What is Olmsted Online? Back to Top

Olmsted Online is a web portal that brings together information about the landscape design, urban and regional planning work of the Olmsted firm. This information includes interactive maps, georeferenced original drawings, historic photographs and correspondence, navigational tools, and descriptions of the Olmsted work and its significant features. It is a resource that fosters education, appreciation and direct interaction with this significant legacy. Olmsted Online assists park stewards, government agencies and the public with the restoration, maintenance and preservation planning for Olmsted-designed sites. How is the Project Funded explains why Washington State is the initial focus of the site.

Who is the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP)? Back to Top

Olmsted Online is a project of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, a coalition of design and preservation professionals, historic property and park managers, scholars, municipal officials, citizen activists and representatives of numerous Olmsted organizations around the United States. Founded in 1980, NAOP's mission is to advance Olmsted principles and legacy of irreplaceable parks and landscapes that revitalize communities and enrich people's lives. NAOP is a strong national advocate for preservation and advancement of the Olmsted legacy. Learn more about NAOP at www.naop.org.

How is the Project Funded? Back to Top

NAOP received a federal Transportation Enhancement grant administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation to display online maps, plans, photographs and correspondence for the Olmsted work in the Puget Sound and Washington State. The database underlying the website is able to grow to accommodate the full body of Olmsted work in North America and internationally. NAOP was also awarded a grant by the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks to edit descriptive material for the Washington State portion of the project.

NAOP has been fortunate to receive in-kind support from Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks and volunteers from around the country, who have selected documents for digitization, donated photographs, written site descriptions, and advised on all aspects of the program.

NAOP seeks partnerships and support to expand the project into new cities and regions. If you are interested in contributing data, expertise or financial support, please contact NAOP at info@naop.org or (202) 223-9113. You can also donate online by visiting our support page.

Do I Need Permission to Download Documents? Back to Top

Olmsted Online allows users to download copies of documents for research and educational purposes. Anyone wishing to publish copies of documents or use them for commercial purposes must first contact the copyright owners (identified with the materials) for permission.

For more information, see the Fair Use Policy.

Where are the Original Olmsted Documents? Back to Top

Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (FLONHS or ONHS)
The Olmsted Archives at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, National Park Service contains close to 1,000,000 original documents related to the work of the Olmsted firm. These resources include drawings and plans, photographic negatives and prints, planting lists, lithographs, financial records, job correspondence, reports, and models. Research appointments may be made by contacting the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site at:

99 Warren Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02445
(617) 566-1689

Library of Congress (LOC)
The Olmsted Papers and Records collection at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress contains most of the firm’s written correspondence and administrative files which support and explain the drawing files held at Olmsted National Historic Site. It includes two important collections related to the work of the Olmsted firm: the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers and the Olmsted Associates Papers. Detailed finding aids for both collections are available online. The Manuscript Division also houses the papers of Laura Wood Roper, Frederick Law Olmsted’s first biographer.

Researchers are advised to write or phone prior to visiting:

Manuscript Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4680
(202) 707-5387

Frances Loeb Library at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (FLL)
The John Charles Olmsted Collection at the Frances Loeb Library includes some 5,000 letters John Charles Olmsted exchanged with his wife, Sophia White Olmsted (1862-1956), during the years 1898-1920. During this period Olmsted traveled for lengthy periods on firm business and this correspondence provides insight into the realities of both practice and domestic concerns. There are also correspondence files with professional colleagues, notecards, scattered manuscript materials of professional interest, as well as family papers, ephemera and photographs.

Researchers are advised to contact the Loeb Library prior to visiting:

Special Collections
Frances Loeb Library
Harvard University
48 Quincy, Gund Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-1300

What other projects does NAOP sponsor? Back to Top

In addition to its advocacy work on behalf of Olmsted landscapes, NAOP is the sponsor of The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers Project, which presents the most significant writings of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. www.olmstedpapers.org.

NAOP will present a symposium to explore the work and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., 20th-century landscape architect, city, regional and environmental planner.

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century will be held at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. on October 10–11, 2013. Part 2: Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.: A Vision for the American West, will be held at Stanford University in Stanford, CA on March 27-28, 2014. www.olmsted.org