Robert Becker Memorial Library

Robert Becker Memorial Library supports the mission of Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), helping preserve America's garden and food crop heritage by serving the research needs of SSE staff, members and visitors. Located on the second floor of SSE's administrative office building, the library holds a collection of about 4,500 volumes representing topics in agriculture, horticulture, and biodiversity.

Library materials range in genre from technical information
to literary works, with the primary subjects of:

   -Gardening and related activities
   -Preservation of heirloom garden and orchard varieties
   -Sustainable agriculture
   -Environmental conservation
   -Genetic diversity in cultivated plants and livestock

These materials take the forms of:

   -Magazines and newsletters
   -Scholarly journals
   -Other published items
   -Digital (still) images
   -Audiovisual media
   -Unpublished/manuscript materials
   -Looseleaf binders/collated information

The library's Special Collections include over 1,500 volumes with publication dates as early as the 16th century -- historical sources containing time-tested techniques for everything from cider-making to the development of natural fertilizers. The library's collection of about 600 pre-1950 seed catalogs serves as a rich resource for both textual and visual information on historic varieties as well. The library also houses the SSE organizational archives and publications collections, including multiple copies of the earliest mimeographed True Seed Exchange mailings (1975-76) to the latest issue of The Heritage Farm Companion.

Members of the general public are welcome to use materials in the library for on-site research. Library materials in the General collection may only be checked out by Seed Savers Exchange staff, board members, and advisers.

Library hours are M-F, 8:30-4:30, weekends by appointment only.
Contact Bill Musser, Librarian, at 563/382-5990, ext. 122.

Click below to access the
Online Library Catalog

Seed Catalog Covers