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Collection Garden and Forest

About this Collection

Garden and Forest: A Journal of Horticulture, Landscape Art, and Forestry (1888-1897) was the first American journal devoted to horticulture, botany, landscape design and preservation, national and urban park development, scientific forestry, and the conservation of forest resources. The journal was established by Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927), the founding director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Though the journal was published independently, Sargent considered the weekly magazine the organ of the Arboretum.

The full ten-volume run of Garden and Forest contains approximately 8,400 pages, including over 1,000 illustrations and 2,000 pages of advertisements. Each seven- to eleven-page issue contains articles that are both literary, as well as scholarly and scientific, and of interest to readers ranging from curious amateurs to practicing professionals. It provides practical information on specific plants as well as horticultural practices, guidance on the design of gardens, the growth of trees, and the care and management of public and private grounds. Each issue usually includes department devoted to: Editorial Articles, New or Little-Known Plants, Entomological, Pomology, Foreign Correspondence, Correspondence, Cultural Notes, Plant Notes, The Forest, and Recent Publications or Periodic Literature. Some issues also include listings of Exhibitions and Expositions, and summaries of Retail Flower Market Prices. Many of the articles are illustrated. The art work includes line drawings, halftones, diagrams, plans, botanical illustrations, portraits, and landscapes. Every issue also contains at least four pages of advertisements that provide a valuable snapshot of contemporary commercial products, services, and establishments. Each volume has an annual index and list of illustrations.

Garden and Forest was the first project of the Preservation Digital Reformatting Program in the Library of Congress’s Preservation Reformatting Division. It was the first Library of Congress digitizing project to employ Making of America models.

Making of America

Making of America External (MOA) was a digital library comprising reproductions of primary source materials in American social history published in the late-nineteenth century. The original collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and Cornell University to create MOA was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. From the beginning, MOA goals included not only creating digital reproductions of historical source materials, but also developing models for community practice to enable a large-scale, integrated, and distributed digital library involving multiple institutions. Subsequent phases of Making of America were sponsored by the Digital Library Federation and included collaborations among the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, Stanford University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan, Harvard University, and the New York Public Library.

The Library of Congress participated in Digital Library Federation activities pertaining to technical architecture and metadata. Garden and Forest was the first Library of Congress project to incorporate Making of America models into the digitizing of source materials in order to optimize the potential for interoperability with like digital collections created at other institutions.


Creating and providing access to the digital reproduction of Garden and Forest involved two collaborations. The first, between the Library of Congress’s Preservation Reformatting Division and the University of Michigan, focused on the digital conversion and online delivery of Garden and Forest. The Digital Library Production Service at the University of Michigan contributed the conversion and encoding of the journal’s searchable text. In addition, it was a partner in mounting Garden and Forest digital files and providing access through the same search engine used for the Michigan Making of America materials. Michigan remained a partner through successive phases of this project that progressed, step by step, to full integration of Garden and Forest with the Making of America digital library.

The second Garden and Forest collaboration was between the Library of Congress’s Preservation Reformatting Division and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The founding director of the Arnold Arboretum, Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927), established the journal and shaped its mission. The Arnold Arboretum was considering digitizing Garden and Forest when it learned the Library of Congress’s project was already underway. The two institutions then joined forces to provide enhanced access to the digital reproduction. Toward that end, the Arnold Arboretum contributed essays that illuminated the historical background of the journal (available with the Phase 1 release, December 1999) and the four major fields it addresses: botany, horticulture, landscape design and preservation, and forestry. In addition, it developed an electronic finding aid, based on the volume-level indices in each original print volume, that enabled users to search and browse controlled subject terms, as well as author, title, and illustration-caption information. These value-added enhancements, and detailed documentation about them, became available in 2000.

Several institutions assisted with Interlibrary Loan requests to provide replacement pages needed to make the ten volumes of Garden and Forest complete. The California Academy of Sciences Library, and Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University made special and extended contributions to this effort. In addition, the California Academy of Sciences Library helped to solve the mystery of the original publication format of Garden and Forest by surveying a large number of issues in their collection that remain in their original state. More information on this part of the project can be found in the Digitizing and Delivery article.