Robert A. Harper Collection
Scope and Content
This collection contains photographs and papers belonging to Robert Almer Harper, head of the Columbia University Botany Department from 1911 to 1930. The collection contains approximately 200 photographs of orchid specimens--some attributed to Hicks Arnold--and a few notes and personal papers belonging to Harper.
- Harper, Robert Almer, 1862-1946 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
Robert Almer Harper, botanist, was born in Le Claire, Iowa, on January 21, 1862. After earning his bachelor's degree at Oberlin College in 1886, Harper taught at Gates College (1886-1888) and Lake Forest Academy (1888-1891). He earned his M. A. from Oberlin in 1891 and was appointed professor of botany at Lake Forest College. From 1894 to 1896, Harper took a sabbatical from teaching to pursue his doctoral degree in Germany, studying with Strasburger Brefeld. In 1898, he was appointed professor and head of botany at the University of Wisconsin, a position he would hold until 1911, when he was appointed head of the botany department at Columbia University.
During the 1920s, Harper also served as chief of the board of scientific directors of the New York Botanical Garden. He belonged to a number of scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Botanical Society of America.
Harper married twice: first, in 1899, to Alice Jean McQueen (died 1909); and to Helen Sherman (1879-1973) in 1918. He retired in 1930, moving to Bedford, Virginia, where he died on May 12, 1946.
0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)
This collection consists of approximately 200 photographs of orchid specimens, together with a small number of various botanical notes and other materials belonging to Robert Almer Harper, head of Columbia University's botany department from 1911 to 1930.
Source of Acquisition
The Robert A. Harper Collection was transferred to the Special Collections from the Virginia Tech Biology Department in 1993.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Robert A. Harper Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement and description of the Robert A. Harper Collection commenced and was completed in May 2003.
- Robert A. Harper Collection, c.1910-c.1930
- John M. Jackson, Archivist
- 2003 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US