History of New England Botanical Club
By Ray Angelo - former NEBC Curator of Vascular Plants
December 10, 1895: A meeting is held at 8 PM by invitation of Dr. William G. Farlow of Harvard University at his home next to the campus " ...to see whether it is advisable to attempt to form a club of those specially interested in the study of our local flora." Dr. Farlow sent invitations to 16 men, 11 of whom attended.
January 6, 1896: Second organizational meeting is held at Dr. Farlow's house with 12 men in attendance. A slate of officers is nominated, a proposed constitution is discussed, four names for the club are proposed, and 17 charter members are designated.
February 5, 1896: The club is officially created with the adoption of a constitution, a name, and election of officers at the home of Judge Joseph Churchill in Dorchester, Massachusetts. "The New England Botanical Club is established for the promotion of social intercourse and the dissemination of local and general information among gentleman interested in the flora of New England." Dues are set at $2 per annum. The first meeting of the Council is held after the regular meeting. The first president is Dr. Farlow.
April 1, 1896: NEBC votes to accept the offer of a room in Harvard's Agassiz Museum (presently Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology) for the storage of a herbarium.
January 2, 1899: The first issue of the club's journal, Rhodora, is published. The first editor is Dr. Benjamin Robinson of Harvard University (co-author with M. L. Fernald of the 7th edition of Gray's Manual). Issues are published monthly.
December 16, 1920: NEBC incorporates as "The New England Botanical Club, Inc."
1964: NEBC publishes Arthur Stanley Pease's "A Flora of Northern New Hampshire."
November 6, 1964: The bylaws are amended to eliminate the reference to "gentleman", allowing the admission of women to membership in the NEBC. In an advisory mail-in vote, active members who signed their ballots voted 27 in favor, 20 opposed. The official vote taken at the meeting was 18 in favor, 9 opposed.
Dr. Alice Tryon
December 6, 1968: The first woman, Dr. Alice Tryon of Harvard University, is elected to membership (and in 1978 is first woman to be president of NEBC).
1978: NEBC Committee on Rare and Endangered Species prepares reports for each of the six New England states.
May 4-5, 1979: NEBC symposium on "Rare and Endangered Plant Species in New England" is held at Harvard University. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service presents NEBC with an achievement award for its efforts to protect the rare and endangered flora of New England.
April 30, 1985: NEBC awards the first of its annual graduate student research awards ($1,000).
May 6-7, 1988: NEBC symposium "Plant Conservation: A Biogeographical Perspective" is held at Harvard University.
March 21, 1992: Symposium on rare plant conservation, co-sponsored by NEBC and the New England Wild Flower Society, is held at Bentley University (Waltham, Massachusetts).
June 5, 1992: NEBC signs a written agreement for joint activities with Harvard University, formalizing its long-standing relationship with this institution. Merging of NEBC herbarium (250,000 sheets) with the Harvard University Herbaria collections commences (with specimens of New England states of all herbaria to be kept in separate folders).
December, 1995: NEBC is given shared office at the Harvard University Herbaria where NEBC library, computer, and microscope are housed.
January, 1996: NEBC website goes on-line on Harvard University Herbaria server.
April, 1996: NEBC announces elimination of page charges for Rhodora indefinitely as part of celebration of its centennial.
July, 1996: NEBC Centennial Field Trip is held in Newfoundland, revisiting sites visited by M. L. Fernald.
August, 1996: In its first 100 years, NEBC has met 919 times, mostly at Harvard University, but in recent years with two meetings annually at other New England educational institutions.
November 1, 1996: NEBC Centennial Banquet is held at the Harvard Faculty Club (adjacent to the site of Professor William Farlow's residence where the founding meeting was held in December 10, 1895) with 85 members and guests in attendance.
April 9-10, 1999: In celebration of the 100th year of publication of our journal, Rhodora, NEBC sponsors a symposium titled "The Dynamics of the New England Flora."
November 12, 2000: NEBC receives the annual Conservation Award of the New England Wild Flower Society "for more than a century of outstanding commitment to native plant conservation through educational outings, symposia, books and the journal Rhodora.
May 2, 2003: NEBC presents its first Fernald Award to Dr. Robert I. Bertin for his article in Rhodora -- "Losses of native plant species in Worcester, Massachusetts."
October 1, 2004: NEBC celebrates its 1000th meeting at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, Massachusetts.
September 10, 2005: NEBC web site is moved off of the Harvard University Herbaria server to our own site with domain: rhodora.org.
November, 2005: NEBC is honored with appearance in the prestigious 2005 Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy, among 72 Massachusetts charities selected from 253 applicants from among 3,0000 charities contacted to apply.
October, 2006: NEBC agrees to have most of its back issues of Rhodora scanned and made available gratis online as part of the Botanicus project at the Missouri Botanical Garden Library.
November, 2006: NEBC approves an agreement for 2005 and later issues of Rhodora to be part of the BioOne.2 digital subscription service.
October, 2011: NEBC launches new website.
January, 2015: Dr. Nishanta Rajakaruna is appointed as Editor-In-Chief of the journal Rhodora.
June, 2015: : NEBC holds free research conference for 150 at Smith College to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the forming of the New England Botanical Club at home of Dr. William G. Farlow.