Celebrated for his landscape design and planning of New York's Central Park, Boston's Emerald Necklace park system, and the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, among many other beloved parks and places, Frederick Law Olmsted died in 1903 at the age of 83. In 1947, the Library of Congress began collecting papers chronicling the life of Olmsted and members of his family with a gift from Olmsted's son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., followed by another gift from the family in 1968. The Library rounded out its collection over the next 40 years with a gift of 3,000 additional items from longtime Olmsted biographer Laura Wood Roper, and two items were purchased and transferred from the Library of Congress's Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection to complete the Olmsted Papers in 1996.
Last week, the Library of Congress made available the digitized version of its Olmsted archive online, in time to serve as a resource for the bicentennial celebration of Olmsted's birth in 2022, according to the institution.
The collection is broken up into eight sections including diary entries from Olmsted and his family members, personal and professional correspondences, designs, drawings, and consultations, and speeches and lectures. Preview the papers below and see the whole collection here.
Miabelle Salzano is a former editorial intern for ARCHITECT. She graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.A. in literature and a minor in film. She received an M.A. in journalism at American University.