The University of North Carolina Herbarium has
only a few specimens collected by Harold Goddard Rugg. All are ferns or fern allies: Huperzia lucidula from Ascutney
Mountain, Windsor County, VT, 1907; Lycopodiella inundata from Cavendish, Windsor County, VT, 1908; Asplenium resiliens
from Cleveland, Bradley County, TN, 1908; and Asplenium montanum from Sewanee, Marion
County, TN, undated. All of NCU’s
specimens from the southeastern United States have been catalogued, but those
from outside that area have not, so it is possible
we may find more specimens collected by Rugg in our
McCorison, Marcus A. (2003) Rugg,
Harold Goddard (1883-1957). The
Vermont Encyclopedia, John J. Duffy, Samuel B. Hand and Ralph H. Orth, eds.
Lebanon, NH: University of
Vermont Press, p. 254.
Harold Rugg, associate
librarian of Dartmouth College, was a preeminent twentieth-century collector
of Vermont imprints. Born in Hartland
[Vermont], Dartmouth class of 1906, Rugg spent his
entire career at Dartmouth College, where he greatly increased and improved
the college’s research collections through significant purchases and personal
and modern English and American literature were his primary interests. Rugg introduced
Dartmouth student to the art of the book in a class that he taught for twenty
years, which, in 1940, transformed itself into the Graphic Arts Workshop led
by Ray Nash. In 1941, Rugg and Nash published a history of the press in
Hanover, New Hampshire, entitled Pioneer
Printing at Dartmouth that delineated the work of the press that Judah P.
and Alden Spooner established at Dresden, a precinct of Hanover, during the
period of the East Union. Despite his
commitment to Dartmouth and the town of Hanover, however, Rugg
was always a Vermonter. His personal
collection of Vermont printed and manuscript matter, Vermont glass, and
Bennington ware, as well as other antiques, were noteworthy. He worked for many years to revise The Bibliography of Vermont by Marcus
D. Gilman. He bequeathed his large
Vermont collections to the Vermont Historical Society. He was also an inveterate mountain climber,
gardener, world traveler, and botanist.
A fern he identified, Osmunda ruggii, is named for him.
Benedict, R.C. (1957) Harold Goddard Rugg,
1883-1957. Am. Fern J. 47(2): 49-51. [photographic portrait of Rugg on p. 50]
“Ave aque Vale!” is a fitting salute to Harold Goddard Rugg. Only shortly
after being elected Vice-President of the American Fern Society, he died on
February 13 after a short illness.
His cooperation with other fern students had
extended over a period of at least 50 years.
A member of the Society from 1906 onward, a postcard from him in 1907
carried the following: Is there
anything I can do for you? Do you
expect to be up Vermont or N.H. this summer?
I found D. Boottii
for the first time last week. I saw
growing one plant of A. ebenoides.”
Ezra Brainerd, verteran Vermont botanist,
reports in the first volume of the Fern Journal [1: 78, 79. 1911] that Rugg had found one of the Dowell hybrids, D. Goldiana
as early as 1907, although he did not correctly identify it till two years
later. In this same period, he was
raising ferns from spores and attempting to produce hybrids by mixing species
in his spore cultures. Rugg went on to find may rare ferns, in many parts of the
United States and to visit England and the European continent in his fern
hunting. As early as 1908 he writes of
importing special ferns from an English dealer – “30 plants of hardy ferns
native in Europe and Japan.” Not all
his fern expeditions were successful; one card carries the query “What am I
likely to find in the Dismal Swamp region?” to be followed by another – “In
my Virginian Rambles, the only fern I found was Pteris aquiline pseudocaudata.”
But fern hunting and fern gardening were merely Rugg’s hobby. To
Dartmouth, he was a librarian, the College expert on rare books, who gave a
course on the “art of books.” His
library service at Dartmouth, begun part-time when a junior in 1905, became
his full time vocation immediately after his graduation in 1906. On more than one occasion, the College
honored him for his unremitting services; before his retirement in 1953, he
had been made Associate Librarian with the rank of full professor. During his Dartmouth service, Rugg was one of the earliest to recognize the genius of
Robert Frost and gave appreciated help in the struggling days of the poet by
arranging a lecture engagement at Dartmouth.
At his death, his personal library included a valuable collection of
the works of Frost.
In Vermont, Rugg’s
birth-state, he was highly regarded as an expert on Vermont history and
indeed he had national recognition in this field. Long a member of the Vermont Historical Society,
and active as a Director, he left a library of over 2300 volumes and over
3000 documents and manuscripts on the origins and development of Vermont
communities. A major literary project
of his, which we may hope was ready for publication, was a detailed account
of every village and other community in the state of Vermont.
Rugg’s notable fern garden in Hanover was left to Dartmouth
College, which has decided that it will be unable to maintain it. Negotiations are therefore underway to
distribute the rare plants in the garden to institutions where they will
receive adequate care.
See http://vermonthistory.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=465 for an article for the Vermont Historical Society
focusing on Rugg’s bequest to this
organization. From this publication,
we learn that Harold Rugg was the only child of David
Fletcher Rug (1852-1900) and Julia Augusta Hager (1853-1925). Harold went to high school in Lodlow at Black River Academy, and served as a page in
the Vermont Legislature in 1896. He
attended Philips Exeter Academy (Exeter, New Hampshire) for a year before
entering Dartmouth College in 1902. He
graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1906 and began his career in the Dartmouth
library as a secretary. In 1912 he
became executive assistant to the librarian, and in 1919 assistant librarian,
a position he held until his retirement in 1953. He taught courses on printing and the
history of books in the Art Department beginning in the 1920’s, and
eventually became a full professor in 1947.
He was awarded an honorary M.A. degree in 1940 by Dartmouth
College. He joined the Vermont
Historical Society in 1908 and served in various capacities in that
organization until his death. He hiked
with the Dartmouth Outing Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Green
Mountain Club. Upon his death, his
estate was divided between Dartmouth College and the Vermont Historical
Rugg, Harold G. (1925) “Isaac Eddy, printer-engraver” IN
Bibliographical Essays: A tribute to
Wilberforce Eames. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 313-329.
Keyes, Homer Eaton and
Harold G. Rugg (June 1928) [Vermont pewter makers,
Richard Lee & Richard Lee, Jr.]
Antiques 13: 493-495.
Peach, Arthur Wallace and
Harold G. Rugg, eds. (1931) Vermont Prose: A miscellany. Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Daye Press.
Rugg, Harold G.
(1940) A summer in northern
Europe. Am. Fern J. 30(4): 129-131.
Rugg, Harold G.
(1948) Some New Hampshire
ferns. Am. Fern J. 38(3): 92-93.
Rugg, Harold G.
(1950) The Male-Fern in
Vermont. Am. Fern J. 40(1): 97-100.
Rugg, Harold G.
(1951) The Climbing Fern in
Vermont. Am. Fern J. 41(4): 116-117.
Excerpts from Harold Rugg’s diaries as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College
during the 1918 influenza epidemic are featured IN Carter, Laura Stephenson
(2006) Cold Comfort. Dartmouth Medicine, a Magazine for Alumni
and Friends of Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical