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II A-14

Metcalf, Franklin P. (Franklin Post), 1892- . Papers of Franklin Post Metcalf (1930-1946): 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.: II A-14
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Metcalf, Franklin P. (Franklin Post), 1892-
Title: Papers of Franklin Post Metcalf
Date(s): 1930-1946
Quantity: 2.75 linear feet (9 boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

These papers were acquired during Franklin P. Metcalf's tenure at the Arnold Arboretum. The HOLLIS # for this collection is 009147410 and the file name is ajp00028.

Processing Information:

Processed by Lisa PearsonJune 2001

Conditions Governing 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.

Conditions Governing 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

Franklin Post Metcalf was born on June 10, 1892, in Oberlin, Ohio, the son of John Milton Putnam Metcalf. He was an assistant ornithologist at Oberlin College from 1912-1913 and received his A.B. from the school in 1913. He was a botanist at Cornell University from 1913-1916. During the summers of those years he was a tutor at Kamp Kiamesha in Vermont (1913), an assistant instructor at Cornell (1914), and an assistant instructor for Professor Lynd Jones' field course (1915). He was an instructor at Cornell during the 1916-1917 academic year and then accepted an appointment as an assistant biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) biological survey in North Dakota in 1917. He returned to that post in 1919, which he held until 1923, following his service in the United States Army Signal Corps from 1918-1919. As part of his USDA duties he performed fieldwork in the summers of 1920 and 1921.
He married Mabel Marie Truss in 1922. From 1923 to 1928 he was a professor of botany at Fukien Christian University. His only child John Edwards Metcalf was born on June 4, 1925. He was married three times. His second wife was the Dr. Luetta Chen and his third wife was Christine Malmer, whom he married in 1950. He was the nephew of Keyes Metcalf, Libraran of Harvard College.
During 1928-1929 he was a China Medical Board fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation and then a fellow of Lingnan University, Canton, China from 1930-1931. In 1931 he received his Ph.D. in systematic botany from Cornell University. In 1932 he became the curator of the herbarium of Lingnan Natural Historical Survey and Museum, a post he held until 1940. He returned to the United States in 1940 to pursue a year-long Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
From 1941-1942 he continued his work at the Arnold Arboretum as a Milton-Clarke fellow and research associate. In 1942 he was inducted into the United States Army Air Forces as a captain. He was promoted to major in 1943 and held that rank until 1947 when he retired. He returned to Oberlin in 1947 and started a real estate business. He died of a heart attack on April 3, 1955.
Metcalf was a fellow of the George Society, a member of the Wilson Ornithological Club, and a fellow of the Peiping Society of Natural History. His publications include: Flora of Fukien and floristic notes on Southeastern China, 1942; Wild-duck foods of North Dakota lakes, 1931; The gross morphology and histology of grass leaves and their value in taxonomy, 1931; Botanical notes on China, 1930.

Scope and Contents

This collection is arranged into two series:
Series I: Papers of Franklin Post Metcalf
Series II: Manuscript Papers - Flora of China
The bulk of the materials in Series 1 consist of copies of letters from Franklin P. Metcalf to Dr. F.A. McClure from 1939-1940. In addition there are items of memorabilia including a small photograph of F.P. Metcalf and his business cards, photographs and a c.v. of his son John E. Metcalf, an economist, and extracts from the Journal of the Arnold Arboretum mentioning F.P. Metcalf.
The folder descriptions in Series 2 provides only a basic breakdown of the collection. Each folder is listed with its description and family number. Any other important information written on the folder cover is listed in the note field. Series 2 consists of cardboard folders of containing typed and handwritten notes on Chinese flora. Many folders contain small maps of the Fukien province with plant information filled in on the reverse side. Also included are some reprints, and carbon copies of correspondence both to and from Metcalf regarding specific flora. The materials in Series 2 were transferred to HUH from the Arboretum in 1991. They appear to have been boxed up at the Arboretum but not arranged or processed to any degree. The content was thought to be of some use to David Boufford and were sent with the label Dave Boufford; Flora of China and Metcalf, F. The items however proved not to be of use with the current Flora of China Project of which David Boufford is involved and in March 2001 the items were transferred to acid free storage cartons pending reevaluation. The items did not appear to be in any discernible order and were left as arranged. The materials were transferred back to the Arnold Arboretum in 2001.

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