The Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection documents the work of Molly Adams, a free-lance garden photographer who photographed hundreds of private and public gardens, many of them in the mid-Atlantic region, from the late 1950s through the mid-1990s. It includes slides, photographic prints, negatives and transparencies. A significant number of images document the work of landscape designers Nelva M. Weber, Alice Recknagel Ireys, and Friede Stege. Roughly 50 gardens do not have an identified location. Some images have captions and other information written on them.
The Ken Druse Garden Photography Collection contains approximately 45,000 film transparency and 35mm slide images, dating from 1978 to 2005, of gardens, garden features, and flora photographed by garden writer and photographer Ken Druse. The photographic images document numerous private and public gardens throughout the United States and a few in Canada. Many have appeared in Druse’s own books and articles as well as those by other writers. Approximately half of the collection is arranged according to specific garden, the other half by garden feature. A small portion of the collection consists of slide lectures given by Druse. Some images are identified with general captions and dates. Images documenting specific gardens are sometimes accompanied by handwritten notes, garden descriptions, and articles. Annotations appearing on certain images indicate the publication in which they appeared. The collection includes ‘outtakes’ or bracketed images that give insight into Druse’s photo shooting process.
The Historic Gardens Postcard Collection includes 200 postcards of historic views of various public gardens, parks, monuments, and buildings throughout the United States and some foreign countries, including Canada, France and Cuba. Some private gardens and estates and many Washington, D.C. attractions are also represented. Roughly half of the postcards were mailed; the remaining postcards were not written on or posted. Areas represented include Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Foreign views show gardens in Havana, Paris, and Canada. About a dozen cards feature various views of Smithsonian Institution museums along the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The collection contains the records of W. Atlee Burpee & Company and includes accounting records, seed trial records, seed contracts, sales records, contracts, inventories, office correspondence, contest letters, seed catalogs, pamphlets, advertisements and advertising reports, daybooks, photographs and other items relating to the company and some of its competitors. The collection is not comprehensive and includes significant gaps.
The Corliss Knapp Engle slide collection contains 35mm slides of gardens, garden features, flower shows, and flora photographed by Corliss Engle, a self-taught photographer and horticulturalist. Much of the collection is comprised of photographic documentation of numerous private and public gardens that she visited throughout the United States. Of particular note are images of Engle's own garden in Brookline, Massachusetts, spanning three decades; they provide excellent insight into the development and evolution of a garden over time. Portions of the collection highlight Engle's involvement with the Garden Club of America and the GCA's Garden History and Design Committee. The collection also includes various notes, lecture scripts, brochures, programs and articles on garden and plant-related themes generated or compiled by Corliss Knapp Engle.
The Bedman Brothers Company Records collection focuses primarily on the business and financial transactions of Bedman Brothers seed company of Rahway, New Jersey, and includes accounting ledgers, purchase orders, price lists, miscellaneous business and family correspondence, and various brochures, pamphlets and leaflets related to horticultural topics. Other holdings in the collection include World War II ration stamps and two scrapbooks, one of which contains many late nineteenth and early twentieth century chromo-lithographed trade cards (primarily from the sewing, clothing, and floral industries). The other scrapbook holds news clippings from the Civil War period. Some seed gathering equipment used by field workers rounds out the collection.
The Lewis & Valentine Company Collection contains records of the Lewis & Valentine Company dating from 1916 to 1971 including photographs, negatives, brochures, books, trade catalogs, company papers, letters from clients, customer lists and a history of the company written by Harold Carman Lewis. Photographs document the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, estates in Long Island, New York, and the properties of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Eugene du Pont, Walter P. Chrysler, Otto H. Kahn, F. W. Woolworth, Pierre S. du Pont (Longwood Gardens), Charles M. Schwab and Edward T. Stotesbury. This collection contains only a sampling of the records of Lewis & Valentine and should not be considered comprehensive.
The Captain A.H. McComb, Jr. Collection includes approximately 230 35mm slides of public and private gardens and landscapes dating from 1956 to 1966, photographed by Captain A.H. McComb, Jr. at sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, United States Virgin Islands, Argentina, Bermuda, Capri, Cuba, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Tobago.
The J. Horace McFarland Collection includes over 3,100 photographic images of private and public gardens throughout the United States, as well as some from foreign countries, dating from 1899 to 1963. Many of these images, generated for Mount Pleasant Press (later the J. Horace McFarland Company), were used to illustrate trade catalogs published by the firm as well as journal and newspaper articles. The collection also contains color records that were used as reference aids during the printing process, plant patents, and various publications of the McFarland Company.