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Hyattsville Horticultural Society archives


Hyattsville Horticultural Society archives
Hyattsville Horticultural Society
Collection number:
7.50 linear feet
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

The archives of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society are comprised of scrapbooks documenting the society's activities, which include programs, invitations, clippings, correspondence, financial and contest records, and certificates.

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Hyattsville Horticultural Society archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

H. M. Connelly, V. K. Chestnut, W. B. Ballard, and J. B. S. Norton founded the Hyattsville Horticultural Society, on the oldest garden clubs in America, during the winter of 1916-1917. J. B. S. Norton was a professor of botany and vegetable pathology at the University of Maryland for more than forty years. W. B. Ballard served the University in a number of capacities, as a pomologist at the Maryland Experiment State at the time of the Society's organization, and later as head of the Landscape Department. Dr. Chestnut served as the society's first president, and the founders rotated in this office for a number of years. Little else is known about the group's initial activities because the early minutes were lost during a flood. This organization of amateurs brought together people interested in horticulture and floriculture and organized a number of community beautification projects, including annual flower and garden shows. The members, limited to fifteen at the society's inception, met in each other's homes; wives served refreshments but were not initially permitted to become members. The Hyattsville Horticultural Society admitted Mrs. Mills O'Keefe, its first female member, by January 1921. The Hyattsville Horticultural Society has been and continues to be involved in a number of activities in the local community. The society held its first garden show in 1917, and the group annually organized a garden competition, a home and garden exhibition, spring and fall garden shows, children's competitions, and a number of social events and programs. The Hyattsville Horticultural Society continued to grow and eventually revised its constitution to allow an unlimited number of members, with each new membership dependent upon the unanimous approval of the other members of the Society. Although the Society maintains a lower profile today, its members remain active in the Hyattsville community.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The archives of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society consist of six scrapbooks dating from 1912 to 1982, which were compiled by various members of the society, usually the president or historian. The scrapbooks document the activities of the society and its members.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries received the archives of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society form the Society in 1982.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Michelle DeMartino, March, 1997.

Processing note:

The archives of the Hyattsville Horticultural Society are comprised of scrapbooks documenting the society's activities, which include programs, invitations, clippings, correspondence, financial and contest records, and certificates. The collection is unprocessed but a preliminary inventory is available.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Henry Allen.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection has been arranged into one series

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Scrapbooks, 1912-1982 (7.5 linear feet)

This series consists of six scrapbooks compiled by the society to document its history and activities. The scrapbooks contain copies of the constitution and bylaws; announcements of flower shows; minutes of meetings; newsclippings concerning members and activities of the society; correspondence to and from members; lists of members; treasurer's reports; awards from garden and flower competitions; and other items of interest to the society. Arrangement is chronological by scrapbook.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Scrapbook -- Earliest Records, 1912-1936 series 1box 1folder 1
Scrapbook, 1937-1938 series 1box 1folder 2
Scrapbook -- "Better Gardens Make Better Homes", 1939-1942 series 1box 2folder 1
Scrapbook, 1943-1963 series 1box 3folder 1
Scrapbook, 1964-1971 series 1box 4folder 1
Scrapbook -- "HORTI MELIORA DOMICILIA", 1972-1981 series 1box 5folder 1

Related Material

The Archives and Manuscripts Department holds the papers of one of the society's founders and longtime member J. B. S. Norton, as well as those of Theodore Bissell, another member of the society. Both men were professors at the University of Maryland's College Park campus.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.


Names (Added Entries)