Charles Arthur Hollick Records (RG5)


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The New York Botanical Garden
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Collectors: Hollick, Charles Arthur, 1857-1933.
Title: Charles Arthur Hollick Records (RG5)
Dates: 1873-1979
Dates: bulk, 1879-1933
Quantity: 7.5 linear feet; 10 boxes
Call Phrase: Hollick (RG5)

Biography of Charles Arthur Hollick

(Charles) Arthur Hollick (1857-1933) was a Paleobotanist. He served the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) as Assistant Curator of the Garden (1901-1913), Honorary Curator of Fossil Plants (1913-1921), Paleobotanist (1921-1932) and Research Associate in Paleobotany (1932-1933). Between 1913 and 1919 he served as Director of the Public Museum of the Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences (now the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences), an organization he was instrumental in founding in 1881. He graduated from Columbia College School of Mines in 1879 and received his Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1897. He made the first paleobotanical survey of Alaska (1903). His findings are published by the U. S. Geological Survey as Professional Papers 159 and 182. He collected for the Maryland Geological Survey in 1901. This work is published in the Pliocene and Pleistocene volume of the Maryland Geological Survey (1906). He collected in New England and New Jersey with E. C. Jeffrey, of Harvard University, another life long friend. He published on the Cretaceous floras of New England for the U. S. G. S. (Monograph 50, 1906). For the general public he produced articles on Palaeobotany for the New International Encyclopaedia (1903) and the Encylopaedia Americana (1904). An expert draughtsman , he created most of the illustrations for his own and J. S. Newberry's publications. N. L. Britton credits Hollick with producing or supervising the drawings for the first “Illustrated Flora of the Northern States and Canada”

Apart from his scientific activities Dr. Hollick participated in New York City politics and government. From 1886 to 1892 he was a member of the Board of Health of New Brighton, Staten Island where he established a sewerage system and abated the smoke nuisance caused by factories in Bayonne, N.J. He was on the Board of Park Commissioners for Richmond County from 1897-1904. He helped to organize the Richmond Borough branch of the Citizens Union and worked for the election of Seth Low, President of Columbia University , to mayor in 1901. He was a member of the New York City Board of Education from 1906 to 1910.

Hollick was born in New Brighton, Staten Island on February 6, 1857. Except for periods with the U. S. G. S. in Washington, D. C. and his field trips, he lived in Port Richmond all of his life. A lifelong friend of Nathaniel Lord and Elizabeth Britton, he and Nathaniel met in 1875 when both entered the School of Mines of Columbia College. Influenced by Professor John S. Newberry and his friend John J. Crooke, they joined the Torrey Botanical Club together in 1877. Hollick was Recording Secretary of the Club from 1883 to 1888 and an Associated Editor for many years. Hollick and Britton published A Catalogue of the Plants of Richmond County in 1879, the year both graduated from the School of Mines.

In 1881 Britton and Hollick and their colleague William T. Davis became original member of the Natural Science Association of Staten Island. The specimens they collected and those of Hollick's father Dr. Frederick Hollick, an amateur geologist, formed the basis of the natural history collections of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences.

After graduation, Hollick travelled to California to be Superintendent of the Mexican Mine in Mariposa County, California. In February, 1881 he was appointed Assistant Sanitary Engineer of the Board of Health of the City of New York. He was there for 10 years, during one of the periods of greatest growth and expansion of the City. At one time as many as one thousand unfinished buildings were on his inspection list. Some of the projects he oversaw were the original Madison Square Garden, the Mills Building and the Navarro Flats.

In 1882 he, N. L. Britton and W. T. Davis had collected fossil plants in Wyoming and Colorado for Professor J. S. Newberry of Columbia College. He continued his association with Newberry, serving as a private assistant and producing the drawings of fossil plants and fishes for many of Newberry’s publications. In 1890 Newberry became ill and Hollick was appointed to fulfill Newberry’s lecture schedule. This was the beginning of his active scientific career. In 1892 he was appointed Assistant in Geology. That year, at the Lake Superior mines, he conducted the first practical field geology course in the history of the School of Mines. In 1893 his title was changed to Tutor in Geology. He gave instructions in drawing to students in courses in geology and paleontology. In 1895 he produced, posthumously, Newberry's Flora of the Amboy Clays which he edited from notes and added illustrations.

When the paleobotanical collections of Columbia University were transferred to the New York Botanical Garden in 1901, Hollick was placed in charge of them as Assistant Curator.

He spent four months in Alaska under the auspices of the U.S. Geological Survey--Division of Alaskan Mineral Resources, Reclamation Service in 1903—the first Paleobotanist to do so. With Sidney Paige, he travelled 1000 miles down the Yukon River from Dawson to Anvik collecting materials which were to occupy him for the rest of his career. He wrote two reports on this material, The Upper Cretaceous flora of Alaska, 1930 (Professional Paper 159) and The Tertiary flora of Alaska, 1936 (Professional Paper 182). He did most of his own illustrations for both works.

Hollick and the Brittons collected in Jamaica 1908. Between 1913 and 1919, Hollick served as Director of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences; although he was associated with the New York Botanical Garden as Honorary Curator of Fossil Plants.

In 1921 he rejoined the New York Botanical Garden as Paleobotanist and in 1932 his title was changed to Research Associate in Paleontology. In 1926 he was part of the expedition to Porto Rico sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Government of Porto Rico. His descriptions and illustrations are published in the 7th volume of the Scientific Survey of Porto Rico.

His last expedition was to Cuba, December, 1932-Jan., 1933 where, at the age of 76, in the company of Brother Leon, he collected in every province, travelling over 1000 miles by foot, horseback and primitive conveyances. Three months later, following a brief illness, he died on March 1, 1933. His work was taken up by E. W. Berry of Johns Hopkins University.


Scope and Content

The bulk of this collection is visual materials. These are in the forms of photographs, clippings of photographic plates and lithographic prints of figures from published works, and mono prints taken from leaves of contemporary trees and grasses. Other materials are correspondence, reprints, manuscripts, and index cards. The bulk of the materials concerns Dr. Hollick’s paleobotanic investigations and documentation of new species. Material in the Staten Island series relates to Dr. Hollick’s study of the flora of Staten Island with N. L. Britton , his work with the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences and reports pertaining to his work as member of the Board of Health of Staten Island (1886-1892). The collection is arranged into twelve series.


Arrangement

The collection is organized into twelve series:
Series 1: Biographical Materials. 1901-1933. Arranged chronologically.
Series 2: Staten Island. 1883-1979. Arranged by subject.
Series 3: Correspondence. 1875-1933. Arranged alphabetically and chronologically.
Series 4: Nature Prints. n.d. Arranged by subject.
Series 5: Illustrations. 1876-1930. Arranged by subject.
Series 6: Topographic Maps. n.d.-1911. Arranged by subject.
Series 7: Annual Reports of the Paleobotanist. 1911-1933. Arranged chronologically.
Series 8: Manuscripts. 1879-1931. Arranged chronologically.
Series 9: Alaska Expedition. 1903-1932. Arranged by subject.
Series 10: Photographs. 1879-1928. Arranged chronologically.
Series 11: Literature File. Arranged alphabetically by author.
Series 12: Type and figured Specimen Files. Arranged alphabetically by subject.


Restrictions

Access restrictions

This collection is open for research with permission from Mertz Library staff.

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be submitted in writing to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.


Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Subjects
Alaska -- Discovery and exploration -- Photographs.
Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1859-1934. Flora of Staten Island. 1879.
Hollick, Charles Arthur, 1857-1933 -- Archives.
Liriodendron.
Lyriodendropsis.
Nature prints.
New York Botanical Garden Archives.
Newberry, J. S. (John Strong), 1822-1892. Flora of the Amboy Clays -- Illustrations.
Paige, Sidney b. 1880 -- Photograph collections.
Paleobotany -- Alaska.
Paleobotany -- Bibliography.
Plants -- New York (N.Y.) -- Staten Island.
San Juancito (Honduras) -- Maps, Manuscript.
Torrey Botanical Club -- History -- Sources.


Related Material

New York Botanical Garden

RG4--The Herman F. Becker Records

United States Geological Survey

Mineral Resources Survey, Alaska Section, Anchorage, Ak.

Field Records Library, Denver, Co.

Photo Library, Denver, Co.

Reclamation Service, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Yale University, Peabody Museum of Natural History

The New York Botanical Garden Collection (Paleobotany collection)

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Lester Frank Ward Papers

Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences

Charles Arthur Hollick Papers


Separated Material

The following have been relocated to Collectors' Field Notes (CFN):

Field Notebook #623, Staten Island, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, Elizabeth Island, Chesapeake Bay, Cape Cod, 1896-1901

Field Notebook #621, Geological Survey of New Jersey, 1896-1898

Field Notebook #622, USGS, Barren Island, Long Island and Queens, Fox Island, 1903- 1922


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Charles Arthur Hollick Records (RG5), Archives, The New York Botanical Garden.

Acquisition Information

This collection was transferred to the New York Botanical Garden Archives.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Laura Zelasnic, Project Archivist, April,1999, with grant funding from The National Endowment for the Humanities. (NEH-PA 23141-98). Converted to EAD in AUgust 2006 by Kathleene Konkle under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH-PA 50678-04).


Container List

 

Series 1. Biographical Materials.

Scope and Content:

Contains a memoir of Hollick’s experiences in the Torrey Botanical Club, a newspaper interview on prehistoric fossils of Manhattan, a program for a talk he gave in Pittsburgh and N.L. Britton's memoir of Hollick. Portrait photographs of Dr. Hollick are contained in Series 10 : Photographs.

Folder Title Date
1.1 Biographical 1901-1933

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Series 2. Staten Island.

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence from the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences transmitting a container list of materials held by them pertaining to the “Flora of Staten Island “ by Hollick and Britton and material pertinent to the flora of Staten Island by other NYBG faculty members. Also in this series are Arbor Day addresses delivered by Hollick in Staten Island, and material written while he was Curator-in-Chief at the Staten Island Museum. Reports by him on oil refineries near Kill Von Kull and the sewage system invented by George E. Waring and installed on Staten Island are reminders of his 10 years with the Sanitation Department of New York City. A photograph of N.L. Britton and Hollick “Botanizing on Staten Island” is located in Series 10: Photographs. Hollick’s field notes dating from 1896 have been removed and are located in the Field Notebook Collection.

Folder Title Date
1.2 Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences 1883-1979
1.3 Sanitation Reports ca. 1883

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Series 3. Correspondence.

Scope and Content:

This series contains letters transmitting determinations, loans and receipts for Paleobotanic materials sent to the NYBG during Dr. Hollick’s tenure. Other correspondence relates to Dr. Hollick's research. Particularly notable in this series is Hollick’s 25 year correspondence with E.C. Jeffrey of the Phanerogamic Botany Laboratory at Harvard. Together they investigated the Cretaceous flora of Staten Island, New Jersey and Martha’s Vineyard. Hollick’s field notes for these studies are located in the Field Notebook Collection. Correspondence from the U.S. Geologic Survey contains the records of Dr. Hollick’s appointments. Other correspondence with the U. S. G. S. is filed alphabetically under the individual correspondent. See especially K, for Hollick’s correspondence with Knowleton. Correspondence with the Merriam Co. in the M folder contains his revisions on paleobotanical terms for Webster’s Dictionary, 1927. Correspondence with Charlotte H. Schmidt transmits the “List of Fossil Plant Genera and Living Plants Found Fossil” compiled by her and reviewed by Hollick in 1919. The list itself is located in Series 8: Manuscripts. Correspondence in Series 8: Manuscripts is found in the scrapbook dedicated to Hollick's article in on Paleobotany in The New International Encyclopedia. Correspondence related to Hollicks Alaska Expedition is located in Series 9: Alaska Expedition. One manuscript found in Series 3: Correspondence is “Glacial Reliefs South of and In the Last Moraine” located in the Botanical Society of America folder. Correspondence related to Dr. Hollick's field work in Alaska is found in Series 9: Alaska Expedition.

Folder Title Date
1.4 American Association for the Advancement of Science 1898-1899
1.5 Botanical Society of America 1930
1.6 A-C 1896-1931
1.7 D-G 1901-1928
1.8 H-J 1899-1927
1.9 Jeffrey, E.C. 1905-1930
1.10 Joseph Leidy Commemorative Meeting 1923
1.11 K 1898-1931
1.12 L 1912-1928
1.13 M 1903-1932
1.14 N-O 1915-1930
1.15 P 1889-1933
1.16 R 1923-1930
1.17 Save the Redwoods League 1912-1932
1.18 S 1895-1932
1.19 Schmidt, Charlotte 1904-1919
1.20 T 1903-1932
1.21 Thom, Emma 1929-1932
1.22 U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) 1882-1928
1.23 V 1903
1.24 W 1913-1932
1.25 Y-Z 1900-1923
1.26 Miscellaneous 1875-1922
1.27 Miscellaneous 1923-1926
1.28 Miscellaneous 1927-1928
1.29 Miscellaneous 1929
1.30 Miscellaneous 1930-1933

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Series 4. Nature Prints.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of mono prints in ink of leaves of contemporary trees and grasses which have been cut out and pasted on cardboard with their species name handwritten in ink to form a reference file.

Folder Title Date
1.31 Nature Prints n.d.

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Series 5. Illustrations.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of lithographs, line drawings and photographs. All are illustrations which accompany published contributions although the exact titles are not always specified. Among the more interesting are what appear to be the original plates from Leo Lesquereux’s work on Fossil Flora of the Western Territories for the U. S. G. S. (1878) & (1883). It is possible that Hollick did the drawings. Other illustrations are an extensive group of line drawings illustrating Liriodendra. Photographs from his work and that of others, esp. “Upper Cretaceous Flora of Alaska” are here--cut up, pasted onto cards and organized into a reference file. Oversized illustrations are located in Box 5.

Folder Title Date
2.1 Upper Cretaceous Flora of Alaska 1930
2.2 Upper Cretaceous Flora of Alaska 1930
2.3 Upper Cretaceous Flora of Alaska 1930
2.4 Andromeda, Arabia 1898
2.5 Annulariae 1913
2.6 Asterophyllites, Bignonia ca. 1913
2.7 Calamites 1913
2.8 Calamostachys 1913
2.9 Cardius, Casuarina, Coinopteris n.d.-1914
2.10 Elatides to Equisetum 1913-1914
2.11 Ficus, Fieldenia, Hedera and Ginko 1898-1914
2.12 Lirodendron 1894-1896
2.13 Lirodendron Alatum Newb 1894
2.14 Lonchocarpus to Myrsine 1896-1913
2.15 Otozamites, Pinnularia, Pongamia 1896-1914
2.16 Paleostachya and Phoenicopsis 1876-1913
2.17 Populus, Proteas Phyllum Protorhipsis 1895
2.18 Pterospermites, Rhyzomorphs 1898
2.19 Salix, Serenopsis 1893-1898
2.20 Zamia, Zamites ca. 1913
2.21 Unidentified n.d.
2.22 Schematic Drawings (Plates V-Z) n.d.
5.1 Ancestors of the…Middle Cretaceous, n.d.
5.2 Eastern, U.S. ( Liriodendra) n.d.
5.3 Young and Mature Leaves of Liriodendron Tulipifera n.d.

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Series 6. Topographic Maps.

Scope and Content:

This series contains a group of index maps published by the U. S. G. S. extending across the U.S. From these indexes, one would select details by number and order them. In this series is an original ink on linen topographic map of San Juancito, Honduras by E. C. Fialos, C. E.. Hollick never worked in Honduras. Included also in this series is a list of maps of specific areas in the United States requested by Hollick and purchased in 1911.

Folder Title Date
2.23 List of Maps wanted by the New York Botanical Garden 1911
2.24 USGS Index Maps 1900-1911
2.25 San Juancito, Honduras by E. C. Fialos, C.E. n.d.

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Series 7. Annual Reports of the Paleobotanist.

Scope and Content:

Typewritten reports, handwritten notes and index cards recording the activities of the Paleobotanist annually from 1921-1933. An index card file, documenting the year 1930 in terms of library and museum acquisitions, Garden Publications, Lectures and Conferences, and Personal and Professional Activities on individual cards is found in Box 10.

Folder Title Date
2.26 Reports 1921-1933

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Series 8. Manuscripts.

Scope and Content:

This series contains manuscripts written by Hollick or sent to him. Here is located the original manuscript for Flora of Staten Island (1879) by Britton and Hollick. The folder for Newberry’s “ Flora of the Amboy Clays” contains page proofs and a list of the locations of the specimens illustrated in it. Also in this series is a scrapbook containing correspondence and proofs for his article for the New International Encyclopedia (1903) and a list of Fossil Plant Genera and Living Plants found in Fossil prepared for him by Charlotte H. Schmidt of the U. S. G. S. in 1919. Another scrapbook dedicated to the Story of the Bartram Oak, published in 1919 in Scientific American is in box 5. The Bibliography folder contains citations in his own handwriting for articles written by Hollick.

Folder Title Date
3.1 Flora of Richmond County 1879
3.2 [Notes on Liriodendron] 1894-1907
3.3 “The Flora of the Amboy Clays” by John Strong Newberry, ed. by Arthur Hollick 1895
3.4 The Genus Liriodendropsis Newberry 1895
3.5 "Palaeobotany" in The New International Encyclopaedia 1903
3.6 List of Fossil Plant Genera and Living Plants Found in Fossil by Charlotte H. Schmidt, USGS 1909
3.7 Memoranda to Carnegie Institute 1920
3.8 Bibliography 1905-1922
3.9 [Notes on Fossil Plants of the Arctic Zone] 1926
3.10 A Comparison between Contemporaneous Floras of Tropical And Boreal Regions 1927
3.11 [Translations from the German for Biological Abstracts] 1929-1930
3.12 Insect Borings in Cretaceous Lignite ca. 1931
3.13 The Geographic Background of Taxonomy n.d.
3.14 List of Plants of Paleozoic Times n.d.
5.4 The Story of the Bartram Oak 1919

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Series 9. Alaska Expedition.

Scope and Content:

Hollick’s field trip to Alaska yielded material that was to occupy him for the rest of his life. Primarily, this series contains correspondence between him and the U. S. G. S. concerning progress on the publication of his findings. The list of specimens he collected is here. Hollick's Field Collection Notebooks for this expedition is located with the USGS Mineral Resources Surveys, Alaska Section, Anchorage, AK. Photographs by Sidney Paige, documenting this remarkable expedition are found in Series 10: Photographs.

Folder Title Date
4.1 Field Trip Correspondence 1903-1904
4.2 Field Trip Correspondence 1910-1932
4.3 Field Trip Financial Disbursements 1903
4.4 List of Specimens Collected 1903

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Series 10. Photographs.

Scope and Content:

Sidney Paige, a U. S. G. S. colleague photographed the expedition. He did so in chronological order, preparing a numerical list of 102 subjects from the boat from Seattle through the return trip, one month later. That list is included in this series. Of high informational value, featured here are gold miners, Indian life, scenic views of Nome and other places in Alaska, as well as geological and paleobotanical features. Also in this series are portrait photographs of Hollick and specimen photographs include Glyphomitrium Cockerlleae, discovered by Elizabeth Britton and himself.

Folder Title Date
4.5 Photo Log by Sidney Paige 1904
4.6 Alaska, Nos. 1-102 1903
4.7 Alaska, Nos. 1-25 1903
4.8 Alaska, Nos. 26-50 1903
4.9 Alaska, Nos. 51-74 1903
4.10 Alaska, Nos. 75-102 1903
4.11 Insect Borings in Cretaceous Lignite 1914-1931
4.12 Specimens 1910-1923
4.13 Personal 1879-1931

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Series 11. Literature File.

Scope and Content:

Consists of a bibliography on paleobotanical topics on index cards. The authors and the material represented here precedes professional literature indexes.

Box Title Date
6 Series 11: Literature File 1870 --1932
7 Series 11: Literature File 1870 --1932
8 Series 11: Literature File 1870 --1932
9 Series 11: Literature File 1870 --1932

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Series 12. Type and figured Specimen Files.

Scope and Content:

Two distinct files. One is organized by type specimen described by Hollick. The other is an index of illustrations of specimens. Almost all of the types are named for figures prominent in the early history of the New York Botanical Garden. The type specimens file is alphabetized by blue index cards. The figured specimens file is, alphabetized by orange index cards.

 

Subseries A: Type Files

Box Title Date
10 Subseries A: Type Files 1893-1906
 

Subseries B: Figured Files

10 Subseries B: Figured Files 1853-1905

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