Digital Collections related to Agriculture
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Seed and Nursery Catalogs
The Smithsonian Institution Libraries have a unique trade catalog collection that includes about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from 1830 to the present. Many of the trade catalogs were part of the Burpee Collection donated to the Horticulture Services Division by Mrs. David Burpee in 1982. The collection includes both Burpee and their competitors' catalogs. The real gems of the collection date from 1830 to the 1930s and are both beautiful and important multidisciplinary historical documents.
Trade Literature Collection
The trade literature collection of the Smithsonian is internationally known as an important source for the history of American business, technology, marketing, consumption, and design. Manufacturers issued trade catalogs to promote and sell their products. The present collection contains more than 500,000 catalogs, technical manuals, advertising brochures, price lists, company histories and related materials representing more than 30,000 companies. The Smithsonian Libraries acquires trade literature through gifts and purchases.