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Arthur Asahel Shurclif (1870-1957) graduated with high honors from both Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1894 and Harvard University in 1896. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Olmsted firm to train under the direction of Frederick Law Olmsted. In 1900, Shurcliff aided Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in the founding of what was to become the Harvard School of Landscape Architecture, the first such institution in the western hemisphere. In 1905, Shurcliff established his own business and hired several technical assistants. His son, Sidney Nichols Shurcliff (born in 1906) joined the firm in 1930 and became head of the business in 1950. Other partners were Vincent N. Merrill and Douglas B. Footit. The firm, which became widely known and in great demand by both private and public clients throughout New England and New York, designed the grounds of estates, hospitals, and private schools and colleges as well as parks, parkways, cemeteries, and subdivisions. Mount Holyoke College and Amherst College were major clients; other clients included the Boston Park Department and the Metropolitan Parks Commission.
The Shurcliff, Merrill and Footit records consist of correspondence, architectural drawings and plans, aerial photographs, cost estimates, bills, receipts, lists, and memoranda relating to the firm's work at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts between 1933-1975. The records contain correspondence exchanged by Arthur Asahel Shurcliff, Sidney Nichols Shurcliff, Vincent N. Merrill, Douglass B. Footit and various administrators at Mount Holyoke, including President Roswell Gray Ham. Topics discussed in the records include garden restorations, parking area plans, campus beautification and building renovation projects, directional signs, and landscape plantings.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Shurcliff, Merrill and Footit Records, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370 Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm