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James R. Cothran visual arts material

Collection number: ahc.VIS262

Scope and Content

This collection contains slides, photographs, and negatives taken or collected by Cothran depicting topics such as botanists, naturalists, landscape designers and architects; horticultural, gardening and landscape topics; and historic gardens of the Southeast, other regions of the United States, and Europe. Material also includes images used in Cothran's lectures and books he authored. The majority of the collection consists of images taken by Cothran on his travels or collected during research. Of special interest are landscape plans of gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, by landscape architect Loutrel Briggs.


  • 1932-2011, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

James R. Cothran, FASLA, (1940-2012), was a practicing landscape architect, urban planner, and garden historian. The native South Carolinian received a Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture from Clemson University in 1962, a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Georgia in 1969, and a Master of Science degree in city planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1978. He served as Vice President of the Planning and Landscape Architecture Division of Robert and Company, an architectural, engineering and planning firm in Atlanta, from 1981 until his death. Cothran also served as a professional instructor in the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Landscape Design Study Program from 1970. Cothran served as an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, where he taught graduate-level courses on America's historic gardens and landscapes. He was the author of three books, Gardens of Historic Charleston (1995), Gardens and Historic Plants of the Antebellum South (2003) and Charleston Gardens and the Landscape Legacy of Loutrel Briggs (2010). Cothran was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2002.


22754 item(s) (22,479 transparencies, 105 color photographic prints, 56 black and white photographic prints, 93 color negatives, 15 black and white negatives, and six sets of landscape drawings)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series: Series I: Topics, gardens, and historic houses; and Series II: Professional visual arts material. Within each series the collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2011, with subsequent additions

Related Archival Materials

James R. Cothran papers, MSS 989, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2017.

James R. Cothran visual arts material
Claire Blackwell and Jennie Oldfield
June 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

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

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305