The Archives of American Gardens (AAG), an important resource managed by the Horticulture Services Division of the Smithsonian Institution, offers landscape designers, historians, preservationists, researchers, garden enthusiasts and others access to approximately 80,000 photographic images and records documenting over 6,350 historic and contemporary gardens and landscapes throughout the United States dating from the 1870s.
At the core of the Archives is a collection of over 3,000 glass lantern slides from the 1920s and 1930s along with approximately 35,000 35mm slides that were donated to the Smithsonian by the Garden Club of America (GCA) in 1992. GCA helps support AAG with ongoing research and documentation activities. Through its national network, GCA volunteers continue to expand the collection by photographing and documenting scores of unique cultivated gardens each year, both member and non-member gardens, large and small and of all varieties.
To learn more and see some of the gardens that Garden Club Dublin’s Garden History and Design team have documented please go to: https://sova.si.edu/details/AAG.GCA#ref32875 and https://sova.si.edu/details/AAG.GCA#ref32881.
The Archives of American Gardens (AAG) strives to preserve and highlight a meaningful compendium of significant aspects of gardening in the United States for the benefit of researchers and the public today and in the future. Every moment a garden exists it is subject to the forces of change, loss, and, in some cases, destruction. A familiar and beloved garden today may become a distant memory in just a matter of a few years (or, in the case of a natural disaster, a few hours). Even the most meticulously maintained garden evolves over time to the point where it deviates from its earlier incarnation. Unless gardens are photographed and their origins and life span documented, the thought, creativity, care and labor that goes into them may be lost forever.