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Botanical Atrocities

December 6th, 2008  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  3 Comments


So once again, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is teetering on the brink and has turned to selling off rare books to make ends meet (or more accurately, pay their **creditors** 30 cents on the dollar).

On December 11, at Sotheby's, at least six rare botanicals will be going on the block. This deaccessioning has been done quietly, but these six lots have Mass Hort bookplates. Nicholas Basbanes' article on a previous gutting of the MHS library (still touted on its website as "renowned for its collection of books related to early agriculture, horticulture, and landscape design.") can be read here.

**Thanks, Wystan**


  1. Wystan says:

    December 7th, 2008at 7:20 am(#)

    Why would they want to pay their debtors anything? Aren’t their creditors more deserving of a payout?

  2. L. D. Mitchell says:

    April 12th, 2009at 12:22 pm(#)

    Given the current depressed levels of support for the arts generally, and libraries particularly, I should expect to see a good deal more of this in the future….

  3. Maureen says:

    June 14th, 2009at 5:04 pm(#)

    This is heartbreaking. I just noticed that someone on ebay has bought a book of rare botanical prints (or several) and is making their living ripping out these precious prints and selling them. Disgusting! And most of all, sad.

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