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Sperling, Calvin, 1957-1995. Calvin Sperling field notebooks, 1980-1984: A Guide.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: arn00011
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Sperling, Calvin, 1957-1995
Title: Calvin Sperling field notebooks
Date(s): 1980-1984
Quantity: 0.1 linear feet (3 volumes in file cabinet 11)
Language of materials: English


The provenance of this collection is unknown. The notebooks may have been left at Harvard by Sperling after he completed his doctorate.

Processing Information:

Processed by Zachary Bodnar, 2017.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact botref@oeb.harvard.edu for additional information.

Preferred Citation:

Calvin Sperling field notebooks, Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Harvard University.

Biographical Note

Calvin Ross Sperling was born on February 7, 1957, in Farwell, Minnesota, to Clarence and Doris Sperling. He grew up on a dairy farm in Alexandria, Minnesota, and earned a B.S. in botany from North Dakota State University in 1979. He went on to complete M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard in 1981 and 1987, respectively.
Sperling's career as a plant collector began as an undergraduate when he conducted a survey of Minnesota flora, collecting over 5,000 specimens. During his graduate studies he traveled to South America four times to collect specimens and conduct research. He also began working as a consultant for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1984 and went to Israel and Turkey to study wheat.
After completing his graduate studies Sperling accepted a position as a plant exploration officer with the National Plant Germplasm Resources Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland. He coordinated almost 100 collecting trips to locations in the United States and abroad and worked to integrate ethnobotanical research with agricultural exploration.
Despite his short career Sperling received several honors, including the Richard Evans Schultes Award for contributions to ethnobotany from the Healing Forest Conservancy in 1993 and the Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources from the USDA in 1995. Sperling married Debra Gilmore in 1989; they had one son, Carl. Sperling died of cancer on May 20, 1995.
Forsline PL. 2003. Dedication: Calvin R. Sperling. In: Horticultural Reviews: Wild Apple and Fruit Trees of Central Asia. New York: John Wiley and Sons; ix-x.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of three field notebooks from Sperling's time as a graduate student at Harvard. The notes are for collections made in South America as well as in the United States and Canada.

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