Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
About the Archives

About the Archives

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.


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, 12,000 images, including photographs, drawings, prints, lantern slides and other visual materials and 10 cubic feet of memorabilia and other objects.

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


Visiting the Archives

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


Donate to the Archives
We are looking for objects and photos from the garden in the years before 1985. To donate to the Archives, arrange a visit, or email Leslie Morris-Smith at leslm@upenn.edu.

 

Additional Information for Researchers or History Buffs

Historical Links

Chestnut Hill Conservancy Photo Archives

Lower Merion Historical Society

Springfield Township Historical Society Archives

University Archives at Penn

Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Museum Archives

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Alerts & Updates


Advance Tickets Required for All Visitors (Including Members)

The Morris Arboretum is excited to announce that is reopening to the public on Thursday, June 18th. Members may reserve tickets starting Monday, June 15th with non-member tickets available Wednesday, June 17th. Please know that we are working to keep you as safe as we possibly can.

  • The City of Philadelphia mandates that all visitors age 2 and older wear face coverings.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • One-way circulation on paths to facilitate social distancing.
  • The Visitor Center, the Shop, and Compton Cafe are temporarily closed, but picnicking will be permitted in certain areas.
  • The Garden Railway, Out on a Limb, the Fernery and the Log Cabin are temporarily closed.
  • Restrooms are open and sanitized regularly.
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the Arboretum.
  • Bring your own water and snacks.
  • Guest passes, Library passes, and RAP reciprocal admissions are not accepted at this time.

Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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