Guide to Archives of American Gardens Collections & Records

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Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection, ca. 1960-1994.

Negatives, 4x5 negatives, contact sheets, photographs, transparencies, 35mm slides; select newspaper and magazine clippings. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location. Scope: Garden images dating from the 1960s through the early 1990s taken by professional freelance photographer and GCA member Molly Adams of New Jersey. Although most images are of private gardens in New Jersey, the collection also includes gardens in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. A significant number of images document the work of landscape designers Nelva M. Weber, Alice Recknagel Ireys, and Friede Stege. Roughly 50 gardens are unidentified as to their location. More Information

Archives of American Gardens Biographical Information Vertical File.

3 file drawers. The Archives of American Gardens biographical information vertical file contains biographical material on a number of landscape architects, garden designers and horticulturists.

American Gardens Collection, ca. 1920s-.

35mm slides and photographs. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location. Includes holdings not associated with other major collections in the archives. The slides, photographs and files in this collection come from various private donors. Individual sub-units typically depict a single garden and include a small number of images. Further accruals are expected.

American-Moninger Greenhouse Manufacturing Corporation Architectural Drawings Collection, ca. 1935-1959

Approximately 125 plans and drawings. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location. Scope: Plans by a Brooklyn, New York firm for approximately two dozen greenhouses located from Massachusetts to Mississippi and New Mexico.


Pierre T. Beauregard III Slide Collection, ca. 1947-1971, bulk 1950s-1960s.

1,249 35mm slides of gardens (many foreign) dated 1947-1971.
Arranged by geographic location. Scope: Views of various gardens and castles in Holland, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Scotland, Norway, and Denmark, as well as American gardens photographed by the donor’s mother, Mildred Napier Beauregard. Some skylines portray tourist images, such as skylines, rock features, waterways, boats and ships, and unidentified individuals. The collection also includes two slide viewers.

Bedman Brothers Records, ca. 1859-1964.

Scope: Select office records and horticultural artifacts of the firm of Bedman Brothers of Rahway, New Jersey (1843-1962) which developed and sold flower seeds. The firm was particularly well known for its salvia varieties. Also included are personal remembrances of the firm by the great-granddaughter of the original owner. Holdings include World War II ration stamps and two scrapbooks, one of which contains mainly late nineteenth and early twentieth century chromo-lithographed trade cards (primarily from the sewing, clothing, and floral industries). The other scrapbook contains news clippings from the Civil War period. Some seed gathering equipment used by field workers rounds out the collection. Finding Aid Document

W. Atlee Burpee & Company Collection, 1873-1978 (bulk, 1890-1930).

12,715 items (155 l.f.): including accounting records, seed trial records, seed contracts, sales records, contracts, inventories, office correspondence, contest letters, seed catalogs, pamphlets, advertisements and advertising reports, daybooks, and photographs. Finding aid available. [Seed catalogs from the Burpee Collection can be found in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Branch Library's Horticulture Trade Catalog Collection.] Scope: Documents and publications relating to the mail-order seed and livestock business of W. Atlee Burpee & Co. Seed trial records and order and accounting records lend insight into the workings of the firm. Of note are records that show the significance of advertising to the company. Included are various publications of some of Burpee’s competitors. The collection is not comprehensive; it is a compilation of various records and publications and includes significant gaps. Finding Aid Document


"The Chimneys" Collection, 1903-1985.

66 plans and drawings; photographs, 35mm slide copies of glass plate negatives; 1 photograph album; job files; 3 medals. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location. Finding aid available. Scope: This collection documents “The Chimneys,” [MA016] the Manchester, Massachusetts estate of Gardiner Martin Lane and later Katherine Lane Weems, a sculptor of animal figures. Included are records from the architect, Raleigh C. Gildersleeve, the original landscape architects, the Olmsted Brothers firm, and various contractors and suppliers. News clippings, planting lists, nursery and seed catalogs, and reports on the progress of work over the course of several decades document the evolution of this landscape. More Information


Malcolm Howard Dill Slide Collection, 1929-1931.

17 35mm slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images of private and community designs in Ohio and Indiana by the landscape architect, Malcolm Howard Dill. Dill was in private practice and later went on to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Norris Dam project in Tennessee in the 1930s.


Robert M. Fletcher Slide Collection, ca. 1979-1995.

268 35mm slides. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images of a sampling of private gardens in California designed by landscape architect Robert M. Fletcher. He worked on a number of private, public, and commercial projects in California; his practice was based in southern California.

Robert M. Fletcher (d. 1995) was a landscape architect who specialized in private gardens in Southern California. Born in Los Angeles, Fletcher received his B.A. in landscape architecture from UC-Berkeley in 1977 and established his residential practice later that year. He taught at the UCLA Extension Program Department of Arts from 1981-1985. As a member of the American Horticultural Society, Southern California Horticultural Society, The National Trust and the California Historical Society, Fletcher was also a speaker at many symposiums and professional meetings. His gardens were featured in numerous journals, including House and Garden, Sunset Magazine, Elle Decor and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. In addition to his residential projects, Fletcher's commercial projects included the Ingram Paper headquarters and warehouse, City of Industry; Henry Company headquarters, Huntington Park; R.J. Plaza Building, Sherman Oaks; Plaza Hermosa, Hermosa Beach; Martin Luther King, Jr. Shopping Center, Watts; Manhattan Village Medical Building, Manhattan Beach; San Julian S.R.O., Los Angeles; The Beach Club, Santa Monica; St. Martin of Tours Church and Elementary School, Brentwood; Mark Taper Building, Reseda; and Westwood Place, Westwood.

Florentine Craftsman Records, 1921-1976.

Business files dated 1921-1976. Scope: Various trade catalogs and articles produced or collected by the Florentine Craftsmen firm located in New York. Most deal with iron work fixtures, railings, and furniture.


Garden Club of America Collection, ca. 1920 -.

3,000 glass lantern slides; 39,000 35mm slides; files on over 4,000 gardens, plans and drawings. Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: This collection of images documents a range of designed parks and upper and upper-middle class gardens throughout the U.S. Also included are some European, Asian, and Mexican gardens from the 1920s and 1930s. The informational value of this collection is extensive since a number of images show gardens that have changed over time or no longer exist. Vertical files have been generated for each of the gardens in this collection. These files may include historical information, related articles, planting lists, additional graphics, etc. Some gardens have images that range over several decades; others only have images from a single point in time.

A significant number of the slide images were copied by the GCA from a number of publications as well as from private and public repositories including the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (including the Gertrude Wister Collection), and the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection in the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Division. This collection also includes a number of intact GCA slide shows with their accompanying scripts that were created by various GCA clubs.

Plans and drawings in this collection date from 1914-1928 and include work by landscape architects Paul Mueller and Robert Wheelwright (1884-1965) and Hitchings and Company, Greenhouse Manufacturers. Jobs are located in Mississippi, Washington, DC, Texas, and Maine (specifically the “Spite House” in Rockport, ME.) More Information


Gottlieb Hampfler Photograph Collection, 1939- ca. 1990.

63 35mm slides; negatives; 14 photographs.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Copies of images taken by horticultural and garden photographer, Gottlieb Hampfler, who was the staff photographer of Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania from 1955-1975. Includes images from gardens in teh Brandywine Valley and Rye, New York.

John Hiller Lantern Slide Collection, ca. 1920s-1930s.

216 glass lantern slides of gardens in Europe and the United States dated 1920s and 1930s.
Scope: Images of various subjects including homes and gardens, house interiors, domestic and foreign travel, flower arrangements, and people.

Smithsonian Gardens Clippings File.

2 file drawers.
The Smithsonian Gardens clippings file contains materials related to the various Smithsonian gardens maintained by the Smithsonian Gardens, outreach and publicity, exhibitions, the Smithsonian's orchid collection, the Archives of American Gardens, and other topics.

Smithsonian Gardens Image Library

These slides document SG gardens, artifacts, and activities including, but not limited to, plantings, constructing and maintaining SI gardens, furnishings, interiorscapes, greenhouses, travel, public relations, and special events. The collection is largely used by in-house staff for purposes of reference and public relations.

The Smithsonian Gardens (formerly the Office of Horticulture) was established in 1972 to manage the Smithsonian's grounds, greenhouses, and horticultural collections including plants, garden furnishings, and artifacts. SG's archives of visual images began as a small in-house reference collection. Today, it includes thousands of 35mm slides and photographs, many of which are used in publications, lectures, and public outreach programs. The images document a wide range of SG activities including the construction and maintenance of Smithsonian gardens, landscapes, and interior plantscapes on or near The Mall in Washington, DC as well as special horticultural exhibits SG designs and creates on a regular basis.

Since the Smithsonian Gardens is responsible for everything from tropical palms to Christmas tree displays, its image collection documents a wide range of plants and places. Each Smithsonian garden and landscape is photographed regularly to show things such as seasonal changes, new construction, hanging baskets, container plantings, special events, public use of the gardens, damage to plants and trees, and the challenges and rewards of maintaining several unique gardens in a busy urban area that hosts millions of visitors each year. These photographs are often used to promote the understanding of horticulture, illustrate articles, and plan new exhibitions.

Horticultural Subjects Vertical File.
12 file drawers. The Horticultural Subject Vertical File contains materials related to garden history, landscape architecture, garden furniture and design, gardening practices and design, horticulture, conservation, plant folklore and other related topics.

Historic Gardens Postcard Collection, ca. 1905-1947.

Approximately 200 postcards.
Arranged by geographic location.
Scope: Historic views of various public gardens, parks, monuments, and buildings throughout the United States and some foreign countries, including Canada, France and Cuba. Some private gardens and estates and many Washington, DC attractions are also represented. More Information

Historic Stereograph Collection, ca. 1890's-1900s.

807 stereoptic views. Arranged by topic.
Scope: Views of various public gardens, parks, and tourist attractions throughout the U. S. showing features related to horticulture and landscape design including plants, garden furniture, and topiaries. Most, but not all views, show exterior features. Finding Aid Document

Hollerith Family Slide Collection, 1952-1998.

1,682 35mm slides, dating from 1952 to 1980, documenting the Hollerith sisters’ travels and horticultural interests. Images are predominantly of gardens, parks and historic buildings. The slides also document 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.


Frederick H. Leubuscher Collection, 1932-1940.

106 duplicate 35mm slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Duplicate slides of examples of Leubuscher’s landscape architecture design work in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and other locations. More Information

Lewis and Valentine Collection, 1918-1970.

336 black and white photographs; brochures, trade catalogs, company papers, client correspondence, and books.
Images arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Finding aid available.
Scope: Company records of the Lewis and Valentine Nursery of Long Island, New York, one of the most prominent landscape contracting companies in the eastern United States during the heyday of large country estates from 1914-1931. This firm specialized in the moving and relocation of large trees on private estates. Articles and records relate to jobs the firm worked on, including those for prosperous clients like F. W. Woolworth, Otto H. Kahn, Walter P. Chrysler, and Hugh D. Auchincloss. Finding Aid Document


Richard Marchand Historical Postcard Collection, ca. 1900s-1970s.

Approximately 1,100 35mm slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Slides of historic postcards showing architectural and garden views throughout the United States. Many images predated color photography and were hand-colored. The collection includes views of public and private properties as well as estates of some popular movie stars that attracted tourists. More Information

Captain A. H. McComb, Jr. Collection, ca. 1950s.

Approximately 200 35 mm slides.
Arranged by slide number and roughly by subject matter.
Scope: Slides donated by Capt. A. H. McComb, Jr. (U.S.C.G., Ret.) of Washington, DC showing sites in DC, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Tobago, Panama, St. Croix, Bermuda, England, Germany, Paris, and Copenhagen. The images chiefly consist of various plants and flowers, in addition to some views and landscapes. More Information

J. Horace McFarland Company Collection, ca. 1900-1962.

447 glass lantern slides; 3,145 black and white photographs; 3 l.f. of plant patents; plant cards; 1 l.f. miscellaneous pamphlets and publications.

[133 books and over 1,400 nursery catalogs from the McFarland Company were donated to the Smithsonian Institution’s Botany & Horticulture Branch Library. Approximately 430 linear feet of plant portraits were donated to the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland.]

Images arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location. Scope: Images used as illustrations in seed and nursery trade catalogs put out by the Mount Pleasant Press, later the J. Horace McFarland Company, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Founder Dr. J. Horace McFarland was a well-known author, publisher, horticulturist, and authority on roses. His printing company published many of the seed and nursery catalogs in the United States from the early 1900s until the 1950s. It was one of the first to apply color processes to commercial print applications. McFarland wrote over 200 articles in popular journals as well as a dozen books on roses and gardening. Numerous images from his company’s photographic archives appeared in these publications. More Information


Lois Poinier Collection, ca. 1950s-1993.

1,089 35mm slides, 35mm glass slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Before and after images of almost 100 gardens designed by landscape designer and GCA member Lois Poinier of New Jersey. Most gardens are located in New Jersey, but there are some in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Includes some gardens designed by Mrs. Poinier’s mother, Helen Page Wodell, and aunt, Lois Page Cottrell, who practiced under the firm name of Wodell & Cottrell. The collection is particularly helpful as it shows the evolution of gardens under construction.

William Lyman Phillips Photograph Collection, ca. 1920s-1940s.

30 glass plate negatives; 2 glass plate slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images of a sampling of jobs designed by landscape architect, William Lyman Phillips, who pioneered the use of tropical plants in the second quarter of the twentieth century. Phillips started his professional work in the Olmsted Brothers office and later established his own practice where his specialty was designing private and public gardens in Florida.


Roche Collection, ca. 1954-1970.

60 photographs; 31 transparencies.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Garden images taken by professional photographers John and Mary Alice Roche, primarily of private gardens in Maine, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Donald M. Roehrs Collection, ca. 1940s-1970.

23 35mm slides.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images of landscape architect Donald Roehrs’ design work featured in various annual New York, Philadelphia, and International Flower Shows.


Thomas Warren Sears Photograph Collection, 1900-1966.

4,564 glass negatives; 119 glass lantern slides; 27 plans and drawings; 12 photograph albums.
Arranged by AAG and SRS garden numbers which are based on geographic location.
Scope: Photographic images taken by landscape architect Thomas W. Sears who practiced in Providence, Rhode Island and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1906-1964. Images document Sears’ civic, public, and estate projects, most of which were located in the mid-Atlantic region, as well as international sites and gardens that he visited and individual plant specimens. Sears is also noted for his photographs that were published in the book, Parish Churches of England, in 1915. Plans in this collection are dated 1955-1962 and relate to a handful of projects in Pennsylvania. More Information


Victorian Horticultural Subjects Vertical File.

4 file drawers. The Victorian horticultural subjects vertical file is a study file compiled for the Smithsonian exhibition, "A Victorian Horticultural Extravaganza." Includes materials related to the commercial horticultural industry, garden tools and accessories, the decorative arts, ladies' fancy work, garden furniture and ornaments, exhibitions, landscape design, plants and garden-related publications.


H. Weber & Sons Records, ca. 1879-1962 (bulk 1903-1907).

6 sales and accounting ledgers; sales account sheets; 4 photographs.
Scope: Sampling of business records of the firm of H. Weber & Sons, a florist shop and greenhouse based in Oakland, Maryland. The firm dealt primarily with customers in the mid-Atlantic region, the upper Midwest, Virginia, and North Carolina. Its primary focus was cut flowers, annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables.Finding Aid Document

Perry Wheeler Collection, 1940-1980s.

3,240 35mm slides; 416 photographs; 167 negatives; 17 transparencies;plans and drawings; client files.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images and records relating to projects designed by landscape architect Perry Wheeler who practiced in Washington, D.C. from 1948-1979. Also thousands of images of Wheeler’s vacation travels to the American west, Europe, Mexico, Canada, Africa, South America, Morocco, and the Caribbean from the 1940s to 1972 (as well as various personal and family images). Wheeler is best known for his work on private gardens in Georgetown and the White House gardens in the 1960s. Client files include correspondence, plans, invoices, invitations, news clippings, awards, and magazine articles. Plans and drawings are included for such jobs as the Washington Cathedral, the U. S. National Arboretum, and the John F. Kennedy Gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery. More Information

Dr. G. Howard White, Jr. Photograph Collection, ca. 1890s-1920s.

149 glass plate negatives; 46 (copies of) nitrate negatives; 8 black and white photographs.
Arranged by AAG garden number which is based on geographic location.
Scope: Images of family members and residences relating to the White family of Catonsville, Maryland and Middleburg, Virginia and the Liebig family of Catonsville, Maryland. Also includes recreational, industrial, and general sites in Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey.