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Operation “Rescue Floral History”

Operation “Rescue Floral History”

This Spring, Florists’ Review sold its building in Topeka, Kansas leaving its extensive library of more than 120 years of history without a home. Since 1897, Florists’ Review magazine has chronicled the ups and downs of the floral industry.

On top of that, with the Coronavirus Pandemic in full steam, there was no way to deliver the books to a university for proper archiving.

That’s when the American Floral Endowment’s Debi Chedester stepped into the rescue effort. “We simply couldn’t allow the largest collection of floral history in the world to disappear,” she said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the collection and preserve it.”

Fortunately for the magazine, she called on a long-time AFE supporter, and wholesaler Baisch & Skinner stepped forward to coordinate pick up and storage of the magazines until funding and an appropriate partner university can be located.

Baisch & Skinner’s Steve Frye said he was thrilled to help. “We’ve been long-time partners with Florists’ Review and have served them in the Topeka, Kansas market for many years. We understand the importance of preserving this history for the future.”  Frye also serves on the AFE Board of Trustees.

Chedester said the Endowment hopes to procure funding to have the magazines digitally scanned and added to their online Floriculture Infosearch Library created in collaboration with North Carolina State University.  The Floriculture InfoSearch is a powerful, but focused search engine designed to house floriculture information from scientific literature, trade and association magazines/websites, universities and the American Floral Endowment archives that dates back to the 1800s.    It was created for this purpose – to protect historical industry data.

“I am so incredibly grateful to the Endowment and to the team at Baisch & Skinner for this amazing effort,” current publisher Travis Rigby said. “I have always been worried about the collection sitting in a very vulnerable location in Kansas. This partnership ensures the collection will find a safe home and will be available to the entire industry as a resource for many years to come.”

If you or your organization is interested in supporting this project or any of a myriad of other programs the American Floral Endowment administers, please contact them directly.

Donate Online Here

Mail donations to:

American Floral Endowment
1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 201
Alexandria, VA 22314
All donations made to AFE are tax-deductible – Tax ID: 23-6268380.

This article was originally published in Florists’ Review. 

About American Floral Endowment: The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is an independent nonprofit organization that funds research and scholarships in floriculture and environmental horticulture for the benefit of growers, wholesalers, retailers, allied industry organizations and the general public.

About Baisch & Skinner: Beginning in 1952, Baisch & Skinner’s headquarters has resided within the historic St. Louis Floral Market. Still in its original location, the company has grown from that 3,700 sq. ft. single storefront to a 160,000 sq. ft complex of buildings on the Flower Market. It includes modern greenhouses, enormous cut flower coolers and beautiful showrooms for its selection of permanent botanical flowers, decorative and home decor accessories.