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Mark Shoemaker papers

 Collection 0267-UA

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.


  • 1920-1971
  • Majority of material found within 1927-1948

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


8.75 Linear Feet (8.75 linear feet and 6 oversize items)

8.75 Linear Feet

6 Items

Scope and Content of Collection

The Mark Shoemaker papers 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.

Administrative History

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.


The collection is organized as five series.

Series 1
Biographical Information
Series 2
Extension Service
Series 3
National Resources Board
Series 4
A. S. Thurston papers
Series 5

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Mark M. Shoemaker donated 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 addition in 1987.

Related Material

In addition to the two National Resources Board reports in Series 3, 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."

Processing Information

Five series were created from the Shoemaker papers. Oversize drawings, maps, and blueprints were separated from the collection and stored in a 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.

Guide to the Mark Shoemaker papers
In Progress
Processed by Vicky H. Reinke.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742