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About the Collection The OSU Seed and Nursery Trade catalogue collection contains over 2,000 items from 1832 to 1966. While the collection is most comprehensive in its representation of American catalogues from the 1940s, it contains many older examples from North America, Great Britain, and Holland, as well other European and Asian countries. Former agricultural librarian Laura Kelts compiled the collection from various sources in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, it was stored in a locked room of the science area of the library, where space was at a premium. In 1986, the new Special Collections unit was formed and the collection was moved there, where it resides today. Seed and nursery trade catalogues are lists of seeds or plants available for sale.

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The specimens are classified according to biological nomenclature. Thus each unique name traces to an original description, published over the past 250 years. The earliest valid names trace to the seminal works of Linnaeus. The vast majority of names originated with the 19th century exploration of the American West. However, new species continue to be discovered and described today. Any research into the application of biological nomenclature requires an evaluation of the original description. Our ultimate goal is to make available digitized original descriptions of all 4500 plant taxa (species, subspecies and varieties) in the Oregon flora.

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