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


COVID-19 Response

In response to the unprecedented public health crisis related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Morris Arboretum will close to the public as of March 14, 2020 until the University of Pennsylvania feels that is it safe to re-open. Learn more about the Univerisity's response on the University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu. Please know that this decision was made after careful deliberation and that our priority is to do all we can to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Information pertaining to public health is rapidly evolving and, as such, it is not yet known when we will reopen. We will be vigilant in our efforts to keep our website up-to-date and we will communicate directly to members and class registrants via email with the latest details.

The following information is provided in anticipation of some of the questions you may have relative to the following categories:

Individuals who have registered for a class
It is our intention to provide a refund to individuals who have registered for a class that occurs during this temporary closure. We are working as quickly as possible to process your refunds in the manner in which you paid. If you have questions, please contact education@morrisarboretum.org.

Annual Membership
We appreciate your patience at this time. We know that early spring is the most natural time to come out to the Arboretum for a walk in the gardens to enjoy the fresh air, but maintaining public health must be our priority. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens just as soon as we are reassured that it is safe for all of our visitors to return. We will keep you updated on any developments, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about your membership, please contact members@morrisarboretum.org.

Planned Events
Any individuals that have planned events will receive outreach directly from a staff member to discuss your options.

We will continue to update the community as soon as information is available and is consistent with the evolution of this dynamic situation. Questions may be directed to info@morrisarboretum.org.

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times and we thank you for your support. Please stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, and our website.

Resources
Center for Disease Control (CDC): cdc.gov/coronavirus
University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu

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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