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COLLECTION Identifier: HUD 3159.5000

Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum

Overview

The Association for the Arnold Arboretum, Inc. was a nonprofit Massachusetts corporation founded to aid in the protection, preservation, support, and advancement of the Arnold Arboretum. The Association was organized in July 1953 in response to the controversial "Bailey Plan," which would have removed resources from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge. The records document the history, activities, and interests of this group.

Dates

  • 1953-1958

Conditions on use and access:

The Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum are open for research.

Extent

0.21 cubic feet (1 half-document box)
The Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum document the history, activities, and interests of this group.

The collection includes pamphlets, brochures, open letters, and legal documents published by the Association, as well as news coverage of the "Bailey Plan" controversy from 1953 to 1958. Organization records, including letters, reports, membership appeals and mission statements, underscore the group's commitment to preventing the removal of the Arboretum's library and herbarium from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge. The collection also contains legal records documenting the Association's attempts to sue the University.

History of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum

The Association for the Arnold Arboretum, Inc., an independent group of 600 members, was organized in July 1953 as a nonprofit Massachusetts corporation to aid in the protection, preservation, support, and advancement of the Arnold Arboretum. Its creation was prompted by the Harvard Corporation’s decision in January 1953 to remove most of the Arboretum’s herbarium and library from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in accordance with the previously approved "Bailey Plan." This plan, developed by Professor Irving W. Bailey in 1945, recommended the unification of botanical activities at Harvard. The Association argued that the "Bailey Plan" involved a legal and moral breach of trust with the benefactors of the Arboretum who contributed to its endowment.

The Association launched a public relations and legal campaign against the University to prevent the removal of the Arboretum's library and herbarium, beginning with a request for Massachusetts Attorney General, George Fingold, to sue Harvard University. Fingold refused, and the Association brought suit in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts against his decision. The suit failed, and in 1955, most books and herbaria specimens were transferred to a new building in Cambridge, which was later named the Harvard University Herbaria. A second lawsuit was filed by the Association in the name of the new Attorney General, Edward J. McCormack, Jr., in 1958. Later that year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld Harvard’s decision to removal material from the Arboretum.

Biographical / Historical The Association for the Arnold Arboretum, Inc., an independent group of 600 members, was organized in July 1953 as a nonprofit Massachusetts corporation to aid in the protection, preservation, support, and advancement of the Arnold Arboretum. Its creation was prompted by the Harvard Corporation’s decision in January 1953 to remove most of the Arboretum’s herbarium and library from Jamaica Plain to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in accordance with the previously approved "Bailey Plan." This plan, developed by Professor Irving W. Bailey in 1945, recommended the unification of botanical activities at Harvard. The Association argued that the "Bailey Plan" involved a legal and moral breach of trust with the benefactors of the Arboretum who contributed to its endowment.

The Association launched a public relations and legal campaign against the University to prevent the removal of the Arboretum's library and herbarium, beginning with a request for Massachusetts Attorney General, George Fingold, to sue Harvard University. Fingold refused, and the Association brought suit in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts against his decision. The suit failed, and in 1955, most books and herbaria specimens were transferred to a new building in Cambridge, which was later named the Harvard University Herbaria. A second lawsuit was filed by the Association in the name of the new Attorney General, Edward J. McCormack, Jr., in 1958. Later that year, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld Harvard’s decision to removal material from the Arboretum.

Arrangement

Documents are arranged in chronological order.

Acquisition Information

The Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum were received from the Association, July 1955.

Related Material

  1. See also Records of the Arnold Arboretum Controversy, 1945-1998, held at the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
  2. See also Records of the Arnold Arboretum (Harvard University Archives call number HUF 160.xx)
  3. See also Records regarding the Arnold Arboretum Case, 1950-1957 (Harvard University Archives call number UAI 20.950.10)
  4. See also Records regarding the Arnold Arboretum Case, 1946-1950 (Harvard University Archives call number UAI 20.946.10)
  5. See also Correspondence and other records relating to Arnold Arboretum Case, 1946-1966 (Harvard University Archives call number UAI 20.946.10.5)
  6. Search HOLLIS (Harvard's online library system) for works by and about the Association for the Arnold Arboretum and the Arnold Arboretum.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2019 March 19.

Processing Information

The Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum were first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. In April 2008, Juliana Kuipers re-processed the material. Re-processing involved reorganizing the collection, housing materials in the appropriate containers, establishing an arrangement, and creating this inventory. All call numbers were simplified.
Link to catalog
Title
Association for the Arnold Arboretum. Records of the Association for the Arnold Arboretum : an inventory
Author
Harvard University Archives
EAD ID
hua14008

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461