Online and Digital Resources

Annotations by Judith K. Major and friends

– Archives, Collections, and Libraries –

Archives of American Gardens
The website of the Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Horticulture Services Division, offers access to a collection of approximately 60,000 photographic images and records that document historic and contemporary garden in the US. Representative images are available online at The AAG also maintains the W. Atlee Burpee & Company Collection.

Arnold Arboretum
The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library in Jamaica Plain began as the personal collection of the Arboretum’s first director, Charles Sprague Sargent. Today the library contains over 40,000 volumes which are cataloged in HOLLIS, the Harvard OnLine Library Information System. Recently the library has been expanding its collections on landscape conservation, design, history, interpretation, management, planning, and preservation. Over 25,000 images, dating from 1870 to the present, make up the library’s photographic collection. Many of these images document the Arboretum’s living collections and record the development of taxa within the collections. Selected photographs are cataloged in Harvard’s Visual Images Access database, VIA. The archives are the repository for personal papers and institutional records that document the Arboretum’s historical influence on botany and horticulture. The library also curates the 35,000 images that make up the photographic archives. Black-and-white and color prints, 35mm slides, and their predecessors, lantern slides, document individual specimens growing on the grounds as well as these same taxa growing in their native habitats. Online exhibits of historical landscape images; a plant information hotline; a searchable plant inventory, etc. is part of the website.

Attingham Trust Summer School
One of the main purposes of the Attingham Summer School is to examine the architectural and social history of the country house in Britain and its gardens and landscape setting.The program runs from July 6 to July 24, 2007. See the site for the cost and details.

Bibliotheque Rene Pechere
The site offers information and reproductions on the holdings of the “cyber” library in Brussels. One can view and download images from the archives as well as from the library. Illustrations from the rare book collection can be searched “par livre” or by “thème” (i.e., labyrinthe, parterre, terrasse) -extremely helpful if you want several different examples of a garden element or if you are looking for an illustration of a specific garden element.

California Garden and Landscape History Society
Purpose: to encourage interest in, study of, and education about California garden and cultural landscape history to identify, document, and promote preservation and restoration of gardens and landscapes essential to understanding California’s history and culture to collect and coordinate resources and expertise about the history of California’s gardens and cultural landscapes to create opportunities to visit and learn about gardens and landscapes, as well as archives and libraries with collections devoted to them to enjoy one another as company at Society meetings to be a forum for members to share information that furthers the Society’s mission

Cultural Landscape Foundation
Maintained by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the website offers examples and photographs of the 4 general types of cultural landscapes. On the site’s top Menu Bar: click on ‘Classrooms’ and participate in an interactive documentary on “City Shaping: The Olmsteds & Louisville,” or on Chicago’s Columbus Park. Click on ‘Pioneers’ to listen to 4 sample interviews of Landscape Legends, including Ruth Shellhorn and Lawrence Halprin. ‘TCLF in the News’ has digitized articles on cultural landscape issues from diverse newspapers and magazines around the country. The online journal Landslide is designed to call attention to threatened properties, including updates on landscapes at risk. To honor and help preserve our nation’s priceless horticultural heritage, the Cultural Landscape Foundation and Garden Design is calling for 2007 nominations for the second annual Landslide List of — Heroes of Horticulture.

Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University

Click on “Garden and Landscape Studies” to get the latest information on the program. D.O will not be offering summer fellowships in 2007, there will be a program of non-stipendiary summer readerships available between 11 June & 10 August 2007. D.O. announces 2 new Distinguished Fellowships for resident scholars, which will be awarded by personal invitation of the Director. See site for further details.

Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted Archives

Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (National Park Service)
Fairsted, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (National Park Service). The Fairsted Grounds will be closed for construction until Fall 2009. Go online for a description of the construction project. The Olmsted Archives is currently available on a limited basis for use by researchers during the site’s closure. The site provide a link to Olmsted Research Guide Online.

The Historic Gardens Foundation
The Historic Gardens Foundation, based in the UK, calls itself “The Voice of Historic Parks and Gardens Across the World.” The non-profit organization is concerned with the preservation, restoration, and management of historic parks and gardens, as is their magazine Historic Gardens Review, published twice a year. The website offers a comprehensive index to all articles published in the magazine since its inception in 1995. A selection of articles are available online as well; topics include a palm greenhouse in the Czech Republic, a tour of two Russian gardens, and a Crimean Art Nouveau garden. “Links” includes brief but interesting lists of gardens, organizations, and publications.

The Garden History Society
Although The Garden History Society is based in the UK it has an international scope. Check out the website’s list for events in London, Bath, Ireland, and Scotland. The website contains brief reviews of recent books (British and American) and an online summary of the contents of back issues of the society’s journal Garden History. Items of news and research requests are posted on the site’s ‘noticeboard.’ The Society’s 2002 Register of Research in garden history is a useful guide to research activities of Members and includes a list of recent dissertation titles. Click on ‘Links’ for an extensive list of other garden history links.

Gertrude Jekyll Archives
Most of Gertrude Jekyll’s gardens have disappeared because of war, development, or ownership changes, but surviving gardens that can be visited are listed on the website. Jekyll’s life and career as a garden designer, a plantswoman, and a painter, and her close cooperation with Sir Edwin Lutyens are described. ‘Bookshop’ lists books written by Jekyll or collections of her writings as well as biographies and other works about her life. One of the places that ‘External Links’ takes you is the Tate Gallery London, where you see Sir William Nicholson’s oil painting Miss Jekyll’s Gardening Boots (1920).

Grove Art Online
The Grove Art Dictionary Online also provides access to The Oxford Companion to Western Art. In the Articles-a full text search for ‘landscape architecture’ found 500 items including “Carl Theodor S�rensen” and “Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer.” In the collection of Art Images-a search for ‘garden’ in the title produced 194 items, including Childe Hassam’s In the Garden (1892) and a 14th-century ‘Ivory Comb with Scene of Lovers in a Garden.’ The Explore feature offers a way to create customized browse lists from over 45,000 articles

Museum of Garden History
This is the website of the first museum dedicated to garden history and gardening. Located in London, England, the museum is housed in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth. The family tomb of the John Tradescants, two 17th-century plants hunters, is in the churchyard, as is the garden-a reproduction of a 17th-century knot garden. Click on ‘The Plants’ for details of plants grown in the garden and their relationship to the John Tradescants. Amongst the rare items in the museum’s 2,500-volume library is a mid-17th-century herbarium once owned by the eminent botanist Dr. John Fothergill, Fothergill’s Hortus siccus. A small selection from the museum’s collection of historic garden postcards and its collection of garden tools (which oddly includes gnomes) are online.

National Park Service, Cultural Landscape Currents
A project of the Historic Landscape Initiative by the National Park Service this online series profiles a variety of cultural landscape types. It includes an issue devoted to the Reynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, one of the best known works of Philadelphia-based landscape architect Thomas Sears. The rehabilitation project of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s two central medians and the New Deal Roadside Landscape Features are topics of two other issues. Historic photographs accompany the reports, which also have extensive bibliographies.

National Park Service, Cultural Resources Publications
American cultural resource subjects from architecture and engineering to cultural landscapes can be explored on this website. The following two publications found on this site can be searched and downloaded: Common Ground, the quarterly magazine from the National Park Service; and CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship, which carries peer-reviewed articles on cultural resource topics.

The Native Plant Conservation Campaign (NPCC)
The Native Plant Conservation Campaign is a project of two of the nation’s leading biological diversity conservation science and advocacy groups: the California Native Plant Society and the Center for Biological Diversity. NPCC is a national network of affiliate plant societies, botanical gardens, and other plant conservation organizations. The site contains links to ‘Affiliates’ ranging from Grand Prairie Friends of Illinois to Kauai Native Plant Society and ‘Cooperators’ including CalFlora Database. NPCC also performs independent research and publishes reports and literature reviews.

Wave Hill
A public garden and cultural center located in the Bronx, New York, Wave Hill, Inc. just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Click on ‘gardens’ to see images of the flower garden from March through December and also a list of plants from the plant database for these months. Trees are the cornerstone of Wave Hill’s landscape and there is a database for notable trees as well. You can explore the conservatory, wild garden, alpine house, woodland, and dry and herb gardens in the same manner. The website also lists events for Wave Hill’s Visual Arts Program that presents artworks in the galleries and on the grounds that engage the public in a dialogue with nature, culture, and site.

– Images –

Archives of American Gardens
The website of the Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Horticulture Services Division, offers access to a collection of approximately 60,000 photographic images and records that document historic and contemporary garden in the US. Representative images are available online at The AAG also maintains the W. Atlee Burpee & Company Collection.

Art Stor
Image bank, by institutional subscription, includes portfolio capability.

American Landscape and Architectural Design 1850-1920
This site offers approximately 2,800 lantern slides representing the period 1850-1920 in American buildings and landscapes from the collection of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and the Library of Congress. Especially well represented is Frederick Law Olmsted’s Boston’s Emerald Necklace. The subject index of images ranges from ‘giant sequoia’ to ‘trellises’ to ‘window seats’; the state index of images moves beyond Massachusetts to encompass town plans in Alabama and Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park.

Architecture Visual Resources Library
An online public access digital collection of images in the history of architecture, urbanism, design, and art. Includes landscapes and garden plans. It can be searched by time period, designer, location or title.

Internet Directory for Botany
Frequently updated, this searchable, alphabetical directory for botany is an excellent source for research and teaching. A search for “New York” for example offers 25 sites ranging from the ‘Archives and Manuscripts, New York Botanical Garden, USA’ to ‘Historic Fruit Images: The Small Fruits of New York’ (with access to the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection with more than 7,700 drawings), to ‘Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, New York (USA)’ (a former estate landscaped by the Olmsted brothers).

Botanical Society of America Online Image Collection
Stunning images of landscapes and plants are available to teachers and students on this site (some plant parts have been shot through a scanning electron microscope). See ‘Carnivorous Plants’; or look at different ‘Plant Geographies’ such as Saquaro & Cholla (AZ) or Nebraska sandhills (NE); or learn about ‘Economic Botany,’ see cranberry bogs and fields of sunflowers.


The primary mission of Catena, to provide images for teaching landscape studies, is admirable. In its present form, this searchable digital archives, sponsored by the Bard Graduate Center through a grant from the NEH, is most useful to scholars and students of the Italian villa. Among the nine ‘Featured Sites’ are Hadrian’s Villa and the Villa d’Este, and Catena offers not only images but a bibliography and historical documentation, and for some landscapes an interactive plan. The ‘Glossary’ is a particularly useful feature of the website.

Peutinger’s Roman Map The so-called “Peutinger Map” is the only Roman world map known to have survived antiquity. Preserved in a single, medieval copy now housed in the Austrian National Library in Vienna, the map stretches from Britain in the west to India in the east, covering a series of 11 parchment rectangles totaling over 6.7 meters (22 feet) in length. A full-scale facsimile is on display in the galleries and more information is provided on two of the exhibition banners: “Measuring and Mapping Space” and “Peutinger Map“.

– Additional Sites –

Bard Garden History and Landscape Studies at Bard Graduate Center.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Includes bibliographies, lectures, book reviews and other sources related to landscape history.

Garden History Links: : A very large list of links to sites on garden and landscape history. It has especially good coverage and organization of international sites.

University of Illinois Architectural library resources and lists:

University of California, Berkeley Environmental Design Library: Lists, resources, bibliographies.

Dr. Graham Jones:
He has compiled an excellent list of on-line resources for landscape history, geography, and related disciplines.

The Society for Landscape Studies: : The Society for Landscape Studies was founded in 1979 with the aim of advancing public education by promoting the study of the landscape in all its aspects.