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125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130


Photograph of a person wearing an orange scarf stand in front of a bookcase.

I am the head of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives and oversee all of its operations. I wear many hats in the library. I perform research and reference using our collections for our staff and outside researchers and create exhibitions of archival materials for the library and the Arboretum website. I also manage new book and archival acquisitions. Earlier in my time here, I was the project cataloger for the digitization of several of our historical photograph collections. This has given me an in-depth knowledge of our holdings, and helps me fulfill requests for the use of our historical images.

Prior to coming to the Arnold Arboretum, I was employed for many years as a librarian in the insurance industry, first on the property/casualty side and later in the life/health and financial services realm. Outside of work, I am an artist working in metal, wood, leather, and textiles. In addition to my artistic pursuits, I am involved with living history interpretation of the period 1580-1650. As an adjunct to that, I am a student of costume construction techniques of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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MS, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Simmons University
BFA, Education, Hartt School of Music
University of Hartford

Recent Publications

  • Pearson, L.E., Arnold Arboretum. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2016.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Mapping an “Indeterminable Quantity.” Silva, April 28, 2023.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Welcoming the Public: The Arboretum’s Entrances.” Silva, September 20, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “For the Establishment of an Arboretum.Silva, April 21, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Marian Roby Case: Cultivating Boys into Men.” Arnoldia, 77:2, pp. 2-9, 2019.

  • Dosmann, M.S., and L.E. Pearson, “Charles Faxon: Botanical draftsman,” Arnoldia, 73:1, pp. 2-10, 2015.

  • Pearson, L.E., “Picturing China: The Expeditions and Photographs of William Purdom,” Silva, Fall/Winter 2015, pp. 8-9.

  • Dosmann, M.S., and L.E. Pearson, “Charles Faxon: Botanical draftsman and interpreter of trees.” The Botanical Artist, 20:3, pp. 32-33, 2014.

  • Pearson, L.E., “John George Jack: Dendrologist, Educator, Plant Explorer,” Arnoldia, 71:4, pp. 2-11, 2014.

  • Pearson, L.E. “A Life Remembered in Plants : Sesquicentennial of Alfred Rehder, Arboretum Taxonomist,” Silva, Fall/Winter 2013-2014, p. 9.

  • Pearson, L.E., “Remembering Alfred Rehder,” Arnoldia, 71:2, pp. 18-24, 2013.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Resting Beneath the Tulip Trees : Walter Street Burying Ground Offers a Glimpse of the Past,” Silva, Fall/Winter 2012-2013, p.8.

  • “Intersections: Pairings of Botanical Art and Herbarium Vouchers from the Collections of the Arnold Arboretum.” Arnold Arboretum Visitor Center, March 10 – September 10, 2023.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Plant Exploration Then.” Panel discussion with Arboretum Keeper of the Living Collections Dr. Michael Dosmann, March 23, 2023.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Birth: The Early History and Meaning of the Arnold Arboretum.” Arnold Arboretum Director’s Lecture Series panel discussion with Rosetta Elkin and Ethan Carr, April 11, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Birth: The Early History and Meaning of the Arnold Arboretum.” Arnold Arboretum Director’s Lecture Series panel discussion with Rosetta Elkin and Ethan Carr, April 11, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Arnold Arboretum : Founding of a Museum of Trees.” Sesquicentennial keynote lecture for the Arnold Arboretum’s 150th birthday, March 29, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Welcoming the Public : The Arboretum’s Gates.” Arnold Arboretum Host Committee meeting, February 2, 2022.

  • Pearson, L.E. “The Jewel in the Emerald Necklace.” Twilight Talks, Historic New England, October 28, 2020.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Cultivating Boys into Men: Marian Case of Hillcrest Gardens.” Cultivating Legacies Symposium, Arnold Arboretum, March 9, 2019.

  • Pearson, L.E. “The Arnold Arboretum and China.” International Ecological Forum on “A Century of Wilson’s Road,” June 9, 2017. Songpan, Sichuan, China.

  • Pearson, L.E., “Tracking Change: Environmental Change Seen Through Records at the Arnold Arboretum,” SCoSAA and ProjectARCC Joint Symposium, “On the Brink: Archives, Climate Change, and the Future,” Boston, MA, November 11, 2015.

  • Pearson, L.E., “Picturing China: Treasures of the Arnold Arboretum Library and Archives,” Plant Collecting Symposium, Shanghai, China, March 27, 2015.

  • Pearson, L.E. “Trapped in a Filing Cabinet: Or, How We Liberated Our Historical Photos (and Some Manuscripts Too!) from Their Prisons…,” 44th Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Annual Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 28, 2012.

  • Pearson, L.E. and C. T. Iannuzzo. “Re-Constructing Men’s Clothing: 1550-1650,” in Old Clothes, New Tools II: Emerging Methodologies for the Study of Dress and Clothing Culture, 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 4-7, 2006.


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