This collection consists of three 16" boxes and three 5" boxes of papers, two oversize bound volumes, and one mapcase drawer of oversize plans and drawings. There was no discernible original order to the collection, so its present arrangement is entirely imposed.
The five boxes of papers are arranged under three subject headings. The first is Projects, Appointments and Consultations. It runs from Box 1 Folder 1 to Box 1 Folder 53, and contains papers relating to the major projects undertaken by Peets as outlined in the biographical sketch. A significant amount of material on the L'Enfant plan of Washington, D.C. is included; Peets was a major proponent and guardian of this original plan throughout his life.
Projects in the first subject area are arranged in chronological order, but with some overlap; within each project papers are arranged by item type (correspondence, writings, clippings, photos, plans and drawings) and chronologically within each type. Not all projects or appointments contain all record types.
The second subject heading is Peets' Writings, and is subdivided into published and unpublished sections. Material relating to newspaper and magazine articles and books are included in the published section, which goes from Box 1 Folder 54 to Box 2 Folder 89. A large number of negatives and prints from the book
Civic Art (1922), which Peets co-authored with Werner Hegemann, is contained in this section. Also included are papers relating to the publication of
On the Art of Designing Cities (1968), Paul D. Spreiregen, editor, a collection of selected essays of Elbert Peets. The rest of the writings in the section, both published and unpublished, deal with site and city planning, landscape architecture, and civic art. Unpublished writings run from Box 2 Folder 90 to Box 3 Folder 14.
The third subject category is General Papers, Box 3 Folder 15 to Box 5 Folder 13. This category contains personal materials, papers relating to minor projects and items not directly related to the two previous categories. It is divided into sections by record type and is arranged chronologically within each section. The ten sections are correspondence, notes, manuscripts, pamphlets, clippings, brochures, photos, graphics, family and biographical material, and
miscellaneous papers. The quantity of personal correspondence is fairly small but helps give an impression of Peets' character and interests. Box 3 Folder 63 contains a number of photographs of Peets. The section of graphics is divided into several subsections: estates, perspectives, plans and elevations, sketches, sketchbooks and lineoleum prints. There are a variety of types (original pencil or pen and ink drawings, blueprints, photostats, etc.), but they have in
common that they are not immediately recognizable as belonging with one of the major projects in the first subject category. The last subsection of the Graphics section contains miscellaneous non-Peets graphic items. The biographical material under the third subject heading largely repeats the information in the biographical sketch, but a few more details may be found here. The folder of family material (Box 5, Folder 12) contains a xerox copy of the last will and
testament of Hiram Houghton, Elbert Peets' maternal grandfather. Also included is a xerox copy of a notebook of Edward O. Peets, Elbert's father, in which he kept notes on his readings.
The two oversize bound volumes in the collection are a copy of the book
Civic Art and a scrapbook containing a number of original pencil and pen and ink drawings by Elbert Peets.
The oversize plans, prints, and original drawings in the mapcase drawer were either done by Peets or relate to his projects. There are 342 pieces in 19 folders divided as follows:
School projects--Folder 1
Town and city plans--Folders 2-7
Private residence and estates--Folders 8-11
Memorials, parks, and recreation areas--Folders 12-14
Other projects--Folders 15-19
See the guide for specific date ranges and piece counts in each category. The drawings are arranged in chronological order within each subject and project.