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 Eleanor Weller Collection dates from circa 1978-2006 and consists of documentation and research files relating to the Garden Club of America's Slide Library of Notable American Parks and Gardens (later donated to the Smithsonian Institution as the Garden Club of America Collection) and the book, The Golden Age of American Gardens: Proud Owners, Private Estates, 1890-1940, co-written by Weller, as well as thousands of photographic images of historic and contemporary gardens compiled or taken by Weller. Materials include correspondence, research notes, clippings, brochures, lecture scripts, photocopied images from archival repositories, and original and duplicate 35mm slides.
The John Hiller Lantern Slide Collection contains 216 glass autochromes dated circa 1920-1930 documenting homes and gardens, house interiors, scenes from domestic and foreign travel, flower arrangements, and people in Europe and unidentified locations.
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. Seperated materials include seed gathering equipment used by field workers.
The Roche Collection documents some of the work of John and Mary Alice Roche, garden photographers who photographed numerous gardens throughout the United States. Several of the Roches' images appeared in popular gardening magazines and books on flower arranging from the 1950s and 1960s.
The William Lyman Phillips Collection includes thirty glass negatives and two glass autochromes showing a sampling of gardens presumably designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips. The gardens are located in Massachusetts, Florida and unidentified locations.
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 Lois W. Poinier Collection documents the work of Lois W. Poinier, a self-taught garden designer who designed scores of gardens, most of them in New Jersey.
The Starr Ockenga Collection includes materials generated or compiled by Ockenga for the writing of her books, 'Earth on Her Hands: The American Woman in Her Garden' and 'Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions.' Both books feature several individual chapters, each describing a garden owner and their garden.
The Thomas Warren Sears Photograph Collection documents examples of the design work of Thomas Warren Sears (1880-1966), a landscape architect and amateur photographer from Brookline, Massachusetts. Sears, who was based for most of his career in Philadelphia, designed a variety of different types of landscapes ranging from private residences, schools, and playgrounds to parks, cemeteries, and urban housing developments located primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. In addition to some of Sears' design work, images in the collection document Sears' domestic and foreign travels, design inspirations, and family. The collection includes over 4,800 black and white negatives and glass lantern slides dated circa 1899 to 1930. While most images show private and public gardens, there are a significant number of unidentified views and views photographed in Europe during two trips he took there in 1906 and 1908. Few images are captioned or dated. In addition, there are over 50 plans and drawings, most notably for Balmuckety in Pikesville, Maryland and Reynolda in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and 3 monographs by or about Sears.