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a black-and-white photo of woman from the early 20th century walking along a rock wall in bloom with flowers.


The Archives serves the Morris 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.

A black and white photo of a log cabin taken in the late 19th century.


The Morris Arboretum & Gardens 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.

Additionally, from 1932 to present, the Archives houses records of the Morris Advisory Board, faculty and staff, grant and project reports, blueprints, landscape drawings, slides and photographs.

Visiting the Archives

Hours are by appointment. To arrange a visit, please contact us.

Additional Information for Researchers or History Buffs

  • The Morris Arboretum Bulletin, published monthly from 1935 to the 1970s, is available online at Biodiversity Heritage Library. Learn more.

  • The Morris Family of Philadelphia, Descendants of Anthony Morris, by Robert C. Moon, MD, Five volumes, 1898. Learn more.

  • Finding aids for several Morris collections are online at Philadelphia Area Archives, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Suggested keyword searches are “Morris Arboretum,” “Morris Family Papers,” “Thompson Family Papers.” Learn more.

  • The John and Lydia Morris Travel Albums 1881-1906 are at the Hagley Library and Archives. Learn more.

  • The William Henry Russell collection of Morris family papers, including papers from the first Anthony Morris to John Thompson Morris and papers of the extended Morris family are at the Hagley Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware. Learn more.

  • A large collection of Morris Family Papers dating from late 1600s to mid 1900s is at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  Learn more.

  • A comprehensive article on the Thompsons family of Compton, Dorset, England (ancestors of John and Lydia Morris’s mother Rebecca Thompson) was published in The Friend’s Quarterly Examiner, 1878.  Learn more.
  • Thompson Family Papers at Haverford Quaker Special Collections. Learn more.

History and Archives Links

Chestnut Hill Conservancy Photo Archives

Springfield Township Historical Society Archives

University Archives at Penn

Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Museum Archives

An archival photograph of Morris Arboretum,  1891.
Arboretum Voices
Sharing Personal Stories of the Morris Arboretum

Listen to interviews and stories about the Morris Arboretum in this oral history series. Told by those with close ties, including a descendant of John and Lydia Morris, these audio stories highlight the Arboretum's legacy from its founding through today.