The following is a list of materials by and about Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux, John Charles Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and the Olmsted firm.

Life & Legacy

The Master List of Design Projects

The Master List serves as an indispensable resource on Olmsted landscapes. Created by the Olmsted Network— back when we were the National Association for Olmsted Parks— in partnership with the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, it provides concise and informative summaries of the diverse work undertaken by FLO and the Olmsted firm for over 100 years.

Works by Frederick Law Olmsted

Frederick Olmsted left an invaluable resource of personal and professional papers which provide a unique perspective on American society and institutions in the nineteenth century. Many of those resources are compiled in The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted. Other noteworthy works include books by Olmsted recounting his transformative trip to England in 1850 as well as his travels through the South.

The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted

The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted include the most significant writings by Olmsted and present them in a readable, published twelve-volume format. They can be accessed through printed editions — published by Johns Hopkins University Press— or online via the University of Virginia, Rotunda Imprint and Hathi Trust. At the Rotunda Imprint, Volumes 1 – 10 are available open access.

Olmsted Biographies & Career

Frederick Law Olmsted has been described as one of the most complex and influential figures to emerge from the 19th century. It’s no wonder that many authors have attempted to penetrate his life and enduring legacy. Over the last 150 years, Olmsted’s multi-faceted life has spawned numerous biographies and other publications which explore a wide array of topics.

Colleagues & Members of the Olmsted Firm

How closely Frederick Law Olmsted’s successors adhered to his principles in the face of changing technology, social conditions and recreational needs, has yet to be determined. While there is some research available, attention to the Olmsted firm members has been minimal. There is much to be learned about the significance of the Olmsted firm and practical knowledge to be gained to protect and preserve the designs of Olmsted and his successors.

Resources for Children

Frederick Law Olmsted was a college dropout and a reluctant student. But he gathered experiences and ultimately became a visionary social reformer and founder of American landscape architecture. His life story has appeal for all “late bloomers” and offers a "personal” introduction to the man who created extraordinary parks and landscapes.

State Landscape Documentation

Olmsted in Connecticut

Preservation Connecticut and the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office initiated a state-wide project to expand landscape documentation and stewardship and to shed light on current challenges in land conservation, public access to open space for health and recreation, social equity, landscape stewardship and education. The Olmsted Network encourages other SHPOs to follow CT’s lead.

Resources by State

Frederick Law Olmsted and the Olmsted firm— together— had nearly 6,000 commissions. Working in 47 out of the 50 states, their work has literally shaped the American landscape. A wide range of resources examine specific landscapes in specific states. As you complete your research, remember to review our website and the websites of conservancies and friends’ groups.

Other Resources

Workbook Series

The Olmsted Network— formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks— published a 5-part workbook series in the 1990s. They offer insights into Charles Eliot’s landscape vision, woodland management, landscape preservation, Biltmore and planned communities.

Case Studies

The Olmsted Network — formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks — created a set of five case studies to illustrate how local parks groups mobilized to protect and renew their Olmsted parks. The studies include "real life” challenges in Atlanta, Newark, New Bedford, MA, Seattle and Rochester. The studies present “lessons learned” that can be profitably applied by others facing similar challenges.


Works about Olmsted include historic novels and historic fiction, photography essays and psychological evaluations. There are also many wonderful films that offer insights into Olmsted and his work.