[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FMUS.GRA:gra00014View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement

Bolander, Henry Nicholas, 1831-1897. Henry Nicholas Bolander California Geological Survey field notes, approximately 1865-1867: A Guide.

Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: gra00014
Repository: Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Bolander, Henry N. (Henry Nicholas), 1831-1897
Title: Henry Nicholas Bolander California Geological Survey field notes
Date(s): approximately 1865-1867
Quantity: 0.1 linear feet (3 folders in file cabinet #11)
Language of materials: English


These materials were likely used by Sereno Watson during the preparation of "Botany of California" (Geological Survey of California, 1880) and most likely remained with Watson's papers at the Gray Herbarium. Additional materials authored by William H. Brewer were separated to create the William Henry Brewer California Geological Survey field notes.

Processed by:

Lynn McWhood
January 1982

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:

Henry Nicholas Bolander California Geological Survey field notes, Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria:


Henry Nicholas Bolander was born in Schlüchtern, Germany, in 1831 and immigrated to the United States in 1846. At the encouragement of his uncle, he entered the Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, where he completed his course of study and was ordained as a minister. Rather than practicing he began teaching in the Ohio German-English schools in 1851. Around this time Bolander was introduced to botany by his neighbor, paleobotanist and bryologist, Léo Lesquereux. Bolander was inspired to study and collect specimens in Ohio and nearby states.
Bolander married Anna Marie Jenner, a widowed mother of three, in 1857. That same year he began working with John Hancock Klippart to compile a catalogue of the plants of Ohio. Bolander worked on the catalogue until 1860 when poor health forced him to return to Germany to recuperate. The catalogue was never published.
Bolander moved with his family to California in 1861 at his doctor's urging. He taught for the San Francisco School District and met members of the California Academy of Sciences and the California Geological Survey. He eventually succeeded William H. Brewer as State Botanist in 1864. From that time until around 1873 he traveled and collected extensively in California. His discoveries included dozens of new species and prompted Asa Gray to write in 1868 that, "For the last few years no one has done so much as Mr. Bolander for developing the botany of his adopted State, and perhaps no one is likely to do so much hereafter."
From 1871 to 1875 Bolander served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, an office which enabled him to collect in many new localities. He did not seek re-election but successfully ran for Superintendent of Schools in San Francisco. He held the position for two years, then spent the next five years traveling in Central and South America, Africa, and Europe. Upon his return in 1883 he settled in Portland, Oregon, to teach modern languages and botany in St. Helen's Hall and at Bishop Scott Academy.
Bolander died on August 28, 1897. His name appears in the specific epithets of many western North American species. The genus Bolandra was named in his honor by Asa Gray.
Gray A. 1868. Characters of new plants of California and elsewhere, principally of those collected by H. N. Bolander in the State Geological Survey. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 7:327-401.
Jepson WL. 1898. Dr. Henry N. Bolander, botanical explorer. Erythea. 6(10):100-107.
Stuckey RL. 1984. Early Ohio botanical collections and the development of the state herbarium. Ohio J. Sci. 84(4):148-174.

Series Description

The collection is arranged in two series reflecting authorship: Field Notes by Bolander and George Thurber notes.

Scope and Content

The Bolander field notes contain field notes pertaining to plants he collected in California from around 1865 to 1867. The collection also includes identifications and descriptive notes by George Thurber.

Container List