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Frederick Law Olmsted Collection (microfilm) [1777-1952; bulk 1838-1903]: Home

Descriptive Summary


The Frederick Law Olmsted Collection (microfilm)

Date Span:

[1777-1952; bulk 1838-1903]

Acquisition Number: 



Frederick Law Olmsted


Purchased from the Library of Congress

Date of Acquisition: 



60 reels; 60,000 letters and manuscripts




Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State 


Microfilm copy was purchased from the Library of Congress' original Frederick Law Olmsted Papers in 1978. The papers of Frederick Law Olmsted housed in the Library of Congress were processed in 1963; additional material was processed and a revised edition of the register published in 1975. 

Information on Use


The Frederick Law Olmsted Collection is open for research. 

Reproduction of Materials: 

See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials. Copyright in the unpublished writings of Frederick Law Olmsted in these papers and in other collections of papers in the custody of the Library of Congress has been dedicated to the public.

Preferred Citation: 

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, The Frederick Law Olmsted Collection (microfilm), Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:

Landscape architect. Correspondence, letters, books, journals, drafts of articles and books, speeches and lectures, biographical and genealogical data, business papers, scrapbooks, maps, drawings, and other papers encompassing Olmsted's career and private life. The papers focus on Olmsted's career as a landscape architect, specifically as a designer of parks and the grounds of private estates and public buildings and as a city and regional planner.

Scope and Contents: 

Items acquired by the Library of Congress after 1978 are not included in the microfilm reels, but are present in the inventory. The papers of Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) span the years 1777 to 1952, with the bulk of the material dated 1838 to 1903. The papers document Olmsted's varied careers as farmer, journalist, editor, and landscape architect, as well as his private life. The collection consists of journals, correspondence, letterbooks, business papers, legal and financial papers, maps, drawings, reports, speeches, lectures, essays, articles, book manuscripts, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous items. Numerous family papers are also included.


The collection is arranged in eight series:

  • Journals, 1777-1888
  • Correspondence, 1838-1928
  • Subject File, 1857-1952
  • Speeches and Writings File, 1839-1903
  • Miscellany, 1837-1952
  • 1975 Addition, 1821-1924
  • 1996 Addition, 1880-1881
  • Oversize, 1886