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Michigan State University

MSU Campus Plants Research Guide: Univ. Archives

A guide to the literature and web sites about the MAC/MSU campus plants through its history.

University Archives

The University Archives and Historical Collections contain many historical documents and photographs throughout the history of Michigan State University.  Not all items are recorded individually, but the staff of the Archives is willing to help visitors locate materials.  Below are items that are identified and have a record.

Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Plant Collections Annual reports, 1926-1971, (bulk 1961-1971).
Summary - The annual reports of the Beal Botanic Garden and Campus  Plant Collections contain general information such as plans to expand the Beal Botanic Garden in the late 1920s, Dutch Elm Disease, new plantings, and the seed exchange and labelling programs. The 1968 report contains a map and brochure of the Botanic Gardens. The 1971 report contains a rare plant list.
Note: The Beal Botanic Garden was started in 1873 by Professor W.J. Beal, and is the oldest continuously operated botanic garden in the United States.
Finding Aids:     Finding aid available in 101 Conrad Hall

Campus Park and Planning records, 1915-1971.
Summary - The records of Campus Park and Planning include annual reports for 1952-1971, sketches and maps of the MSU campus (1924-1952) including a topographical map. Also included reports and proposals about campus  development and buildings; traffic and parking survyes; and married student hougsing; Alma College and MSU-Oakland University developmental plans; pamphlets about veterans at MSU; the Beal Botanical Gardens; Lansing City Planning; and correspondence between Harold Lautner, director of Campus Park and Planning, and John Hannah.
Note: The division of Campus Park and Planning officially began operations in 1944 as Grounds Maintenance (1944-1946). Prior to 1944, its duties were performed by the Buildings and Grounds Department. It held a variety of names, including Campus Maintenance (1946-1949), Physical Plant Planning and Development Division (1962-1965), and Campus Planning and Maintenance Division (1967-1968). Campus Park and Planning originally reported to the Secretary of the University (1945-1960), then to the President (1960-1972), later to the Executive Vice President and President for Administration and Public Affairs (1972-1985). Since 1985, the unit has reported to the Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer.
Finding Aids:  Finding aid is available in 101 Conrad Hall [and online].

Grounds Maintenance Annual reports, 1962-1971, (bulk 1965-1971)
Summary: The annual reports of Grounds Maintenance  contain information on: areas maintained, building construction, bicycle registration, Dutch Elm Disease, snow removal, salt use, temperature records, and rubbish disposal.
Finding Aids: Finding aid available in 101 Conrad Hall

Harold W. Lautner papers, 1954, 1976.
Harold W. Lautner was born on January 14, 1902 in Traverse City, Michigan. He recieved a B.S. degree from MSU in 1925 and a Masters degree in 1936 in city planning from Harvard University. Lautner came to MSU in 1946 as the head of the Department of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. At the same time he also held the position of landscape architect for all the university property. In 1960 he became director of Campus Park and Planning. Lautner retired in 1970 and passed away on December 3, 1992.
The Harold Lautner papers includes an issue of "Landscape Architecture" from January 1954 which contains the article by Lautner, "The Landscape Architect Serving a University Combined Teaching and Creation of Landscape Values." In addition there is an audio cassette tape recording of Lautner reminiscing about his days as a student at MSU and describing the campus during his time as an employee at MSU. There is also one photograph of Lautner.
UNIV ARCH & HIST COLL      UA 17.100

Robert B. Huxtable papers, 1916-1932.
The collection consists of an oversize photograph of the Sanford Natural Area, two copies of the program from the 1917 commencement ceremony, The Holcad ballots from 1918, and a program to the 10th Annual Fruit and Flower Show in 1919.
UNIV ARCH & HIST COLL     UA 10.3.51

Michigan State University