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Wyman, Donald, 1904-1993. Records of Horticulturist Donald Wyman, 1935-1970 (inclusive): A Finding Aid.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University


The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: IV A-3 DW
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Donald Wyman, 1904-1993.
Title: Records of Horticulturist Donald Wyman, 1935-1970 (inclusive).
Date(s): 1935-1970
Quantity: 10 boxes
Abstract: Donald Wyman served as the Arnold Arboretum horticulturist from 1935-1970. His papers reflect over 35 years of dedication to the study and advancement of horticulture within the academic community and in service of the gardening public at large. Wyman authored several books, including the acclaimed Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens, Trees for American Gardens, and the widely used and respected Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Provenance: The majority of the material was acquired upon Dr. Wyman's retirement in 1970 with a small amount of biographical material added after his death in 1993. This collection was transferred from the Arnold Arboretum's departmental holdings to the Arboretum's Archives in 1984.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 1988 Carol David

Terms of Access:

Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Terms of Use:

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Biographical / Historical

Donald Wyman (1904-1993) served as Horticulturist of the Arnold Arboretum from 1935-1970. Taking responsibility at a difficult period, following the deaths of founding director Charles Sprague Sargent in 1927 and Keeper of the Arboretum E. H. Wilson in 1930, in the midst of the Great Depression Wyman lead a comprehensive plant labeling and mapping program and initiated a thinning of old and declining specimens. As head of living collections, Dr. Wyman promoted and introduced many species and varieties of plants new to the Arboretum and in some cases to the United States.
Wyman received a B.A. in horticulture from Pennsylvania State College, and at Cornell University received an M.A. in forestry, and a Ph.D. in horticulture in 1935. His work at theArnold Arboretum focused on the scientific evaluation of ornamental trees and shrubs, and the practical application for public consumption through lectures, publications, publicity, and various means including field classes at the Arboretum for 35 years. A prolific writer, Wyman published hundreds of articles and as editor of the Bulletin of Popular Information and Arnoldia, which achieved broader circulation for the Arboretum publication. Wyman wrote several books, including the acclaimed Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens, Trees for American Gardens, and the widely used and respected Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia.
Donald Wyman was president, director, and trustee of the American Horticultural Society and trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. His contributions to horticulture were recognized with the top medals of the American Horticultural Society—the Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society--the George Robert White Medal, and the Royal Horticultural Society of London--the Veitch memorial Gold Medal.


The collection is maintained in the alphabetical sequence created by Dr. Donald Wyman.

Scope and Contents

Dr. Wyman was concerned with maintaining and developing the living collections, editing the Arboretum's Bulletin of Popular Information andArnoldia, and promoting the Arboretum through publicity, publications, and lectures. Wyman focused on advancing the science of horticulture and the practice of gardens and arboreta through published books and articles. Wyman's papers reflect these activities. The research files he created are arranged in alphabetical sequence. Topics include detailed lists of hurricane damage to Arboretum plants for the years 1954, 1960, and to Mt. Auburn Cemetery for 1938; plant propagations of William H. Judd, 1945-1947; guides, brochures, postcards, and lists of special plant collections of arboreta and botanical gardens of the world; Arboreum plant collection notes 1948-1969; current Arboretum planting lists, 1968-1970; and lilac fertilizer experiments, 1938.


Access to Finding Aid record in Hollis Classic or Hollis.

Other Finding Aids

Additional (firstname lastname) correspondence can be found by searching the Arnold Arboretum Correspondence Index.

Container List