Historical Bee and Beekeeping Literature: Selections from the Charles C. Miller Memorial Apicultural Library

URLs to browse or search the collections

The Charles C. Miller Apicultural Collection has an interesting history both in terms of its inspirational namesake and in how it came to be located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Born in 1831, Charles C. Miller was a doctor, teacher, beekeeper, author, organizer of beekeeping associations and beloved adviser to generations of beekeepers. So devoted were his admirers that following his death in 1920 they literally pooled their honey money to build what would become one of the largest collections of beekeeping literature in the world. In 1922 the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded the gift of $1,957.53 ”to be used for the maintenance of a beekeeping library as a memorial to Dr. Miller.” A small endowment continues to fund additions to the collection which has grown to approximately 6,000 volumes.

Originally housed in Agriculture Hall, then moved to Steenbock Memorial Library in 1969, most of the books in the collection have since been transferred to the Department of Special Collections. Some of the monographs have been digitized through Google/Hathitrust and a recent CRL/USAIN Project Ceres award is providing seed money to fund the digitization of several of the rare periodicals.

The project currently covers digitization of the following beekeeping serial titles:

  • Autralian Bee Bulletin
  • Beekeepers instructor
  • Thebesto Bee
  • Busy Bee
  • California Apiculturist
  • Canadian Horticulturist
  • Moon’s Busy Bee
  • National Bee Gazette
  • Nebraska Beekeeper
  • New England Apiarian
  • North American Bee Journal
  • Pacific Bee Journal
  • Pacific States Bee Journal
  • Queen Breeders Journal
  • Western Bee Journal
  • Western bee-keeper
  • White Mountain Apiarist