Old American Rose Annuals

Does anyone know if there is already an effort underway to digitize old American Rose annuals? My career is in technical publications and I’ve often thought it would be interesting to digitize some of the older issues…I have 25 years dating back to the 1920s. I’d have to check, but the earliest ones should be in the public domain and wouldn’t violate copyright.

I bought them about ten years at a book sale when the Cleveland Botanical Garden was “modernizing” its collection. I was particularly excited about the parentage information published for new roses and the Proof of the Pudding reports.



Brian, please send me your email address.

dholeman1 ~ cox.net

Most of the American Rose Annuals that are clearly in the public domain, from 1916-1922, have been digitized by google.


I was never able to sort out which of the rest are still subject to copyright. IIRC, there are open questions because the articles were written by numerous contributors, not a single author. IME the ARS freely consents to the reproduction of individual articles. I have a vague recollection that the ARS takes the position that it cannot give consent for the reproduction of entire annuals because the Annuals were written by multiple authors. How these last two are reconciled, I don’t exactly understand.

You probably don’t need the link to the copyright office information on this, but for us amateurs, it’s a prime example of red tape run amok (unless you’re an author). :slight_smile:

Link: www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#hlc

When I was on the ARS historical committee, the digitizing of the annuals was my pet project. Unfortunately, the ARS did not have the copyright to its own annuals. The editor did (until I think sometime in the 1940s - this is from memory as my set of annuals is in storage).

I’m glad I asked, it sounds like an interesting set of issues to work around. Thanks for the feedback!


Copyright J. Horace McFarland, Editor. I think he died in the early 40’s.