Andersen Horticultural Library Collections

VaughnsAlneerAndersen Horticultural Library hosts one of the largest seed and nursery catalog collections in the country. Numbering nearly 66,000 and dating from 1828 to the present, it includes catalogs from every state and 26 countries. Minnesota and other Upper Midwest companies are strongly represented.

The value of the collection rests not only on the beautiful lithographs, engravings and photographs, but on their nultidisciplinary historical importance. They document the history of the horticultural trade and provide a look at advertising and printing trends as well. They also document the introduction of specific plants into the trade, whether through discovery, importation or hybridization.

There are more than 1,000 current catalogs available for us any time the library is open. Older catalogs are kept in acid-free folders or boxes on compact shelving, and are housed in a climate-controlled room to help preserve them. All are available for research, with an appointment. Please call (952)443-1000 to make an appointment.


Northrup King

A few scanned images of selected seed catalogs can be viewed in an online exhibit titled Minneapolis Seedswomen Catalogs at UMedia (

The Seed and Nursery catalog collection was built with the support and inspiration of Governor Elmer L. Andersen: "Our view was that the Andersen Horticultural Library should have a special area of excellence. We latched on to one early: its collection of nursery and seed catalogs would be the best in the the nation."--A Man's Reach, p. 358.

Since its inception, the Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection has been supported by Elmer and Eleanor Andersen, the Andersen Book Trust and the Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library. Without these supporters, there would be no collection.