[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:ARB:ajp00042View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement

Koller, Gary. 1945-. Papers of Gary Koller, 1976-2000: A Finding Aid.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University


The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: IV A-3 GK
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Koller, Gary, 1945-
Title: Papers of Gary Koller,
Date(s): 1976-2000
Quantity: 1 linear feet (1 boxes)
Abstract: The Koller papers span the years of 1976 to 2000, covering his years as Managing Horticulturist and Supervisor of Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, memos, information on his professional activities, planting lists, and lecture notes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Provenance: Gary Koller's papers were created by Koller and amassed during his Arboretum career. The HOLLIS # for this collection is 009345713. The file name is ajp00042.

Processing Information:

Processed: April 2004 By: Beth Bayley

Conditions Governing Access:

Researchers seeking to examine archival materials are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. The Director, or an office of origin, may place restrictions on the use of some or all of its records. The extent and length of the restriction will be determined by the Director, office of origin, and the Archivist and will be enforced equally for all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright is held by The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Arnold Arboretum Archives of Harvard University. The copyright on some materials in the collection may be held by the original author or the author's heirs or assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from the holder(s) of copyright and the Arnold Arboretum Archives prior to publishing any quotations or images from materials in this collection.
Photocopies may be made at the discretion of the Arnold Arboretum Archives staff. Permission to make photocopies does not constitute permission to reproduce or publish materials outside the bounds of the fair use guidelines.

Biographical / Historical

Gary Koller was born on September 11, 1945 in York, Pennsylvania. He received an AAS in Landscape Design from Temple in 1965, a BS in Horticulture from Penn State in 1971, and an MS in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Delaware in 1973. He was a teaching assistant at school, and then served as the Curator of Living Collections at the Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania from 1973-6. The Arboretum's director heard Koller speak at a program at the US National Arboretum and recruited him from this position. Koller spent 24 years at the Arnold Arboretum, first as the Supervisor of Living Collections and later as Managing Horticulturist. Koller's professional duties included being in charge of the development and maintenance of the living collection, supervising employees, overseeing plant propagation, preparing the annual report for the department, and providing plant information to horticultural professionals as well as the public. While at the Arboretum, Koller wrote for horticultural journals, lectured to amateur and professional plantsmen, taught landscape design at the University of Massachusetts and at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, and maintained a private residential landscape design practice. He has served as a horticultural consultant to such diverse institutions as Dumbarton Oaks, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and Central Park, among many others. Upon his retirement, he focused on developing his landscape firm, lecturing, and teaching.


This collection is arranged into the following series: Series I: Biographical. This folder includes photos of Koller, nametags, programs from conferences at which he spoke, copies of newspaper articles about him or mentioning him, his self-selected correspondence, materials related to his position, and a 1979 biography. Series II: Correspondence. More than 500 letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent, then chronologically. The types of letters include correspondence with garden clubs, flower show judges, job applicants, visiting scholars, individuals needing plant identification or information, staff of other arboreta, researchers requesting copies of Arnoldia articles, etc. There is even a letter to perfume makers Guerlain about the use of the name "Shalimar," requesting permission to use it for the cultivar name of a plant Cedrus Deodara "Shalimar." Series III: Projects and Memos. The project folders are arranged alphabetically, and concern work-related projects undertaken by Koller. This collection of memos to other Arnold Arboretum staff covers such diverse topics as the rhododendron garden brochure, salary disputes, budget requests, the format of the display labels, the horticultural trainee program, meeting agendas, etc. The memos are arranged chronologically and in one folder. Series IV: Professional Activities and Associations. These folders contain Koller's records from his involvement in various professional associations. Some material from landscape design classes he taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, such as course descriptions, some class lists, and readings, is also included. Series V: Plant lists and lecture notes. This folder includes notes and plant lists for various talks and lectures Koller gave to classes, garden clubs, and other groups. They are arranged in alphabetical order, and most contain either the location the planting list was created for or the name of the group for which the talk was prepared.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of one box of papers produced and amassed by Gary Koller during his time at the Arboretum. They include biographical information, in-office memos, plant lists and lecture notes, information on his professional activities, and correspondence with both professional and amateur plantsmen. Koller's letters of recommendation for former staff and interns have been removed from this collection and refiled in staff records. Propagation lists for the Arboretum from 1981-3 have been relocated to the Living collections file. Related to this collection are the Records of the Office of Horticulturist (HOLLIS# 009345490). In addition, more records from Koller's work at the Arboretum can be found in the Annual Reports (HOLLIS# BLZ8705), both in the departmental and in the individual reports.

Container List