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Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection
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Collection Details
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  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis, Library, Department of Special Collections
    Title: Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection
    Creator: University of California, Davis. Library
    Identifier/Call Number: O-009
    Physical Description: 192.2 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1856-2019
    Abstract: This collection consists of catalogs from nurseries and seed companies in the United States.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.


    The Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection began when the library was established on the University Farm at Davis in 1908. The catalogs originally served as a current reference resource and many were lost to heavy use. When the Library and Administration building opened in 1940, the nursery catalogs were maintained in the library’s reference department as an in-house pamphlet collection.
    Beginning in 1968, the nursery and seed catalogs were transferred to the Department of Special Collections where they became a formal collection. The collection grew with the donation of other established collections. Harry Butterfield’s collection came in 1972 followed in 1973 by the Ferry-Morse Seed Company catalog collection. The collection continues to grow through donations from companies and individual collectors.

    Scope and Content

    For the purposes of this collection, a nursery and/or seed catalog must have a listing of plants available for sale, a price list, and the name and location of the vendor. It can be a single sheet, pamphlet or bound volume. The collection covers companies located in the United States. The dates range from 1856 to the present. There is a separate collection for international nursery and seed catalogs.

    Related Material

    The following collections are related to the Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection and may be accessed through Special Collections.
    D-086, Harry M. Butterfield Papers
    D-114, Ferry-Morse Seed Company Archives
    D-356, Lester Hannibal Papers
    D-025, Index Seminum Collection
    O-041, Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection: International
    D-451, Saratoga Horticulture Research Foundations Records
    D-037, Edward Wickson Papers


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Nusery and Seed Catalog Collection, O-009, Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Seeds -- United States -- Catalogs
    Nurseries (Horticulture) -- United States.
    Seed industry and trade -- United States
    University of California, Davis. Library