The Mai K. Arbegast Collection documents Arbegast’s projects and professional activities through drawings, manuscripts, photographs,
and slides. The collection is arranged in four series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Office Records and Project Records,
and includes documentation of her work for the UC Davis Arboretum (1975-1977), Trefethen Vineyard (1976, 1990), California
Palace of the Legion of Honor renovation (1991-1995), Shanel Estate (1992-1995), The Embarcadero Center (1992, 1996) and the
Rudd Estate (1996-1999). Also included are her many collaborations with other landscape architects and architects.
Mai Arbegast was born in San Jose, CA. Her father Gijiu Kitazawa and his brother Buemon started the Kitazawa Seed Company
and nursery in 1916. When they split the business a year later, Arbegasts’s father moved the seed brokerage to a downtown
San Jose storefront and sold seeds wholesale and retail, adding his own line of Asian vegetables. This became the main seed
source for the growing population of Japanese tenant farmers in California and Oregon. In an interview Mai recalled, “I spent
much of my early life in boots stomping on particular tomatoes and collecting the seed for further crosses.”
16 Cubic Feet;
7 boxes, 5 cartons, 1 flat file drawer and 22 tubes
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in the collection should be discussed with the
Collection is open for research.