The U.S. Department of Agriculture's first economic botanist, Percy Leroy Ricker, began collecting catalogs in 1904. Ricker's enthusiastic interest included many trips to secondhand bookstores and the attics of nursery companies in search of horticulturally related catalogs. The collection consists of over 250,000 American and foreign catalogs.
 

https://www.nal.usda.gov/collections/special-collections/henry-g-gilbert-nursery-and-seed-trade-catalog-collection

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