Getting to Know GCA’s Scholarship in Garden History and Design at the Archives of American Gardens

The Garden Club of America Scholarship in Garden History and Design at the Archives of American Gardens promotes the study of garden history and design. Scholars assist in cataloging The Garden Club of America Collection in the Archives of American Gardens(AAG) at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

For the past thirty-five years, GCA has partnered with the staff of the AAG to document American gardens. GCA’s extensive collection of garden images was donated to the Smithsonian Institution to create the Archive of American Gardens. The Garden History and Design Committee (GH&D), along with the national network of GCA clubs, continues to expand the collection by photographing and documenting gardens around the country each year.

GCA’s Garden History and Design Committee members also established a fund to provide internships which, in 1997, was transferred to the Scholarship Committee. GCA annually provides up to $5,500 GH&D scholarship awards to one or more deserving students.  Applicants must be graduate candidates in museum studies, public history, or information  studies with courses in collections management for archives or museums. Recipients participate in a ten-week internship at the AAG or the equivalent at another institution. 

Applications are reviewed by the AAG staff. Recommendations are shared with a GH&D Committee liaison and the GCA Scholarship Committee for final approval. The Archives of American Gardens offers landscape designers, historians, preservationists, and garden enthusiasts access to a collection of approximately 65,000 photographic images and  records that document historic and contemporary gardens throughout the United States

The 2022 recipient of the GH& D Scholarship Award is Carter Garde Hulinsky. Hulinsky, a master’s student in Information and Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explored the role of archives in preserving the history of garden and landscape design in America. As part of his work, Hulinsky provided descriptions to photographic materials in GCA’s collection and created social media content to promote archival holdings. “My internship with the AAG was transformative,” says Hulinsky. “(It) enabled me to describe and preserve gardens for AAG, but equally important was  encouraging community engagement with archival materials.”

Hulinsky was recently featured in Magnolia, a publication of the Southern Garden History Society. 

-story by Lindsay D.

Carter Hulinsky
Archives of American Gardens (AAG) at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.