University of Virginia Press announces the release of a new digitized version of The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted on the bicentennial of Olmsted’s birth. Through a partnership with the National Association of Olmsted Parks (NAOP) and ROTUNDA, the University of Virginia Press’s digital imprint, the searchable site will provide scholars, students, and practitioners an entirely new level of research on this venerable designer.
Frederick Law Olmsted’s work touched communities across North America—from Palo Alto to New York City to Montreal to Pittsburgh to Atlanta—with creativity and vision. His lasting legacy goes beyond green space to a way of imagining cities that put people at the core. “The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted are the definitive resource on FLO. This scholarship enables informed protection and rehabilitation of Olmsted parks and landscapes around the country,” commented Anne Neal Petri, president of the NAOP. “We are delighted to be working with UVA on this important project.”
The digital collection includes the nine volumes of the print edition and a supplementary volume covering Olmsted’s writings on public spaces, accompanied by extensive illustrations. Olmsted’s writings as a journalist and a designer give new insights into his projects but also the conditions of late nineteenth-century America. He traveled through the southern states as a journalist, imagined how universities might realize design possibilities, and added new considerations to space and health and much more.
“Frederick Law Olmsted shaped the 19th century to honor the ‘genius of the place’ and to have parks and design interventions merge with the existing landscapes and sensibilities,” said Suzanne Morse Moomaw, director of UVA Press. “Olmsted’s thinking and perspective through these volumes give urban planners, landscape architects, urban designers, conservationists, and the public roadmaps to creating more inviting cities for the twentieth century."