Welcome to the Morris Arboretum Archives

About The Archives

Scope: The Morris Arboretum Archives was established in 1987 to acquire, conserve, and catalog one-of-a-kind documents, letters, maps, architectural blueprints, landscape drawings, financial ledgers, diaries, lantern slides, photos, and negatives. Historic books, newspapers, research material, reports, and artifacts are also cataloged at the Arboretum. The archives collection includes roughly 100 cubic feet of paper archives and manuscripts, 3,000 images, including photographs, drawings, prints, lantern slides and other visual materials and 10 cubic feet of memorabilia and other objects.

Primary Audience: The Archives serves the Arboretum education, development, horticulture, and marketing staff, and is also open to qualified researchers by appointment. It is staffed by an archivist and a team of dedicated volunteers.

After 1932, when the gardens became known as the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, the Archives has architectural blueprints, landscape drawings, lantern slides, negatives and photographs by the botanists and visitors at the gardens. Numerous papers about that period: the staff, the plants, and the garden features are also in the Archives.

The Hidden Collections Initiative/Small project at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Finding aids to the five collections in the Archives may be seen here. Finding aids for Morris and Thompson family history may be found here.

Other resources: Links: Springfield Township Historical Society, Chestnut Hill Historical Society, Historical Society of Frankford, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Hagley Library & Archives, Havorford College, Main Line Historical Society & Archives.


Hours are by appointment.. To arrange a visit, email leslm@upenn.edu.