OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
|http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:ARB:ajp00042View HOLLIS Record
Questions or Comments Copyright Statement
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: IV A-3 GK
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
Creator: Koller, Gary, 1945-
Title: Papers of Gary Koller,
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.
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.
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.