The James B Beard Turfgrass Library Collection

Michigan State University’s Turfgrass Information Center (TIC) and the MSU Libraries are pleased to announce the donation of Harriet and Dr. James B Beard's collection of turfgrass research materials. This resource 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. This generous donation is the latest effort by Harriet and Dr. James B Beard in support of the Center’s work and objectives, including the TIC Endowment.


bookplate viewIt 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 in the 1960s. In 1968, the personal collection of the late O. J. Noer, a pioneer turf agronomist, was added to the holdings through the O. J. Noer Foundation.

The arrival of the Beard Collection makes MSU the strongest public repository of turfgrass literature in the world. Eventually, the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database will provide article-level access to all items within the Collections. TGIF, an online database jointly sponsored with the United States Golf Association (USGA), is produced and hosted by the MSU Libraries.

Beard and grad studentsBeard and grad studentsBeard and turfgrass samples

Beard’s classic Turfgrass: Science and Culture, published in 1973 and still in print, continues as the only true treatise ever written regarding turfgrass science. Much of the book was written within the walls of the MSU Main Library. His Turf Management for Golf Courses, first released in 1982 and revised in 2002, remains the best-selling reference work in the field. Beard also recently published Beard’s Turfgrass Encyclopedia for Golf Courses – Grounds – Lawns – Sports Fields with the Michigan State University Press.

Dr. Beard served at Michigan State University from 1961–1975, and at Texas A&M University from 1975–1992. After his retirement from Texas A&M, he became President and Chief Scientist of the International Sports Turf Institute.

For the special dedication, historic works representing the evolution of published turfgrass science and practice were featured. View the TGIF Records for these Items.

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