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COLLECTION Identifier: I A-7

National Park Service cooperative agreement: Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation records, 1991-2001.

Abstract

In 1991 the Arnold Arboretum signed a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) with the purpose of setting up a structure to collaborate on a range of programs and services in the area of historic landscape preservation. One of the goals of the original collaboration was to establish the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation as a joint venture of the NPS and the Arnold Arboretum. After extensive planning and research, the administrative complications of joining a Federal agency and a unit of a large university prevented a formal partnership and the collaboration ended in the late 1990s. The Olmsted Center continues as a program of the NPS. The bulk of the collection reflects 17 signed amendments to the initial cooperative agreement between the Arboretum and the NPS (1991).

Dates

  • 1991-2001

Terms of Access

This collection is open for research. Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Terms of Use

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.

Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Extent

5 boxes

Dating from 1991-2001 the collection contains correspondence, cooperative agreements, meeting notes, performance updates, photographic slides, drafts of publications, as well as budgetary, programmatic and staff information for the joint projects of the Arnold Arboretum and the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation of the National Park Service. The bulk of the collection reflects 17 signed amendments to the initial cooperative agreement between the Arboretum and the NPS (1991). The amendments and their supporting documents outline programmatic initiatives and extensions undertaken between the two institutions throughout the 1990’s.

Historical note

In 1991 the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University signed a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) with the purpose of setting up a structure to collaborate on a range of programs and services in the area of historic landscape preservation. The collaboration brought together the resources of the North Atlantic Region of National Park Service, which owns and manages one of the largest groups of historic gardens and cultural landscapes in the country, and the Arnold Arboretum, which has been collecting and curating plants hardy in the North Temperate Zone for over 100 years. The design of the Arboretum itself was a joint effort in the late 1880s and 1890s of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) and Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927), the Arboretum’s first director. This new collaboration linked the Arboretum with the NPS Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation housed at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The cooperative agreement was signed by Robert Cook, director of the Arboretum, and by Nora Mitchell of the National Park Service. Phyllis Andersen was hired by the Arboretum in 1992 to manage the cooperative projects. Arboretum staff members that participated in the projects were: Peter del Tredici, Gary Koller, Jack Alexander, Tom Ward, and Stephen Spongberg. Project personnel hired by the Arboretum for specific projects included Kristin Claeys Baker and Kirsten Thornton. The National Park Service staff included Charles Pepper, Lauren Meier, Margie Coffin, Rolf Diamant and Paul Weinbaum. The cooperative agreement created a number of individual projects: a historic landscape maintenance workshop held in 1991, a cultural landscape report and treatment plan for the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, plant inventories of seven National Park Service sites (Adams National Historic Park, Saint Gaudens National Historic Site, Longfellow National Historic Site, Glenmont National Historic Site, Vanderbilt National Historic Site, and the Sagamore Hill Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site).

The Historic Plant Preservation project included a historic plant nursery established at the Arnold Arboretum for plants propagated from NPS historic sites to serve as future replacements for significant specimens. A guide to preparing a plant inventory for a historic site and a manual for maintaining a historic plant nursery eventually moved from the Arboretum to the Lyman Estate in Waltham Massachusetts owned and managed by Historic New England.

One of the final projects of the collaborative venture was a Historic Resource Study for the Marsh-Billings National Historic Site in Woodstock, Vermont. Several academic historians (Robert Dorman, Mark Madison, and Daniel Nadenicek) were commissioned to prepare segments of this site history.

One of the goals of the original collaboration was to establish the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation as a joint venture of the NPS and the Arnold Arboretum. After extensive planning and research, the administrative complications of joining a Federal agency and a unit of a large university prevented a formal partnership and the collaboration ended in the late 1990s. The Olmsted Center continues as a program of the NPS.

Arrangement note

Missing Title
  1. Series I: National Park Service and the Arnold Arboretum Cooperative Agreement (CA1600-1- 90090)
  2. Series II: Institute for Cultural Landscape Studies at the Arnold Arboretum and the National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation
  3. Series III: Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation
  4. Series IV: National Park Service and the Arnold Arboretum Cooperative Agreement Amendments. 1-17.
  5. Series V: Slides

Provenance

This collection was transferred to the Archives by staff involved with the joint projects of the Arnold Arboretum and the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation of the National Park Service in 2009.

Processing Information note

2006, revised 2007, revised 2011 Emily Toner

Title
National Park Service cooperative agreement: Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation records, 1991-2001.
Status
completed
Language of description
und
EAD ID
ajp00059

Repository Details

Part of the Arnold Arboretum Archives Repository

The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library is a specialized collection devoted to the study of temperate woody plants. We collect works on botany, horticulture, floras, urban forestry and taxonomy. The library contains more than 25,000 volumes and 40,000 photographs, and includes an archive that both documents the Arboretum's history and is a repository for 19th, 20th, and 21st century horticultural and botanical collections.

Contact:
125 Arborway
Jamaica Plain MA 02130 USA