About the Mira Dock Forestry Lantern Slides

Scope of the Collection:

The Dock slide collection is comprised of 468 glass lantern slides from the collection of Mira Lloyd Dock (1853-1945), a renowned Pennsylvania environmentalist, botanist, and educator. The slides are primarily black and white pictures of tree and plant specimens, although a small number of the slides were meticulously and beautifully hand-colored. Many of the pictures were taken in Pennsylvania, especially the Harrisburg area and Wetzel’s Swamp/Wildwood Park in particular. Landscape and historic scenes in other U.S. states as well as European sites are also included. The European slides were probably gathered by Dock during her year long European tour to study forestry and urban planning.

The images were most likely used by Dock in her lectures at the Pennsylvania State Forest School in Mont Alto or in her public lectures promoting the City Beautiful movement in the early 1900s. Most of the pictures appear to have been taken by either Mira Dock or the Harrisburg photographer and printer J. Horace McFarland. Mr. McFarland shared Ms. Dock’s interest in the City Beautiful movement and served as the national president of the organization at one point. Katharine Gordon Breed’s and a Mrs. Schaeffer’s names appear on some of the slides as well.

The Dock slides are housed in the Penn State Mont Alto Campus Library Archives and were being heavily used by students and scholars. The slides were housed in the original wooden glass slide containers and were in no discernible order. Most were very dirty and fragile. The collection was chosen for digitization to decrease handling and thus preserve the originals and improve access to the collection. The metadata structure was designed in conjunction with input from forestry professors, other scholars and students who had used the collection as well as members of the project committee. Information on the slide labels was minimal and inconsistent. At most, the date and Latin or common name of the plant or tree was listed along with the name of the probable photographer and photographic processor. To create consistency, we used the International Plant Names Index to assign family, genus, species, and common names to plants and trees where those terms were missing. Users should be aware that both common and Latin names of plants vary by locale and time period and there is often disagreement among scholars regarding correct names of plants. Library of Congress Subject Headings and Name Authorities were followed in assigning place names and personal names.

Researchers are encouraged to offer suggestions for corrections or offer comments by using the "Ask a Librarian" button on any page.


Penn State University Press. "Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement." The Penn State University Press. 11 Apr. 2017.

Wilson, William H. “'More Almost Than the Men': Mira Lloyd Dock and the Beautification of Harrisburg. ” America: History and Life Oct 1975: 490-499.

Other Links: