Seed Stories: The Minnesota Chapter

May 2 – Sept. 4, 2017
Andersen Horticultural Library and Library Entrance Hallway

The story of Minnesota horticulture is richly illustrated in the Andersen Horticultural Library's (AHL) Historic Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection, one of the largest in the nation.  Documenting such things as plant introductions, printing methods, marketing trends, fashion, culture, and historical events, the collection has multidisciplinary value.  

This exhibit features a handful of Minnesota companies that are historically important and well-represented in the collection: Northrup King, Jewell Nursery, L.L. May, Farmer Seed & Nursery, and "The Three Minneapolis Seedswomen."  We are able to share only a tiny fraction of the collection -- selecting images or artifacts with visual appeal or notable interest, providing a glimpse into the life and gardens of Minnesota's past. 

L.L. May & Co. catalog cover art
Farmer & Seed Nursery co. cover art


The Historic Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection includes more than 73,500 items, some dating from the early 17th century.  It consists of catalogs from every state, 41 countries, and over 8,000 firms.  The Minnesota portion of the collection has 5,792 items dating from 1872 to the present.  It is a rich and growing collection. 

As the largest library in the Upper Midwest dedicated to horticultural research, AHL is a destination for anyone -- from the mildly curious to the dedicated researcher -- wishing to explore any horticultural topic. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you to the The Andersen Book Trust and Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library for support of the Historic Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection.  Without them, there would be no collection or exhibit.  Thank you also to Darren Terpstra for his design work on the exhibit. 

--Project Team: Kathy Allen, Susan Moe, Lucie Taylor


Quarter Century Offering of N.K.C.'s Sterling Seeds cover illustration