The New York Botanical Garden was established with a mission to seek knowledge about plant life, conduct research, offer courses of instruction, and provide a place for the public to learn about botany. This historical study of the New York Botanical Garden provides the first and only comprehensive social history of this vital institution. The monograph is intended for the general public as well as the scientific community. In order to familiarize the reader with the nature and historical development of the modern botanical garden, the narration begins long before 1891, and goes back as far as the Ancient Egyptians and Romans. In addition, the work discusses the interesting local history and people who inhabited the area where the great institution was established. The story continues with the foundations of The Garden, and its early history and developments through the Depression. The book also considers the growing importance of environmental issues and the growth of the conservatory, library, and herbarium. The history concludes with the major events of the late 1970s, with an overview of the garden up to the year 2000. Every institution or organization has a mission.
The New York Botanical Garden provides a public service to improve human life, and has assumed a certain charisma that permeates its very foundation. Reading the institution's story illuminates this charisma, which has characterized the Garden throughout its history.
Dr. Harry M. Dunkak was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City. He received his B.A. in history from Iona College in 1951, his M.A. from Fordham University in American history in 1959 and his Ph.D. in 1968 from St. John's University, with a concentration in American Colonial and Revolutionary history. After graduating from Iona College in 1951 he joined the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a worldwide Roman Catholic teaching order. After teaching in high schools for fourteen years, Dr. Dunkak began in 1967 to lecture at Iona College, where he now holds the rank of Emeritus Professor of History. Dr. Dunkak has some fifteen publications, concentrating mainly on the American Colonial and Revolutionary Periods and the history of Westchester County, New York.
Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 History of Gardens Chapter 3 History of the Bronx River Area Chapter 4 Foundation of New York Botanical Garden Chapter 5 Early History Chapter 6 Developments Down to the Depression Chapter 7 The Depression Years Chapter 8 World War II Chapter 9 Fiftieth Anniversary Chapter 10 Post World War II Years Chapter 11 Growth and Environment Issues Chapter 12 The Conservatory, Library, Herbarium Chapter 13 Conclusion Part 14 Appendix A: 1891 Act of Incorporation, Amended 1894 Part 15 Appendix B: Overview of New York Botanical Garden Part 16 Endnotes by Chapter Part 17 Index