Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania plans, drawings, and maps collection
Held at: Morris Arboretum Archives [Contact Us]100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Morris Arboretum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania is the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was formerly owned by Quaker siblings John Thompson Morris (1847-1915) and Lydia Thompson Morris (1849-1932), who acquired the area through the purchase of two large estates and surrounding lands--Compton in 1887 and Bloomfield in 1913. When Lydia died in 1932, she left the gardens to the University of Pennsylvania as the Morris Arboretum. The Arboretum was part of the University's Botany department until, in 1975, it was established as a separate Interdisciplinary Resource Center.
This collection consists of various plans, drawings, and maps of the lands that comprise the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania before and after it was acquired by the University of Pennsylvania. There are greater numbers of documents for the period of increased building activity that occurred in the 1910s (after the Morrises acquired Bloomfield), 1930s-1940s (after the University took ownership of the Arboretum), and the 1970s (when the Arboretum became an entity independent from the Botany department). Documents include plans for building construction and renovation as well as gardens and landscapes; planting plans and garden layouts; and maps of the property. Of special interest are 1909 and 1914 surveys of the Morris siblings' estate: "Compton Atlases."
This collection also includes a small number of maps, plans, and drawings for other gardens and arboretums, especially in the Philadelphia area.
Documents created by or collected by the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Morris Arboretum Archives directly for more information.
- Morris, John Thompson, 1847-1915
- Morris, Lydia Thompson, 1849-1932
- University of Pennsylvania. Morris Arboretum
- Historic buildings--Conservation and restoration
- Landscape architecture
- Landscape design
- Planting design
- Morris Arboretum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Morris Arboretum Archives for information about accessing this collection.