Nursery catalogues (1612-now)


The Special Collections of Wageningen UR Library has among others an international collection of approximately 35.000 catalogues of nurseries specialised in ornamental plants, bulbs and trees. Also catalogues on fruit, vegetables and agricultural crops and seeds are available. Besides a large collection of catalogues from the Netherlands and other European countries, there are also collections from South-Africa, New-Zealand, Australia, North and South America, Japan and other non-European countries.

These catalogues are valuable for historical plant research on (agro)cultural biodiversity, the history of plant breeding and for the reconstruction of contemporary planting in historic gardens and parks.

The collection consists of two parts. The oldest and rarest nursery catalogues from 1612 onwards are described and placed among our book collections. The majority is a separate collection (1835-2000) acquired in 2000 from Plant Research International described as serial publications by nursery companies. Currently we are not active collecting modern nursery catalogues but do still add paper catalogues that are sent to us.

Both collections can be found together in the Special Collections Catalogue.
Here you can narrow your search by Country of publication.

All these nursery catalogues can also be found by the same search at the general Library catalogue.
Here you may find some more catalogues that are not part of the Special Collections.


The catalogues of Dutch firms from the period 1830 till 1950 are microfilmed in the national conservation programme for paper heritage collections Metamorfoze. View our contribution as part of a Dutch web exhibition made about collections who participate in this programme. The digital images of the microfilms are currently being processed to make them available for online research.

mail icon Wageningen Digital Library, 26 July, 2012