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Mark Shoemaker papers


Mark Shoemaker papers
Shoemaker, Mark
Collection number:
8.75 linear feet and 6 oversize items
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
University of Maryland
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

Mark M. Shoemaker (1898-1983) was a professor of horticulture at the University of Maryland, a campus planner, and a landscape designer. Shoemaker's papers contain reports, correspondence, drafts of lectures, radio scripts, news clippings, maps, sketches, and photographs documenting his landscape design work for the University and various agencies of the United States government. The collection also includes some of the personal papers of A. S. Thurston whose duties at the University of Maryland Shoemaker assumed.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Mark Shoemaker papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Mark Mercer Shoemaker was employed by the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1931 until 1963 in various positions. While he worked for the Extension Service and the Departments of Horticulture and Physical Plant, his lasting contribution to the University was his role in the master plan for major construction on campus from 1946 to 1954. During his tenure at the University of Maryland, College Park, the campus grew from 14 buildings in 1931 to 187 in 1963.

Mark M. Shoemaker was born on May 9, 1898, in Washington, D.C. He graduated from McKinley High School in the District of Columbia and earned two degrees from the University of Michigan, the B.A. in 1921 and the Master of Landscape Design in 1922. For nine years, he was in private business in the Washington area; in 1926, he had the distinction of designing the landscaping for the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia to celebrate U.S. independence.

In 1931, the Maryland Extension Service hired Shoemaker as an assistant landscape specialist. By 1937, he was an associate professor of landscaping. His responsibilities included working with garden clubs, horticulture societies, municipal groups, and private citizens. In addition he participated in extension education efforts, conferences, and garden schools and hosted a local garden radio show. From 1934 to 1937, he held joint appointments with the Extension Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, first with the National Resources Board and then the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

By 1940, Shoemaker's primary responsibility was the College Park campus, specifically the landscaping and master plan for capital construction, which President Harry Byrd supported. For the next 20 years, he held joint appointments with the Horticulture and Physical Plant departments and the Business Management Office of the Agricultural College as he participated in campus planning. When he retired in 1963, he held the title of landscape architect in the Horticulture Department.

For 60 years, Shoemaker was married to Mildred Woodward, and they had one daughter. They resided in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, where Shoemaker was involved in local politics and headed the Friendship Heights township administration after his retirement. Throughout his life, he was active in civic and horticultural organizations. He died January 5, 1983.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of Mark M. Shoemaker cover the years 1927 to 1971, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1927 to 1948. They include reports, correspondence, drafts of lectures, radio scripts, news clippings, maps and sketches, and photographs. All the materials relate to his professional work for the University and the federal agencies. The materials that predate his tenure with the University consist of selected papers of Professor A. S. Thurston of the Horticulture Department, who was in charge of the design and installation of landscaping at the University until 1932. Shoemaker inherited many of Professor Thurston's duties in later years.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Mark M. Shoemaker gave his papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in the 1970s. Richard White of the Department of Physical Plant donated an addition to the materials in 1982. Professor Conrad Link of the Horticulture Department donated another accretion in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Vicky H. Reinke, April 1988. Revised by Jill F. Reilly, April 2004.

Processing note:

Five series were created from the Shoemaker papers. Oversize drawings, maps, and blueprints were separated from the collection and stored in the Map Case. Reports bound by staples and metal clasps were removed from the original binding and placed in acid-free folders. All materials were removed from original folders or envelopes and placed in acid-free folders and boxes. All paperclips and staples were replaced by plastic clips. Clippings from newspapers and magazines were photocopied on acid-free paper and the originals then destroyed.

Photographs attached within the annual reports remain in those reports, separated by acid-free paper. All other photographic materials were moved to the photograph area. The photographs affixed to album pages were interleaved with acid-free paper. Loose photographs and slides were placed in non-reactive, polyester sleeves. Negatives and their corresponding prints were placed in non-reactive, acid-free pocket envelopes. Oversize photographs were stored in an archival flat box.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1920-1963 (1.00 linear inch)

Series I includes a handwritten, three-page outline of his career that Shoemaker prepared after his retirement. It contains cryptic notes concerning various projects and his role in these ventures. The series also contains some music from his days at the University of Michigan.

The two folders are in alphabetical order.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
[Chronology of extension career, 1930-1963], 1930-1936 series 1box 1folder 1
Music, undated series 1box 1folder 2

Series 2: Extension Service, 1931-1966 (1.25 linear feet)

Series II consists of materials generated in the course of Shoemaker's association with the Extension Service: reports of extension work, correspondence, project reports, project descriptions and drawings, maps, articles and lectures, radio scripts, publications, brochures of conferences and shows, and news clippings. Most of the material dates from 1931 to 1948.

Arrangement of the folders is alphabetical by topic; the arrangement within folders is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 1folder 3
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 2folder 1
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 2folder 2
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 2folder 3
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 2folder 4
Annual Report -- Landscape Extension Work, 1943-1947 series 2box 2folder 5
Annual Reports -- University of Maryland Extension Service, 1937-1934 series 2box 2folder 6
Conferences and courses, 1934-1936, 1944 series 2box 2folder 7
Correspondence, 1931-1952 series 2box 2folder 8
Extension keepsakes, 1932-1943 series 2box 2folder 9
Extension writings and project outlines [by Shoemaker], 1931-1940 series 2box 2folder 10
Horticulture Department Garden School, 1932, 1938, 1946-1948 series 2box 2folder 11
Land Use Mapping Project, 1938 series 2box 2folder 12
Land Use Project -- reports and maps, 1934 series 2box 2folder 13
Lectures and articles, 1932-1963 series 2box 2folder 14
Monthly reports -- Extension work, 1931 series 2box 2folder 15
National Council of State Garden Clubs -- Horticultural Project, 1939-1943 series 2box 2folder 16
clippings [College Park campus], 1956-1965 series 2box 2folder 17
Nurseryman Standards -- correspondence, 1936-1938 series 2box 2folder 18
Nurseryman Standards -- proposed, 1936 series 2box 2folder 19
Projects -- Cambridge, Maryland, City Park, 1934 series 2box folder 20
Projects -- Cedarville Forest (recreational area), 1936 series 2box folder 21
Projects -- Chestertown -- Queen Anne's Park, Needles Park, 1938 series 2box folder 22
Projects -- Gambrill, Route 40, Landscaping, 1940-1941 series 2box folder 23
Projects -- Gambrill's State Park, 1937 series 2box folder 24
Projects -- Governor Nice's Home Grounds, 1936 series 2box folder 25
Projects -- Governor's Mansion, Annapolis, 1937 series 2box folder 26
Projects -- Hagerstown, Pangborn Park, 1936-1938 series 2box folder 27
Projects -- Hagerstown Park, 1933-1934 series 2box folder 28
Projects -- Herrington Manor, undated series 2box folder 29
Projects -- Matapeake (first job at University of Maryland), 1931 series 2box folder 30
Projects -- Montgomery County, undated series 2box folder 31
Projects -- Nanjemoy, 1960 series 2box folder 32
Projects -- Rehoboth Cemetery, 1936 series 2box folder 33
Projects -- Rhode Island Ave. Improvement, 1934 series 2box folder 34
Projects -- St. Mary's Female Seminary, 1936 series 2box folder 35
Projects -- State House Grounds, Annapolis, 1932-1934 series 2box folder 36
Projects -- Symons Home Grounds, 1938 series 2box folder 37
Publication -- "Judging the Ornamental Garden", 1932 series 2box folder 38
Radio Show -- correspondence, 1934 series 2box folder 39
Radio Show -- programs, 1931-1948 series 2box folder 40
Records of Speeches, 1937 series 2box folder 41
Shows -- George Washington Bicentennial Garden Contest, 1931 series 2box folder 42
Shows -- National Flower and Garden Show, Baltimore, 1936 series 2box folder 43
Shows -- Outdoor Life Show -- Soil Conservation Exhibit, 1939 series 2box folder 44
Shows -- Winter Farm Products Show, 1939 series 2box folder 45
Shows -- Timonium Fair, 1941 series 2box folder 46
Soil Conservation Program -- Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 1936-1937 series 2box folder 47
University of Maryland College Park -- Commencement arrangements, 1950, 1962 series 2box folder 48
University of Maryland College Park -- DAR Memorial Grove, 1938 series 2box folder 49
University of Maryland College Park -- Entrance lamps, 1941 series 2box folder 50
University of Maryland College Park -- Old Rose Collection, 1937 series 2box folder 51
University of Maryland College Park -- Tree map, campus, 1937 series 2box folder 52
Wake Forest College -- correspondence, 1948 series 2box folder 53

Series 3: National Resources Board, 1934-1935 (0.25 linear feet)

Series III includes correspondence and two reports relevant to Shoemaker's activities as a land-planning consultant to the Maryland National Resources Board from August 1934 to August 1935.

Arrangement of the folders is alphabetical by topic; the arrangement within the folders is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
National Resources Board -- correspondence, 1934-1935 series 3box folder 54
National Resources Board -- Maryland Report: Closer Settlement of Rural Areas, 1935 series 3box folder 55
National Resources Board -- Maryland Report: Rural Land Use, 1935 series 3box 4folder 1

Series 4: Papers of A. S. Thurston, 1927-1934 (0.25 linear feet)

Series V is a group of papers from the files of A. S. Thurston, who was in charge of landscaping of the campus until his retirement. The papers are primarily correspondence, sketches, and maps of the campus that date from 1927 to 1934. A notable item in the correspondence is a typescript copy of a letter and report from Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., dated December 27, 1927.

Arrangement of the folders is alphabetical by topic; the arrangement within the folders is chronological or alphabetical by subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Data on Planting Campus (Thurston) and Correspondence, 1927-1929 series 4box 4folder 2
Plant Materials, Campus, 1928 series 4box 4folder 3
Thurston, Correspondence, 1927-1934 series 4box 4folder 4
Thurston, Correspondence, 1927-1934 series 4box 4folder 5
Thurston, Correspondence, 1927-1934 series 4box 4folder 6
Thurston, Correspondence, 1927-1934 series 4box 4folder 7

Series 5: Photographs, 1926-1971 (5.75 linear feet and 6 oversize items)

Series IV consists of 637 photographs; 186 negatives; 1,397 slides; and 6 oversize photographs. An album contains 78 of the photographs. The photographic materials document landscaping projects that Shoemaker designed and supervised, from the construction and planting phases of the projects through their completion and mature growth. Many of the images depict the University of Maryland campus grounds and buildings, notably the Memorial Chapel, Byrd Stadium, and the garden at Rossborough Inn. Other landscaping projects include St. Mary's Seminary, schools on behalf of the Extension Service, and low-income housing developments.

Besides his professional landscaping work, the slides also reflect Shoemaker's personal life. Slides depict Shoemaker and his wife, family, friends, vacations, holiday celebrations, and his garden at home.

Arrangement reflects original order.

The box inventory for this series is not currently available online. Please refer to the series description above for a broad description of the materials or contact the department for more information.

Related Material

In addition to the two National Resources Board reports in Series III, the Maryland Room has another report that does not appear in the papers. The title page of the typescript report (HD.243.M345folio) reads, "Report on some desirable adjustment in rural land use for Maryland: an expansion and refinement of the preliminary report of September 1934. By Mark M. Shoemaker. College Park, Maryland, 1935."

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.


Names (Added Entries)