University Gives Support to New Botanical Herbarium

Seven years of bitter departmental botanical quarrels were publicly settled officially, at least yesterday.

The University released the Corporation's statement of its policy in starting to build a new central Botanical Herbarium next to Museum of Comparative zoology at the north end of Divinity Ave. The Herbarium will be constructed at a cost of a million dollars of unrestricted University funds.

The new Herbarium was recommended in a confidential paper, "Botany and its Applications at Harvard," written by Irving W. Bailey '07, professor or Plant Anatomy.

Besides the new building, the Bailey Report recommended the University's nine scattered botanical departments--which range from the Gray Herbarium next to Radcliffe to the Atkins Institution in Seledad, Cuba--into two road areas (General Morphology and Applied Botany) for administration and budgeting.

The Corporation decided on January 12, 1953, officially to exempt the Arboretum form this plan. The decision was necessitated by much legal controversy as to whether moving parts of the Arnold Arboretum's library and herbarium from, Jamaica Plain to the proposed building was a "violation of trust funds."


The University obtained no written legal advice before approving the Bailey Report, and in the late spring of 1950 the Overseers Visiting Committee for the Arboretum raised three main objections;

a) breach of trust in that the Committee thought the Arboretum's four-and-a-half-million endowment was given for "horticultural research only" but under the Halley plan (they believed) only a "25-30 percent," of the budget would go to the Arboretum's living collections.

b) That the Arnold Professor to be appointed director of the Arboretum would lose his autonomy in making policy desions.

c) That the split quid pro quo salary system whereby the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and research institutes sharing the salaries of active botanists was illegal.

The University asked the Overseers' nine-man coordinating committee under Walter D. Edmunds '26 to investigate the difficulties and later that spring the Committee suggested including the Arboretum in the plan, and noted that the allocation of $135,000 from the Botanic Garden's sale had Supreme Judicial Court approval.

However, whether results of the modified plan will differ from the Bailey Report will largely depend on the character of the man chosen Arnold Professor