Hollerith Family Slide Collection

1952 - 1980

The Hollerith Family Slide Collection contains 35mm slides documenting the horticultural interests and travels of sisters Lucia, Nannie and Virginia Hollerith, dating from 1952 to 1980.

Biographical Note

Lucia, Nannie (Nan) and Virginia Hollerith, were the three daughters of inventor Herman Hollerith, and Lucia Beverly Talcott Hollerith. Other Hollerith children include Herman Hollerith, Jr. (1892-1982), Charles Hollerith (1893-1972), and Richard Hollerith (1900-1967).

Herman Hollerith’s invention of the punch card tabulating machine, which played an integral role in the creation of the modern information processing industry, was implemented in the 1890 census to summarize census data. His business, The Tabulating Machine Company would ultimately become International Business Machines (IBM). Upon selling his business in 1911, Herman Hollerith purchased a Georgetown residence known as Mackall Square, and added to the property a second home, which would become known as the Hollerith House. The three Hollerith sisters spent the bulk of their lives in residence at this Georgetown home and at the family’s Mathews County, Virginia property, known as Brighton, or Mobjack Farm.

Lucia Beverly Hollerith, the eldest of the six Hollerith children, was born in 1891. A visual artist, Miss Lucia Hollerith studied at the Corcoran School of Art and taught floral arrangement at the National Cathedral School for Girls. Born in 1898, Nannie Talcott Hollerith, most commonly addressed as Nan, appears to have been particularly engaged in the maintenance of the Hollerith family estate. Virginia Hollerith was born in 1902. She was the youngest of the Hollerith children, and published a biographical piece about her father in the journal of The History of Science Society and University of Chicago Press.

The Hollerith sisters’ mother, Mrs. Lucia Hollerith, co-founded the Georgetown Garden Club in 1924, of which the three sisters were active members throughout their lives. The three Hollerith women were also active members of Christ Church in Georgetown, to which they regularly contributed altar floral arrangements. These and other floral arrangements are documented in the collection, as are the Hollerith sisters’ activities with the Georgetown Garden Club.

Scope and Content

The Hollerith Collection includes 1,682 35 mm. slides primarily documenting the Hollerith sisters’ travels and horticultural interests, dating from 1952 to 1980. Image themes are predominantly of gardens, parks, and historic buildings. Included in the collection are slides documenting the activities of the Georgetown Garden Club, floral arrangements, and the Hollerith sisters’ travels in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast regions of the United States.

Provenance

The Hollerith Collection was donated to the Archives of American Gardens in 1993 by Georgetown Garden Club member, Mrs. Richard G. Brown, as a gift of the Hollerith Estate.

Related Materials

Related materials may be found in the Hollerith Family Papers at the Washington D.C. Historical Society's Kiplinger Research Library and Collections, the Papers of the Hollerith Family at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, the Barnard-Talcott Hollerith Family Papers in the Special Collections Research Center at The George Washington University, and the Papers of Herman Hollerith in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.