Swarthmore College. Scott Arboretum Records
Scope and Contents
Contains the records of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College from the proposal for its formation to the present. Of special interest is the correspondence concerning the controversy concerning the planning of Interstate 476, "The Blue Route," as well as plant records and landscape plans. The Introduction to John Wister's typescript manuscript Swarthmore Plant Notes, 3rd version, 1954-1955 (Series 3), presents a history of the Arboretum as well as a more general history of horticulture and plant collecting.
Organized into six series.
- Scott Office and administrative records
- Plant records and landscape plans
- Clippings and press releases
- Scott Associates
- John C. and Gertrude Wister
- Wister, John C. (John Caspar), 1887-1982 (Contributor, Person)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
The Arthur Hoyt Scott Horticultural Foundation was established at Swarthmore College in 1929 as a memorial to Arthur Hoyt Scott (1874-1927). He was a member of the Swarthmore College Class of 1895, president of the Scott Paper Company, and an avid amateur gardener. Interest in establishing a horticultural center on the Swarthmore campus which focused on planting appropriate to Eastern Pennsylvania began in the mid 1920s with discussions between Scott and John C. Wister, a prominent local horticulturist. In 1925, Samuel C. Palmer , a classmate of Wister in the Class of 1895 and professor of botany at the College, submitted a plan to the Board of Managers to establish an arboretum on the campus, Discussions with Swarthmore College President Frank Aydelotte resulted in Aydelotte's approval of the plan in November 1925, but the project was delayed by lack of funding. Arthur Scott died in 1927 at the age of 52, and in 1929, the Arthur Hoyt Scott Horticultural Foundation was established by Edith Wilder Scott (Mrs. Arthur Hoyt Scott and Class of 1896) and Owen (Class of 1894) and Margaret Moon (sister of Arthur Scott). The intention of the Foundation was to focus on plantings appropriate to Eastern Pennsylvania, creating a practical "garden of ideas" for amateur gardeners while at the same time improving the campus.
John C. Wister (1887-1982) became director of the Scott Foundation on January 1, 1930. He was a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard's School of Landscape Architecture and a noted horticulturist, writing books on irises and lilacs and editing many others. He was succeed in 1969 by Joseph Oppe. Judith Zuk served as director from 1983-1990. She was succeeded by Claire Sawyers.
Plant acquisitions were accessioned with consecutive numbers through 1950. In 1951, plants were catalogued by the year followed by a consecutive number beginning with the number one each year. This system continued until 1957. Gifts were numbered consecutively up through #1432 in 1968. The last plant order placed by John C. Wister were 914 for the Upper Campus and 921 for Harvard Avenue. In 1969, the system was changed when Joseph Oppe became director of the Foundation.
The name was changed to Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in 1986 to reflect that the foundation is actually an operating arboretum.
23 Linear Feet (46 boxes ( plus oversized items and photographs))
The Arthur Hoyt Scott Horticultural Foundation was established at Swarthmore College in 1929 as a memorial to Arthur Hoyt Scott (1874-1927). The intention of the Foundation was to focus on plantings appropriate to Eastern Pennsylvania, creating a practical "garden of ideas" for amateur gardeners while at the same time improving the campus. The name changed to Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in 1986. The collection contains records of the Scott Arboretum from the proposal for its formation to the present. Of special interest is the correspondence concerning the controversy concerning the planning of Interstate 476, "The Blue Route," as well as John C. Wister's mimeographed Swarthmore Plant Notes, plant records, and landscape plans.
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donor: Scott Arboretum
Accession number: 2000-007,-008, 2002-001. 2000-020 Wister books and articles. Later deposits not given accession numbers.
Accruals: Deposited on irregular basis.
Large photograph of John Morton McIlvain, Class of 1890, donor of the Arboreal Fund. SCA 1998.004.
Formerly catalogued in Swarthmore College Archives as RG 6/Series 6.1. Arthur Hoyt Scott Foundation. In 1997, Friends Historical commenced a reorganization of the College Archives. In 2002, Scott Foundation papers were re-processed, united with recent deposits from the Scott Arboretum, and a new finding aid was created. The series in College Archives was renamed RG6/, Associated Departments, Series S. The slide collection is stored with FHL Pictures as PA 111. Additional copies of published material available in McCabe Swarthmoreana collection and in the office of the Scott Arboretum.
In August 2003, bound and loose copies of John C. Wister's typed manuscript Swarthmore Plant Notes, were deposited at Friends Historical Library. A complete set was added to Series 2. Some of the early volumes were damaged by silverfish when received.
October 2003, additional accession lists, papers and correspondence relating to the Frorer Holly Collection and specific plant collections deposited. January and February 2004, recent records and plant inventories were added to collection. In March 2004, office files concerning the Scott Medalists were added to Series 1.
In 2008 records of the Scott Associates and additional John Wister papers were deposited and added as Series 5 and 6 to the inventory. Wister's unpublished manuscripts include some of the same chapters, used in two draft publications.
- Arboretums -- Swarthmore
- Arthur Hoyt Scott Horticultural Foundation
- Plants -- Pennsylvania
- Swarthmore College
- Swarthmore College. Scott Arboretum
- Tree planting -- Pennsylvania -- Swarthmore
- Universities and colleges
- Universities and colleges -- Landscape architeture -- Pennsylvania -- Swarthmore
- Wister, John C. (John Caspar), 1887-1982
- Swarthmore College. Scott Arboretum Records, 1925-2017
- Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Find It at the Library
Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library
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