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Edith Henderson papers

Identifier: ahc.MSS980

Scope and Contents of the Records

The bulk of this artificial collection consists of weekly articles Henderson wrote for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution that provided practical design advice to readers. The collection contains articles from 1942, 1943, and 1950-1977. The collection includes some original manuscripts. More frequently, however, the articles included here are copies of the published version from the Atlanta Journal/Constitution. Occasionally, both a manuscript and published version of the same article are available. Henderson's manuscripts are denoted EHH in the description inventory below. Copies of the published articles from the newspaper are denoted AJC.

In addition, the collection contains biographical information on Edith Harrison Henderson as well as information about her book, Edith Henderson's Home Landscape Companion. Four articles that Henderson wrote for Garden Gateways are included. The collection also contains landscape notebooks for several Atlanta area properties.


  • 1923-2005, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Edith Harrison Henderson (1911-2005) was born June 9, 1911 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1934, she graduated from the famous Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts. The school, which opened in 1901, was the first to train women in landscape architecture. Due to its affliliation with Simmons College, she also received a Bachelor of Science degree from Simmons in June 1934.

Upon receiving her degrees, Harrison moved back to Atlanta, where her family had located when she was a child. In 1936, she was appointed the Director of Rich's Garden Center and served in that capacity until 1938, when her landscape architecture practice became increasingly successful. The first civic project for the firm of Edith Harrison and Grace Campbell, Landscape Architects, was the beautification of Peachtree Street in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. In 1939, the architectural firm of Hentz, Adler and Shutze, selected Harrison's firm to develop a landscape plan for Clark Howell Homes, a federally-funded public housing project in Atlanta. Harrison married James Henderson the same year.

During her career, Henderson performed over 10,000 client consultations. For over 20 years, she wrote a 300-word weekly column for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, which provided practical design advice to readers and featured a garden on which she had consulted. Henderson also wrote for Veranda and Southern Accents magazines and delivered lectures to garden clubs and civic groups. In 1958, Henderson worked with the state of Georgia to develop the Board of Landscape Architects of Georgia, which would issue licenses to landscape architects upon passing an examination.

In 1964, Henderson was named Atlanta's Woman of the Year. In 1971, she received the Oakleigh Thorne Medal for Excellence in Landscape Architecture from the Garden Club of America. In 1972, she received the Atlanta Civic Design Commission Award for Dedicated Service in the Development of Environmental Excellence. In 1990, she received an honorary Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Henderson had become a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1955. In 1976, Harrison became the first woman in the history of the society to be elected an officer of the organization; she served as its vice-president. She later served as a member of the society's Board of Directors and as chair of the Council of Fellows. In 1993, Edith Henderson's Home Landscape Companion was published. Edith Harrison Henderson died on October 12, 2005.


9.59 linear ft. (20 document cases and one oversize box)



Arrangement of the Papers

Box 1 of the collection contains biographical and professional information on Edith Harrison Henderson arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff. Also included are Henderson's articles for Garden Gateways, undated articles, and articles by other garden writers. Boxes 2 through 13 contain Henderson's articles written for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution. These articles are grouped by month and are arranged in chronological order. Box 17 contains Henderson's landscape notebooks arranged alphabetically by client name. Boxes 18 through 20 are comprised of Henderson's appointment calendars arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information

Gifts, 1996, with subsequent additions.

Related Archival Materials

Edith Henderson visual arts materials, VIS 217, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2008, with subsequent additions and revisions.
Edith Henderson papers
Staci Catron/Jennie Oldfield
September 2009
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305