STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) – The Mississippi State Libraries and Department of Landscape got a donation today. The wife of former MSU professor Edward L. Blake Jr. donated his papers to the university today. Blake was a professor at the university from 1977 until 1984. He left the school and became the first director of the Crosby Arboretum, a university center designed to educate the public about the environment. MSU professor and head of landscape architecture, Sadik Artunc said Blake took extensive notes as he studied, and the notes will serve as learning and research tools for both students and faculty.
“Ed was one of the greatest national treasures and visionaries in landscape architecture. Every time he read books or he wrote about his own thoughts, he articulated very insightful comments. Even though he’s gone, his thoughts are still available here for us, and it gives us an unbelievable opportunity to be able to learn from the essence of his thoughts,” said Artunc.
The Blake collection will become part of the CHARM project which preserves the history of agriculture and rural life in Mississippi.
Blake was internationally known for his work in ecological planning and design, Blake emphasized the creation of environmentally sustainable designs, even before “green” concepts became familiar, Artunc said.
Blake was recognized at the local, regional, national and international levels for his designs. His work for Hattiesburg’s Lake Terrace Convention Center and The Crosby Arboretum both received the Centennial Medallion Award commemorating the 100th anniversary of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
MSU Libraries’ special collections department contains diverse and unique materials from Mississippi and MSU, the South and beyond, which are preserved and organized for the use of students, faculty and the wider research community.