The James B Beard Turfgrass Library Collection is generally acknowledged to be the finest personal compilation of turf-related material in existence. It includes international coverage of the turfgrass research and management literature, including books, periodicals, and technical reports. The Beard Collection serves as a non-circulating reference collection within the Turfgrass Information Center in the Main Library.
Dr. Beard served as a professor at Michigan State University from 1961-1975. It was under the direction of Dr. Beard, and then-Library Director, Dr. Richard Chapin, that the MSU Libraries began to systematically collect printed turfgrass materials beginning in the 1960s. Dr. Beard was instrumental in the acquisition of the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Collection in 1968. The Library continued this mission of collecting turfgrass materials, even after Dr. Beard started his tenure at Texas A&M University in 1975.
After his retirement from Texas A&M in 1992, he became President and Chief Scientist of the International Sports Turf Institute during which time he published the serial publication Turfax, and numerous other research publications and articles. In 2003, James and Harriet Beard donated materials to the MSU Libraries that came to be known as the James B Beard Turfgrass Library Collection. Over the years, Dr. and Mrs. Beard, as well as other donors, have continued to donate materials to the Beard Collection, helping solidify MSU as having the largest and most complete collection of turfgrass materials in the world!
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