II A-1 GRS
Shaw, George Russell, 1848. Papers of George Russell Shaw, 1890s-1930s. A
Archives of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
© 1999 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Last update 2016 June 14
Repository: Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain, MA
Call No.: II A-1 GRS.
Creator: George Russell Shaw, b. 1848.
Title: Papers of George Russell Shaw, circa 1890-1930.
Quantity: 4 boxes
Abstract: The George R. Shaw papers include works on the botanical and systematic
identification, description, and illustration of pines. The collection covers
botanical works from the turn of the century to approximately 1930 including Shaw's
notes and illustrations in miniature notebooks from journeys to Europe and
Access to Finding Aid record in Hollis Classic or Hollis.
Current version of this finding aid is available at the Archives of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard
Processed June 1995.
Provenance: In large part the George R. Shaw Papers were acquired during Mr. Shaw's
tenure at the Arnold Arboretum. However, his unique work entitled On the Identification of the Trees and Shrubs of
Massachusetts at All Seasons of the Year was generously donated by the
Shaw family in 1983. This collection was transferred from the Arnold Arboretum’s
departmental holdings to the Arboretum’s Archives in 1984.
Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make
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.
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.
George Russell Shaw (1848-1937), a native of Parkman, Maine was
a 1869 graduate of Harvard University. He studied architecture and became an
associate of the Hunnewell family of Wellesley, Massachusetts. Shaw
& Hunnewell Architects designed several projects including
Pierce Hall at Harvard University and the Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston.
At the age of 50, Shaw began studying the genus Pinus (pines)
using the Arnold Arboretum as his headquarters. This
avocation became his principal occupation. Shaw traveled to Cuba, Mexico, and Europe
to view pines in their native habitat and to collect specimens, as well as to study
in libraries and herbaria.
George R. Shaw's first major publication was The Pines of
Mexico in 1909. Shaw was able to distinguish 18 species of pines out of
a large number that had confused botanists. The work included a systematic
description of each species and variety, a key, notes on distribution, and
discussion of previous botanical treatments. In addition to the scientific merit of
Shaw's work he added remarkable illustrations, drawings of
cones and needles, and delightful habit sketches of entire trees in their typical
In 1914, Shaw published Genus Pinus, a similar
systematic, illustrated monograph on pines world wide. In the ensuing years, Shaw
collaborated on Plantae Wilsonianae, E. H. Wilson
and Alfred Rehder's systematic catalogue of the Chinese flora.
George R. Shaw was a significant contributor to the Arnold Arboretum. Shaw financed
the fire proofing of the Hunnewell Building attic (now the Arnold Arboretum Living
Collections area) and the laying of a wood floor in the area. He organized an
extensive conifer exhibit, mounting specimens and providing glass cases for their
display to the public in what became known as the conifer room. Shaw's
conifer collection is now housed at the Harvard University Herbaria in
The George R. Shaw papers reflect Mr. Shaw's contribution to horticulture and botany
as an authority on systematic identification, description, and illustration of
pines. The collection covers Shaw's work from the turn of the century to
approximately 1930 including his many notes and illustrations in
miniaturenotebooks from journeys to Europe and
The collection is organized into the following series: 1.Biographical Material;
2.Correspondence; 3.Notebooks; 4.Annotated Reprints; 5.Scrapbooks; 6.Maps;
7.Manuscripts; 8.Publications; 9.Illustrations.
- Series I: Biographical Material
- Folder 1
Date: 1901. Harvard College Class Of 1869, 9th
Date: 1919. Harvard College Class Of 1869, 15th
- Obituary. Boston Globe.
- Obituary. Boston Herald.
- Series III Notebooks
- Folder 3
- Nelson Mexico.
Some repetition of #2.
- Folder 6
Date: 1907. Mexico EMS 1907. "with
Horticultural notes made at the following places Guernavaca, Ajuso,
Pachuca, Toro, Tres Marias, Salazar, Cuenavaca Nanacamilpa,
Contreras, Oaxaca, Las Sedar.
- Folder 7
Date: 1907. Mexico 1907. "with
Notes made at the following places: Toro, Tres Marias, Contreras,
Huingo Uruapan, Jesus del Monte, Guernavaca, Ajusco, Pachuca, Toro,
Salazar, Nanacamilpa. Notes include travel arrangements; notes on
people. Note disputing identification by Gordon of a species--Plant
list # and names and places.
- Folder 11
Date: 1914. Loose-leaf notes on 1914 European cruise
and land trip.
Notes on voyage, illustrations of nautical knots, hulls, bell towers
- Italy, Switzerland, France, England. Notes interspersed with
- Series IV Annotated Reprints
- Folder 1
- "The Lateral Cone." G. R.
Date: 1903. "Flora of the Southern States."
1903. Small (John Kunkel?). pp.25-30. Commentary by G. R.
- "Plantae Hartwegianae," by Georgius Bentham. pp.57-58 Notes
by G. R. Shaw.
- Folder 2
- "East Asia, China Wilson's Pines."
Contains: (1) Plantae Wilsonianae. An enumeration of woody plants
collected in Western China for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard
University during the Years 1907, 1908 & 1910 by E. H.
Wilson. Pub. of the Arnold Arboretum no. 4 July 31, 1911. Part I -
(2) As above no.4, Part IV March 24, 1914 - (3)"Botanische
Jahrbucher fur Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und
Pflanzengeographie" by A. Engler.1912 Wilhelm Engelmann,
Leipzig--Notes by G. R. Shaw include: descriptions and illustrations
of cones; localities of collection sites.
- Series V Scrapbooks
- Folder 1
- "Landscape Gardening and Trees."
A collection of published illustrations assembled by G. R.
Informal Gardens,Water Gardens, Rockery, Yews. Photographs from
magazines and journals, many from Country Life.
- Series VI Maps
- Folder 1
- Stanford's Map of the Empires of China and Japan with the
adjacent parts of the Russian Empire, India, Burma, etc.
No date of publication given. Areas circled on map have an
accompanying key A-FF. A. Henry I and Wilson Central China, B.
Farges, C. Delaray, D. Henry Yunnan II, E. Wilson II FF. Khasya.
- Series VIII Publications
- Folder 1
Date: 1914. The Genus Pinus. by George
Russell Shaw. Publication of the Arnold Arboretum, No.5 Riverside
Press, Cambridge 1914.
- Series IX Illustrations
- Folder 1
- Botanical Illustrations. Vol. 1 A-H; Vol. 2 H-Z.
- On the Identification of the Trees and Shrubs
of Massachusetts at All Seasons of the Year. By George
A collection of watercolors, pen-and-ink drawings, and pencil sketches,
which G. R. Shaw compiled during the years 1891-1893 and bound by hand
in hand-tooled leather, captures both the identity of each native
species and its special place in the New England landscape.