The Scottish Beekeepers' Association has deposited the Moir Rare Book Collection of 250 volumes relating to all aspects of beekeeping. It is one of the very finest collections of rare beekeeping books in the world, including items published as far back as 1525.
The foundation of the collection was due to the efforts of John William Moir (1851-1940). Inspired by the example of Scots missionary David Livingstone, Moir and his brother emigrated from Scotland in 1877 to southeast Africa, where they were initially involved in the creation of alternative transport routes to help obviate the need for slave transport. It was later, after settling in the Shire Highlands of present-day Malawi, that John Moir began beekeeping, due to the fact that his crops required pollination.
About This Collection In 1925, a Cornell professor of apiculture named Everett Franklin Phillips set out to create a major repository of literature on bees and beekeeping. He envisioned this library as an "accessible storehouse of our knowledge of bees and beekeeping." By 1926, Phillips had persuaded over 223 people from twenty-nine states and twenty-six foreign countries to donate thousands of books and pamphlets, and the E.F. Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Cornell was born. Perhaps Phillips' biggest coup was his ingenious plan for raising the money necessary for creating the library's endowment: he convinced hundreds of New York state beekeepers to set aside one of their hives for the library.