A member of the Garden Club of Concorde, Concord, GA asked me to help her find a book. Not just any book, but one written by an English garden writer, published between 1928 and 1931. She gave me the title: America Has No Gardens by Marion Cran. I did a quick search on Amazon and Google. No luck.
I emailed Garden Club of America’s Library Committee for their help. Within less than 24 hours I had a response. No luck either. But, they said they would keep searching.
I went to the Library of Congress “Ask a Librarian” service. In less than 12 hours I had a response. Success, they found the correct book, but with a different title.
The Library of Congress wrote me: “We were unable to find a book with the title, America Has No Gardens. That being said, we were able to find the following quote in a 1967 newspaper article: “America has no gardens such as we know them in England,” concluded Marion Cran, the English garden writer, after a tour of American gardens a quarter of a century ago. (Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California, September 8, 1967, Page 4). The book’s accurate title, Gardens in America by Marion Cran, was published in London in 1931. Here is a link to the Library’s catalog record for this book. Gardens in America by Marion Cran was also published in New York in 1932. Link to Library’s catalog for this book.
I sent the following response to Jane Harris, GCA Library Committee, and Wyn Achenbaum, GCA Archives Committee. Wyn Achenbaum responded, “How exciting!” And she went on to do more research. She wrote me: “For some of Marion Cran’s other writings, you can visit theUniversity of Pennsylvania’s Website.” Only one of the books referenced was written after 1922.Click here to see the book on WorldCat.org Web site.
The GCA Library Committee is considering acquiring Gardens in America for the GCA library.
As someone with a MA in Library and Information Science, this whole exchange makes me giggle. The energy to help, share and give is alive and well.