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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

Scope and Contents

The records of the Horticultural Society of New York (HSNY or Hort) extend from the organization’s founding in 1900 through about 2010. They are preserved in various formats: manuscript and typed board meeting minutes, typescript financial statements, published periodicals, ephemera, posters, photographs, and a handful of artifacts (lapel pins, award plaques, etc.). They fall into nine categories partly imposed by the N-YHS archivists who processed the collection. Refer to the Arrangement Note following this one for an outline of how the records are divided and their respective date ranges. Fuller descriptions are provided in notes at each series and subseries level, but, briefly, the collection contains

General Administration Files: Includes the minutes of the HSNY Board of Directors for 1900–2007, its financial statements for 1959–1974, financial reports for the International Flower Show for 1930–1942, and the working files from the HSNY executive director’s and president’s offices. Also here is documentation on the acquisition and subsequent sale of the collection of botanical books and illustrations bequeathed to HSNY by Kenneth K. Mackenzie in 1934.

Library & Archives Files: The Hort maintains an active research library today, and the material in the present collection documents its development and administration by way of accession registers, committee meeting minutes, and files on resources, funding, programming, and initiatives.

Flower Show Records: Documentation of the flower shows sponsored by or organized by the HSNY between 1916 and 1998, the main ones being the International Flower Show, the Bryant Park Flower Show, and the New York Flower Show. Included are the myriad supporting periodicals for these events—programs, schedules of prizes, classes, and premiums—as well as photographs and a few scrapbooks spanning 1916–1998.

Records from Other Horticultural Societies: From its earliest years the Hort worked closely with other plant and gardening associations. That likely explains how this material came to be part of the larger collection. Most of it pertains to the Brooklyn chapter of the National Plant, Flower, and Fruit Guild.

Photographs: Images of the activities, places, people, and plants associated with the Hort in myriad formats: glass plate lantern slides, 35mm slides, transparencies, photographic prints (black-and-white and color), and negatives.

Print Matter: Over its long existence the Hort has issued a broad range of publications in fulfillment of its mission to “diffuse information on all topics relating to the culture and care of plants.” These include periodicals, yearbooks, bulletins, program calendars, and ephemera. The collection includes a small but interesting portion of early and mid-nineteenth century publications issued by other organizations that the HSNY kept for their focus on horticulture.

Audiovisual: HSNY recorded its meetings, lectures, programs and flower shows audiocassettes, 16- and 35mm film, Betamax and VHS tapes. Many of the latter save television appearances by Hort representatives on programs such as Good Day New York and the Today Show. Note that N-YHS lacks playback equipment, so this material is restricted.

Reference Files: These are ready-reference files kept by the HSNY for research purposes. They are split between personal names and topical subjects and include images, journal articles, news clippings, brochures, and biographical material.

Memorabilia: The collection includes a small number of artifacts, such as award ribbons and medals, lapel buttons and pins, and a few commemorative plaques bestowed on the HSNY for its horticultural contributions.

Arrangement Note

The Horticultural Society of New York Records are divided into the series and subseries outlined below. Although the material appears to be strictly organized, the researcher should be aware that there are many points of overlap in the collection. For example, although most photographs will be found in the Photographs series, some photos can also be found to some degree in other parts of the collection. Similarly, although there is a Flower Show series, related material can be found in other series, such as ephemera and posters in Print Matter or in the administrative files.

Series I. General Administration Files, 1900-2007
Subseries I.A. Board Minutes & Working Files, 1900-2007
Subseries I.B. Financial, 1933-1994
Subseries I.C. Executive Directors' Files, 1960s-1990s
Subseries I.D. Presidents' Files, 1930s-1990s
Subseries I.E. Miscellaneous, 1933-1984

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

Series III. Flower Show Records, 1908-2000s
Subseries III.A. Meeting Minutes & Working Files, 1915-2000s
Subseries III.B. Print Matter and Ephemera, 1908-1996
Subseries III.C. Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1916-1998

Series IV. Records from Other Horticultural Societies, 1925-1980
(does not subdivide)

Series V. Photographs, 1917-2006
Subseries V.A. Events, 1959-2006
Subseries V.B. Programs, 1969-1995
Subseries V.C. Facilities and Staff, 1941-2003
Subseries V.D. Images used in HSNY publications, 1980-2000
Subseries V.E. Other Images, 1917, 1940s-2002 (bulk, 1950s-1970s)

Series VI. Print Matter, 1811-circa 2010
Subseries VI.A. Hort Periodicals, 1900-1998
Subseries VI.B. Other Hort Print Matter, 1901-circa 2010
Subseries VI.C. Miscellaneous Print Material, 1811-1997

Series VII. Audiovisual, 1964-2003
Subseries VII.A. Audio Formats, 1968-1996
Subseries VII.B. Moving Images, 1964-2003

Series VIII. Reference Files, 1850-2005
Subseries VIII.A. People, 1910-2009
Subseries VIII.B. Subjects, 1850-2006

Series IX. Memorabilia, 1900s-1998
(does not subdivide)