844 with money earned from the Lowell Lectures and presented to Alice 40 years later was transferred to the Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments, Harvard.

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria:
  1. 10 letters from Gray to Mary Anna Day and Benjamin Lincoln Robinson, 1 carbon copy of a reply from Robinson, 1911-1927; content pertains to Gray’s gifts. Located in Administrative correspondence of the Gray Herbarium and Harvard University Herbaria, 1890-1965.
  2. Gray, Jane Loring -- 2 letters from Gray to her aunt, 1885 and 1891; content pertains to portrait reliefs of Asa Gray. Located in the Asa Gray correspondence files, 1832-1892.
Gray, Alice A., 1850-1930. Alice A. Gray collection of Asa Gray papers and artifacts, 1885-1927: 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.

Harvard University Herbaria
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