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Special Collections: Horticulture Resources: Rare Books

This guide will help you navigate the horticulture collections in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP)
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Searching for Rare Books

Use this box to search within all of Rare Books' collections. 

Rare Books on Horticulture

The collection holds many foundational horticultural and botanical works, many of which are illustrated, from the 16th century on. These may be found in the Library catalog.   

Selected Rare Books Titles

Nurserymen's Color Plate Book Collection  

Flourishing alongside Rochester’s horticultural industry were local artists, printers, and publishers who produced fruit and flower prints (or plates). These remarkable, often original works of botanical art were assembled by nurserymen into unique salesmen’s plate books.  Search Library Catalog for: “Nurserymen's Color Plate Book Collection”  

Ellwanger and Barry Horticulture library 

Around 600 titles, including periodicals, in about 1500 volumes, classed as SB41.5. Together with their Papers, Ellwanger & Barry’s working library provides direct evidence --beyond the fact of two principals’ as immigrants--of the import of European practice to American horticulture. Search Library Catalog for: “SB41.5 “ or “Ellwanger and Barry Horticulture Library” 

Trade Catalogs

Trade catalogs of local nurseries and seedsmen, including Briggs & Bros., Chase Bros., Hiram Sibley & Co. , and many more. Search Library Catalog for: “SB115” or for  company name 

James Vick  

By 1862, British-born James Vick was producing seed catalogs bursting with practical knowledge and punctuated by beautiful chromolithographs. The influence of James Vick’s wildly popular catalogs is still evident in today’s gardening catalogs. Search Library Catalog:  

  • Vick, James, 1818-1882 
  • James Vick's Sons (Rochester, N.Y.) 

Assistant Director, Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation

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Autumn Haag

Areas of Expertise

  • 19th Century Social Justice and Activism
  • Black History and Culture
  • Rochester and Monroe County History
  • Women’s History
  • Political Collections - William Henry Seward, Thurlow Weed, and Midge Costanza
Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
Rush Rhees Library
Room 225
755 Library Road
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627