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Arnold Arboretum

Meet John Jack in our Visitor Center

March 27, 2013 by Library Staff

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As part of recent improvements in the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center, the library will now mount temporary exhibits in two new display cases. We are excited to showcase our archival holdings and celebrate the history of the Arnold Arboretum and botanical education. In the Visitor Center reading area, we also feature a rotating selection of new books and old favorites from the library.

This month we feature the life and work of John George Jack (1861-1949). Jack was the first plant explorer sent by Arboretum Founding Director Charles Sprague Sargent to collect woody plant specimens in Eastern Asia. Earlier he had botanized in the American west, acting as an agent for the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sargent appointed Jack as Lecturer in Arboriculture (later Lecturer in Forestry) in 1890, and he taught classes in botany and forestry at the Arboretum until his retirement in 1935. He had an excellent reputation as an educator and inspired a generation of Chinese botanists.

In our archives, we curate the John George Jack (1861-1949) papers, 1887-1990 [pdf].

The library will continue to present themed exhibits in our Reading Room, but having the opportunity to display materials from our collection in the Visitor Center was a big first for us. To celebrate the occasion, we created a gallery of images that take you behind the scenes to see how the exhibit was prepared.

You can read more about the exhibit and improvements to the Visitor Center in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue [pdf] of Silva.

The Visitor Center is currently open from noon to 4:00pm, closed Wednesdays. Beginning April 1 through October, it will be open from 11:00am to 6:00pm. We are mounting a new exhibit at the beginning of April, so hurry on over for John Jack!


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