Welcome to Archives Alive, an interpretive and educational platform intended to make Smithsonian Gardens’ collections accessible in new ways, both inside and outside the classroom. As a public garden, archives, and museum, Smithsonian Gardens (SG) offers unique opportunities to engage visitors in active and educational ways. Archives Alive is designed to provide educators, students, and researchers access to a variety of historical and archival materials housed in SG’s Archives of American Gardens (AAG).  

Archives Alive presents the history of gardening through neat archival items such as historic letters, photographs, seed catalogs, newspaper clippings, and a lot more held at AAG. AAG collects and preserves photographic and written documentation on over 10,000 historic and contemporary gardens; as well as the records of landscape architects, garden designers, garden photographers, and a handful of seed companies.  The lesson plans, narratives, and digitized materials are designed so that educators may easily adapt the materials to their own individual teaching plans. Additionally, independent researchers may find the primary source packages of particular interest, especially those researching the fields of U.S. agricultural, business, and cultural history. 

 AAG hopes you will find Archives Alive to be an enlightening and helpful starting point toward engaging in compelling ways with the world around you.  We welcome comments and feedback about ways we can better serve our visitors and community through our programming.  Send your comments to gardens@si.edu.