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O.J. Noer Memorial Turfgrass Collection

During his career, O.J. Noer accumulated many books, journals, and conference proceedings related to the science, culture, and maintenance of turfgrass. Upon his death, this legacy fell in turn to Charles Wilson and the O.J. Noer Research Foundation, which was formed to honor his name in support of turfgrass research and education. It was soon voted to place this valuable collection into the hands of an accredited institution of higher learning so it would be universally available to turfgrass students. Michigan State University was selected at the behest of Dr. James B Beard, then of the Dept. of Crop and Soil Science, and Dr. Richard E. Chapin, then-Director of Libraries.

Donated to Michigan State University beginning in 1968, the O.J. Noer Memorial Turfgrass Collection served to expand the existing collection of turf literature which had evolved during a concentrated effort to increase the MSU Libraries' turf holdings through the 1960's, a cooperative effort of both teaching and library faculty.

Other private contributions included items from Dr. James Watson, Mr. Thomas Mascaro, Dr. John Gallager and Dr. James B Beard. Valuable books and publications were solicited by Charles G. Wilson and James Latham on the behalf of the O.J. Noer Foundation. Since that time, the O. J. Noer Foundation has supported the purchase, when necessary for acquisition, of historic items not yet owned. When visiting the Collection, you may want to browse through the current Noer Collection Featured Acquisition.

Noer Beach Scene

Subsequent major donations have included materials from the United States Golf Association Green Section (USGA), Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), Dr. William Daniel, Dr. Kenyon T. Payne, Mr. Fred Opperman, Dr. Paul Rieke, the family of Dr. Kent Kurtz, Mr. Jerry Matthews, the family of Dr. Fred Grau, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Dr. Douglas T. Hawes, Mr. James T. Snow, and Dr. Jack Hall.

This on-going effort continues to strengthen the Collection, and thus make more of the rich tradition of turfgrass literature available for future generations of scholars, students, and professionals.

Together these holdings, along with ongoing MSU acquisitions and continuing donations from a wide range of individuals, comprise a collection of turf related material that is generally recognized as the finest publicly accessible one in the world.

 O.J. Noer   Noer Collection Display

Access to the Noer Collection
There are two primary methods to identify specific items (articles, etc.) within the Noer Collection. The first is a book and the second is a database.

1. Turfgrass Bibliography: from 1672 to 1972.
James B Beard, Harriet J. Beard and David P. Martin. Michigan State University Press, 1977. 730 pages. This 16,000+ entry bibliography provides author and classified subject access to short-record format listings (="citations"). Compiled as the literature-review "portion" of the writing of the pivotal Turfgrass: Science and Culture treatise, this work won the 1979 Oberly Award of the American Library Association for the best agricultural bibliography. (See TGIF R=9280) It is used to identify the portion of literature (up to 1972) not yet listed in the TGIF database (about 80% of this pre-1972 material is in TGIF).

2. The Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database. TGIF records include links to full-text digitized versions of about 41% of the database.

Finding Items in the Collection ("Physical Access")
For items within TGIF that are not directly linked to digitized versions, the MSU Libraries physically own ("hard copy") approximately 85% of the items listed in TGIF. You can use materials held at MSU, including the Noer Collection.

1. Come to the Collection and locate materials yourself. Details about material locations.
2. Have us do a portion of the work for you. For more information, please our Services page.

Some materials (primarily books) of the Collections may be borrowed through your local library's Inter-Library Loan capability. Take a copy of the full TGIF record to give them when you make the request.

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