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Louisa Wooten botany and zoology notebook

 Collection — Box: BW 53, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 16781

Content Description

This collection contains one handwritten notebook from an English female student learning about botany and zoology in 1857. The notebook includes sixty-eight pages of notes and essays on plant and animal biology. The notebook cover has the handwritten signature of the original owner, Louisa Wootten (possibly Woodson or Woodrow).

It is unusual for a female student to study botany and zoology in 1857 so this notebook is remarkable in that regard.

The cover also notes an address "Sold at the Depository of the Home and Colonial School Society, 16 St. Chad's Row, Gray's Inn Road." An "Instructions to Student" is printed on the inside cover, with notes on how the composition book should be used.

All entries are dated, and weekly written class schedules are included throughout the notebook, listing coursework in Reading, Scripture, Language, Numbers, Writing, Natural History, Domestic Economy, Dictation, and Geography.

Louisa includes notes and short essays on topics including animal and plant life. Also included are entries on the Gospels and notes on her general academic performance from the past week: "6 errors in Gram. & Comp.; 4 omissions. This journal bears evidence of great carelessness."

Other entries include The Elephant, The Whale Tribe, What Buds Are, The Gourd Tribe, Botany Roots, and On Shells. "Tribe" is used here synonymously with genus or scientific family. Tipped into the notebook are three loose handwritten documents, two of which discuss plant life.


  • Creation: 1857

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.


0.03 Cubic Feet (1 letter-sized file folder)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Max Rambod by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on 03 January 2023.


Louisa Wooten zoology and botany notebook
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States