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Guide to the Horticultural Society of New York Records
1811-circa 2010 (bulk, 1900-circa 2010)
 MS 3033

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta, Marybeth Kavanagh, & Larry Weimer.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 21, 2017 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series II. Library & Archives Files, 1926-circa 2010. 10.83 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

Series II. Library & Archives Files, 1926-circa 2010 is divided into the following subseries:

Subseries II.A. Accession Records, 1926-1989
Subseries II.B. Library Committee, 1936-1988
Subseries II.C. Librarian Files, 1970s-2008
Subseries II.D. Archives Files, 1930s-circa 2010

Scope and Contents Note

The series includes records concerning the development and administration of the Hort's Library. Among the most important of these records are the Library's accession registers from 1926-1989 and the minutes of the Library Committee from 1936-1974, with related Committee files continuing to 1988. In addition there is a set of Library administration files dating primarily from the 1990s through early 2000s and that generally appear to be those of Librarian Katherine Powis. These administrative files also include some Library Committee and accession documents, as well as files on Library resources, funding, programs, and other matters. The series also includes files related to the Hort's initiative in the 1990s and 2000s to compile their historical records into an archive; these files include both working files about the archive itself and reference files with photocopies, and some originals, of historical documents.

Subseries II.A. Accession Records, 1926-1989. 0.83 Linear feet

Scope and Contents Note

The subseries includes the Library's ledgers recording its accessions from the 1920s through 1989.

Arrangement Note

The five ledgers in the subseries are arranged in accession number order.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 52 Volume : 1 Accessions Ledger 1. #1-5000
1926-1941
Box: 52 Volume : 2 Accessions Ledger 2. #5001-10,000

Scope and Contents Note

All entries relate to the Kenneth K. Mackenzie accession.

1935
Box: 53 Volume : 1 Accessions Ledger 3. #10,001-15,000

Scope and Contents Note

Includes continuation of Mackenzie 1935 accession (10,001-11,000; 14,401-15,000).

1935, 1941-1961
Box: 53 Volume : 2 Accessions Ledger 4. #15,001-20,024
1961-1980
Box: 53 Volume : 3 Accessions Ledger 5. #20,025-21,748
1981-1989

Subseries II.B. Library Committee, 1936-1988. 0.75 Linear feet

Scope and Contents Note

The subseries primarily includes documents related to the periodic meetings of the Library Committee. These documents include the agendas and minutes of the meetings from the 1930s through the late 1980s. Most of these minutes were found in well-ordered binders, into the 1970s. Subsequent to 1974, the files are a mix of minutes and working files related to the meetings. Some of these later files also include documents related to the Library, but not clearly to the Committee. For at least some of the years, the files include summaries of library usage and of accessions.

Arrangement Note

The subseries is arranged in roughly chronological order. The first seven folders include the relatively well-focused contents of binders that held meeting minutes from 1936 to 1974. The later folders are somewhat less focused, with a mix of minutes and working files, often from overlapping years.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 54 Folder : 1-16 Library Committee Files (16 folders)
1936-1988

Subseries II.C. Librarian Files, 1970s-2008. 4.75 Linear feet

Scope and Contents Note

The subseries includes the subject files of Hort Librarian Katherine Powis. Powis joined Hort in January 1989, and she remained as Librarian into the early 2000s; the files in this subseries date primarily from the 1990s to approximately 2005. Powis previously worked as an Assistant Science Librarian at St. John's University, after earning her Masters degree in Library Science from Queens College in 1986.

Powis's files primarily include various Library administrative matters, especially Library Committee meetings, Library usage statistics, funding (e.g., benefits, grants), donations of books, planning, and bibliographies and other Library resource lists. Some of these administrative files relate to the Library's Archives project (see Subseries II.D) and some concern general Hort administration, such as a copy of an employee handbook and membership lists. The files also include some records related to programs and events, such as the Library's outreach at the annual "New York is Book Country" event, hand-outs for events, program progress reports, and other material.

Arrangement Note

The subseries is arranged in alphabetical order by subject matter, which follows the original order. The documents remain in their original folders. Most of the folders in the subseries were found together as a set by the processing archivist, who integrated related folders found separately into the basic set. Some subject matter can be found filed under different headings.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 54 Folder : 17-19 Subjects. A: General (3 of 5 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes acknowledgements to Library of assistance rendered, Librarian activities, and annual reports of the Library.

1990s-2000s
Box: 55 Folder : 1-2 Subjects. A: General (2 of 5 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files concerning the Hort's Archives Project, including a conservation survey of the Library's photograph collections.

1990s
Box: 55 Folder : 3-9 Subjects. Benefits (7 folders)
1999-2006
Box: 55 Folder : 10-11 Subjects. Board (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Librarian reports to the Board, some Executive Committee meeting material (1990s), and Board retreats (1995, 2008)

1990s-2008
Box: 55 Folder : 12-13 Subjects. Book Lists (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes bibliographies, book recommendations, and other plant-related reference material.

1990s-2000s
Box: 56 Folder : 1-2 Subjects. Book Talks (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Booked for Lunch, Booked for Dinner, and other talk programs, including one by Raymond J. Evison. The Evison material includes a set of stamps from the Bailiwick of Guernsey picturing clematis bred or developed by Evison.

2000s
Box: 56 Folder : 3-4 Subjects. Budget (2 folders)
1990s-2000s
Box: 56 Folder : 5 Subjects. Collection Development Policy; Collection Size
1990s
Box: 56 Folder : 6 Subjects. Community Gardens

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a table "Green Thumb Group Tracking information" identifying gardens by location and name in the five New York City boroughs.

1999-2001
Box: 56 Folder : 7-8 Subjects. C: General (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes files on children's books, arrangements for a meeting of the Council on Botanical & Horticultural Libraries (1991), and a program from the Hort's Centennial Celebration Dinner Dance (16 November 1999).

1970s-2000s
Box: 56 Folder : 9 Subjects. D: General

Scope and Contents Note

Includes book donation information (see also Gifts below), most specifically those of Ruth Classen, of Thomas Powell, and of Denise Otis, disaster recovery, information about the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum (including color snapshots of the building and grounds), and information about Hort's earlier connections with the Doris Duke Foundation and gardens.

1999-2003
Box: 56 Folder : 10 Subjects. Employee Handbook
2001
Box: 56 Folder : 11 Subjects. Exhibits
1990s-2000s
Box: 56 Folder : 12 Subjects. Flower Show Manual

Scope and Contents Note

Includes two manuals, both from the Garden Club of America's Flower Show Committee.

1998, 2002
Box: 56 Folder : 13-16 Subjects. Funding (4 folders)
1990s-2000s
Box: 57 Folder : 1 Subjects. Gardens

Scope and Contents Note

Includes reference material including, among others, Hort's "Walking Tour of Selected Atriums, Plazas, and Vest Pocket Gardens in Midtown Manhattan" and brochures for "Gardens in New York City" (1972), "A Fifth Avenue Walking Tour," "Directory of Community Gardens in New York City" (1976), and the D'Ag (D'Agostino Grocers) map of "great picnic places, parks and undiscovered spots in Manhattan."

1970s-1990s
Box: 57 Folder : 2-8 Subjects. Gifts (7 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes primarily lists, correspondence and acknowledgements related to donations of books to the Library. Also includes some financial donations.

1989-2005
Box: 57 Folder : 9 Subjects. G: General

Scope and Contents Note

Includes strategic goals for the Library (1996) and related documents, images from glass slides, and reference material on the Garden Conservancy.

1990s
Box: 57 Folder : 10 Subjects. Hand-Outs

Scope and Contents Note

Includes topical bibliographies, reading recommendations, event announcements, and Library signage.

2000s
Box: 57 Folder : 11 Subjects. H: General

Scope and Contents Note

Includes records of Hort's donation of books from the Clarence and Alice Hay library to the Garden Conservancy (1996) and reference material on horticulture therapy.

1990s-2000s
Box: 57 Folder : 12-14 Subjects. I: General (3 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes records of income received by the Library for used books, photocopies, etc. (2004-06); research inquiries (2000s); an intern program outline (1990s); and lists for insurance (ca. 2000).

1990s-2000s
Box: 57 Folder : 15 Subjects. Job Description
1990s-2000s
Box: 57 Folder : 16-19 Subjects. Library Committee (4 of 8 folders)
1990s-2006
Box: 58 Folder : 1-4 Subjects. Library Committee (4 of 8 folders)
1990s-2006
Box: 58 Folder : 5-7 Subjects. Library General (3 folders)
1990s-2000s
Box: 58 Folder : 8 Subjects. Membership

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the 1998 member list.

1998
Box: 58 Folder : 9 Subjects. New Books List
1990s
Box: 58 Folder : 10-13 Subjects. New York is Book Country (4 folders)
1991-2003
Box: 58 Folder : 14 Subjects. N: General

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a New York Times article about Powis and the Library (2007), working files for the Hort newsletter, and reference material on Ninfa.

1995-2007
Box: 58 Folder : 15-16 Subjects. On-Line Catalog Project (2 folders)
1998-2005
Box: 59 Folder : 1 Subjects. Press/Promotional

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a Hort development packet of program/membership information (2003).

1988-2003
Box: 59 Folder : 2 Subjects. Programs

General Note

Includes Apple Seed curriculum (1995); Newsday article regarding the GreenHouse program at Rikers Island (2000) and reflections of a horticultural therapist intern with the GreenHouse and GreenTeam programs (2003); program updates (1998-2002); and other material.

1995-2002
Box: 59 Folder : 3 Subjects. R-T: General

Scope and Contents Note

Includes renovation work in the Library (1997) and equipment, reference information on rooftop gardens, copies of tax exemption certificate, and a photograph/slide of Webster Hall.

1990s-2000
Box: 59 Folder : 4-5 Subjects: Staff (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes staff lists, staff meeting notes, photographs of some staff, and other documents.

1990s-2002
Box: 59 Folder : 6 Subjects. Strategic Planning/Mission Statement
1990s-2006
Box: 59 Folder : 7 Subjects. Usage (Library)
1992-2000
Box: 59 Folder : 8-9 Subjects. Volunteers (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes programs from volunteer appreciation events, photographs from the February 2000 event, applications and requests for volunteers, some correspondence from volunteers, assignments, obituaries for Volunteer Coordinator Verdalee Tombelaine (2005), and other material.

1990s-2005
Box: 59 Folder : 10 Subjects. W-Z

Scope and Contents Note

Includes print-outs of Hort's website (2008) and book recommendations from Abbie Zabar (2000).

2000, 2008-2010

Subseries II.D. Archives Files, 1930s-circa 2010. 4.5 Linear feet

Scope and Contents Note

The subseries includes files related to projects from the 1990s-early 2000s during which time archival material was compiled by the Hort and used to create ready reference resources for internal and external inquiries about the organization. The name Joan Nichols appears often in these files; Joan appears to have been the volunteer primarily responsible for implementing the archives initiative, under the direction of Librarian Katherine Powis. During processing of the collection at N-YHS in 2017, much of the original material compiled was sorted into various series (e.g., Flower Show, Print Matter, etc.). However, some material could not be readily sorted and so was kept together in this subseries. Consequently, the subseries includes a wide range of documents related to Hort's programs and administration. Most of the original material in the subseries dates from the 1980s-2000s, though there are a few earlier original pieces. Much of the subseries includes photocopies of historical documents (e.g., officer lists from annual reports of various years). The date range used in the container list refers to original documents, not the dates of photocopied material.

Several of the folders in the subseries with original documents relate to the Hort's public education programs of the 1980s-2000s. Among these were Greenworks (later, GreenHouse), which was vocational training for inmates at Rikers Island; Green Team, which trained at-risk youth in greening projects in public spaces; GreenBranches, which installed gardens around selected branch libraries; Apple Seed, which was an environmental and science education program for the third through sixth grades; and other urban horticulture, community gardening, and related educational programs.

The subseries also holds many files concerning administrative matters. Although much of this is photocopied material, there are several useful original documents, especially from the 1980s, including budget and financial statements, a long range plan, and the results of a member survey.

The latter part of the subseries includes many files related to the archives project itself. These include drafts and notes related to the development of a historical timeline for the Hort, as well as general notes concerning the project and the development of the archives. These files also include preliminary partial finding aids and inventories of records created during the project.

Arrangement Note

The subseries is roughly arranged by subject. Program-oriented files open the subseries, followed by files related to general publicity and then administration. The subseries closes with working files from the Hort's archives and historical research initiatives.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 59 Folder : 11-15 Pilgrimages/Tours (5 folders)
1930s-2000s
Box: 59 Folder : 16 History of Exhibits at Monthly Meetings

Scope and Contents Note

Includes lists of winners of awards for horticulture exhibits at the monthly meetings and at annual shows (e.g., narcissus, gladiolus).

1944-1945
Box: 59 Folder : 17 Photograph "Method of Carrying Prize Stickers"
1935 November
Box: 59 Folder : 18-21 Flower Shows (4 folders)
1980s-1990s
Box: 60 Folder : 1-6 Exhibitions (6 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes folders concerning Hort exhibitions (other than Flower Shows) primarily from the early 2000s. At least one folder has related articles/print matter from the 1930s.

1999-2000s
Box: 60 Folder : 7 Transcriptions of Taped Lectures

Scope and Contents Note

Includes George Tamoulis on pot gardening outdoors, Helen Whitman on growing herbs, C. Roy Boutard on the Berkshire Garden Center, and Harry B. Kuesel on irises.

1967-1968
Box: 60 Folder : 8-13 Horticultural Therapy Training Program (6 folders)
1975-1977, 2007
Box: 60 Folder : 14 "A Tree for New York" Program
1968-1971
Box: 60 Folder : 15 "Food for Life" Program
1983-1984
Box: 60 Folder : 16 "Green Team" Program
1995-2006
Box: 60 Folder : 17-19 Community Garden Programs (3 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Tree Corps, including photographs, and Harvest Festival.

1969-1980s
Box: 60 Folder : 20 Urban Gardening

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a mission statement for the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition, photocopies of letters to the Parks Department concerning the proposed installation of Gates in Central Park by the artist Christo, Hort's recommendations for city plants and window boxes, and Hort's wish list for plants for its house plants exhibit at 58th Street.

1980-1981
Box: 60 Folder : 21 Harlem Project Proposal
1992
Box: 60 Folder : 22 West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. Project

Scope and Contents Note

Includes documents for intergenerational programs at Mannie L. Wilson Towers, Harriet Tubman Family Living Center, and Convent Avenue Family Living Center.

1993
Box: 61 Folder : 1-2 "Greenways" Programs (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes GreenWorks and GreenHouse (Rikers Island programs) and GreenBranches (library gardens).

1990s-2000s
Box: 61 Folder : 3 "Apple Seed" and "Read & Seed" Programs
1995-2008
Box: 61 Folder : 4-7 Awards (4 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes Certificate of Award from the New York Employing Printers Association (1941); American Association of Museums Award of distinction for Posters (1992); Association for a Better New York award for the "Gardens of the Worlds" Flower Show (1995); booklet for the New York City Art Commission's Annual Awards for Excellence in Design (1998) that included recognition of Hort's GreenBranches program; photographs of distinguished service award recipients (1960s-70s); and a description of the New York City school system's gardening program (1969-70).

1941, 1960s-2005
Box: FF-5 Folder : 1 Awards. Oversize

Scope and Contents Note

Includes three awards presented to Henrietta E.S. Lockwood: New York Botanical Garden's Distinguished Service Award, City Gardens Club of New York City's Citation for creating the Bryant Park Flower Show, and from the Hort for the Bryant Park Show.

1965-1971
Box: 61 Folder : 8 Annual Awards Luncheon Reservation Cards
1971-1972
Box: 61 Folder : 9-10 Press Kits (2 folders)
1980s-1990s
Box: 61 Folder : 11-12 Publicity. Cippings (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes, among other documents, press clips of 1999 compiled by GBR Communications for Hort.

1930s-2000s
Box: 61 Folder : 13 Publicity. Miscellaneous

Scope and Contents Note

Includes consideration of a logo design.

1998-1999
Box: 61 Folder : 14 Garden Magazine Survey Results

Scope and Contents Note

Includes the results of a survey of Hort members.

1981
Box: 61 Folder : 15-16 Charles Webster's "Potpourri" and Other Writings
1969-1980s
Box: 61 Folder : 17 Garden Shop

Scope and Contents Note

Includes advertisements and other ephemera related to the Hort store.

1980s-2000s
Box: 61 Folder : 18 Programs. Miscellaneous
1980s-2000s
Box: 61 Folder : 19 Library

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a letter to the Library about judging daffodils (1930), acquisition statistics (1956-1958), bindery costs (1949-1956), reference statistics (1981-1983), bookplates, and Library information ephemera.

1930-1980s
Box: 61 Folder : 20 Long Range Plans

Scope and Contents Note

Includes, among other documents, an original of the Master Plan Committee's Long Range Plan for 1983-1992.

1960s-1990s
Box: 62 Folder : 1-6 Officers (6 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a few original documents from the Board/Executive Director/President office of the 1970s-90s. Most documents are photocopies of historical documents identifying past officers.

1980s-2000s
Box: 62 Folder : 7 Staff

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a small number of job descriptions, organization charts, volunteer lists, and other documents. A 1947 document relates to the possibility of creating an employee pension fund.

1947-2004
Box: 62 Folder : 8-10 Membership (3 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes photocopies of historical documents concerning members.

2000s
Box: 62 Folder : 11 Linnaean Fellows Dinner

Scope and Contents Note

Includes invitations, lists and related correspondence concerning the dinner, held jointly with trustees of the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden.

1972
Box: 62 Folder : 12-13 Financial (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes preliminary and final financial statements, and correspondence with accountants Davies & Davies.

1980s
Box: 62 Folder : 14-15 Fundraising/Revenue (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes documents related to a financial legacy from John B. Turner (1965), lists of potential benefactors (1985), and various appeals and solicitations (1990s-2000s).

1965-2000s
Box: 63 Folder : 1-4 Historical Timeline Notes (4 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes notes and photocopies related to identifying key events in Hort's history. The files include some original documents but these are generally copies of print matter or handouts likely also found elsewhere in the collection.

2000s
Box: 63 Cards : - Historical Timeline Cards

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a small box of index cards and small notes recording milestone events in chronological order and other useful historical facts.

2000s
Box: 63 Folder : 5-10 Archives Project Work Files (6 of 10 folders)
1990s-2000s
Box: 65 Folder : 14-17 Archives Project Work Files (4 of 10 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes preliminary inventories and partial finding aids, in rough form, for the records.

1990s-2000s

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