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VIRTUAL EVENT: The Seed of an Idea: Growing a Seed Library at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is requested
Members Free and Non-members Free with admission ($10)

The Seed of an Idea: Growing a Seed Library at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

with Dory Klein

An unassuming card catalog in a botanical library in Richmond, Virginia contains hundreds of varieties of seed, from anise to zinnia. Located at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, this seed library is part of a growing network of seed repositories sharing the common goal of preserving our crop diversity, and with it, our foodways.

Starting in the 20th century, the 12,000-year-old practice of seed saving has dwindled abruptly as food production shifted toward corporate farming models that relied on hybrid varieties of high-yield crops grown in monoculture. These expensive and environmentally unsound practices contribute to diminishing biodiversity, as well as the loss of traditional knowledge of seed saving and plant propagation techniques.

By providing access to free seeds and information, the seed library at the Garden is part of a broader movement committed to defending food sovereignty, protecting the biodiversity of our seed stock, supporting a more sustainable food system, and preserving traditional knowledge and cultural traditions around food production and plants.

Join Dory Klein, Librarian at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, for a comprehensive view of this seed library from the ground up.

Dory Klein is the Librarian at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, where she developed a seed library to empower visitors to grow their own food from seed. She is a graduate of Simmons University, where she earned both her MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management and her MA in History. She holds a BA in English from James Madison University. Prior to moving to Richmond, she was the Map Librarian at the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library. A believer in the power of libraries to inspire and effect change, Dory has devoted her work to connecting her community with information about the natural world and our place in it. When not answering botanical reference questions, leading storytime, creating research guides, managing library programs and outreach, cataloging, and overhauling the library’s systems, Dory is probably biking, reading, hiking, or picking cherry tomatoes from her garden.


This event is part of our three-part series, "Flora and Fauna."  It may not feel like it, but Spring is nigh! Join us in welcoming the return of flowers, warblers, and sunny days back to Boston with our noon series dedicated to all things bright and beautiful:

Birder on Berry Lane
with nature writer Robert Tougias
​12-1 pm on May 5, 2020

Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style
with floral designer and writer Christin Geall
12-1 pm ​on June 4, 2020

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Most programs held in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the Athenaeum's first floor are amplified and assistive listening devices are available for patron use.

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To request ASL interpretation services for any of the Athenaeum's programs, please contact Hannah Weisman at 617-720-7617 or