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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2656

Rose Standish Nichols papers


Correspondence and other papers of American landscape architect and writer, Rose Standish Nichols.


  • Creation: 1877-1922

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

This collection primarily concerns the close relationship between Rose Standish Nichols and her uncle, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and also relates his wife Augusta F. Homer Saint-Gaudens, and their family. Includes correspondence, a diary belonging to Rose Nichols, numerous photographs of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and other materials. There is also an incomplete autograph manuscript draft (by Nichols) of a biographical sketch of Saint-Gaudens.

Correspondence includes a large group of letters from Saint-Gaudens to Rose Nichols (but none from her) concerning his life and work. Includes autograph manuscript transcripts of these letters compiled by Nichols. Also with: a large group of letters from Augusta Saint-Gaudens to Nichols; a few letters from friends and colleagues to Augustus Saint-Gaudens including Henry James (copy only), Henry Adams (copy only), Daniel Chester French, and others; and one letter from Homer Saint-Gaudens to Rose Nichols.

Biographical / Historical

Rose Standish Nichols (1872-1960) was one of America's first professional female landscape and garden designers, a writer of garden history and criticism, a lifelong pacificist, and a women's rights activist. She was the daughter of Dr. Arthur Howard Nichols (1840-1923) and Elizabeth Fisher Homer Nichols (1844-1929) of Boston, Massachusetts. She published three books and many articles on European garden design, helped found the Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom, and remained single her entire life.

She was a favorite niece of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens; he encouraged her interest in garden design and she became his confidante through a rich correspondence. Augusta F. Homer Saint-Gaudens, the wife of Augustus, was also close to Rose Nichols and they frequently wrote each other.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Other papers

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

60M-228. Bequest of Miss Rose Standish Nichols, through Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Homer, Main Street, Sherborn, Massachusetts; received: 1960 November 9.

Related Materials

Other collections relating to Rose Standish Nichols and the Nichols family are:

  1. Arthur Asahel Shurcliff papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
  2. Arthur Howard Nichols papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
  3. Emerson and Nichols family papers, State Library of Massachusetts.
  4. Nichols family papers, Nichols House Museum, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.
  5. Papers of the Nichols-Shurtleff family, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University.
  6. Rose Nichols papers, Historic New England Library and Archives.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009.

Nichols, Rose Standish. Rose Standish Nichols papers, 1877-1922: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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