Skip to main content

Cothran-Danylchak papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1188

Scope and Content

This collection contains research notes, articles, book excerpts, student research papers from Georgia State University, National Historic Register nomination forms, and cemetery brochures used by Cothran and Danylchak during the writing of Grave Landscapes. These materials provide details of the history of cemeteries across the United States and a few in other countries. Included in the research is information on burial customs, symbolism in gravestones and monuments, as well as landscape architecture trends and practices in cemeteries. A large amount of material documents the Rural or Garden Cemetery Movement that developed in the mid-1800s.


  • 1831-2013, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

James "Jim" R. Cothran, FASLA, (1940-2012), was a practicing landscape architect, urban planner, and garden historian. The native South Carolinian received a Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture from Clemson University in 1962, a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Georgia in 1969, and a Master of Science degree in city planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1978. He served as Vice President of the Planning and Landscape Architecture Division of Robert and Company, an architectural, engineering and planning firm in Atlanta, from 1981 until his death. Cothran also served as a professional instructor in the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Landscape Design Study Program from 1970. Cothran taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, where he instructed graduate-level courses on America's historic gardens and landscapes. Cothran was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2002. He was the author of four books, Gardens of Historic Charleston (1995), Gardens and Historic Plants of the Antebellum South (2003) and Charleston Gardens and the Landscape Legacy of Loutrel Briggs (2010). His fourth book, Grave Landscapes: the Nineteenth-Century Rural Cemetery Movement, co-authored with Erica Danylchak, was published posthumously in 2018.

Administrative/Biographical History

Erica Danylchak, (1979- ), author and preservationist, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Boston University in 2001 and a Master of Heritage Preservation degree in 2008 from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She served as a Research Associate and then Research Manager for the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center from 2004 to 2006 and as a Special Projects Associate for the Cherokee Garden Library from 2005 to 2010. Danylchak also served as a Cherokee Garden Library research fellow for the Georgia Historic Landscape Initiative in 2008. In 2009, Danylchak received the Jenny D. Thurston Memorial Award from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. From 2010 to 2016, Danylchak acted as a executive director of the Buckhead Heritage Society, then joined the educational publishing company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. As a former student of Jim Cothran at Georgia State University, Danylchak joined Cothran as researcher on his cemetery book project and completed the work following his death.


5.84 linear ft. (14 document cases)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Cemetery research, arranged alphabetically according to cemetery name; and Series II: Topical research, arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by the creators or by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2017

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2019.

Cothran-Danylchak papers
Jennie Oldfield
July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305