James Underwood Crockett Papers, 1944-1980
Call no.: MS 664
The horticulturist, Jim Crockett (1915-1979) earned wide acclaim as host of the popular television show, Crockett’s Victory Garden. A 1935 graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst, Crockett returned home to Massachusetts after a stint in the Navy during the Second World War and began work as a florist. A small publication begun for his customers, Flowery Talks, grew so quickly in popularity that Crockett sold his flower shop in 1950 to write full time. His first book, Window Sill Gardening (N.Y., 1958), was followed by seventeen more on gardening, ornamental plants, and horticulture, culminating with twelve volumes in the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening. He was the recipient of numerous awards for garden writing and was director of the American Horticultural Society. In 1975, he was contacted about a new gardening show on PBS, Victory Garden, which he hosted until his death by cancer in 1979.
Documenting an important career in bringing horticulture to the general public, the Crockett Papers contain a mix of professional and personal correspondence and writing by Jim Crockett from throughout his career. The collection includes a particularly extensive set of letters from George B. Williams, Crockett’s father in law, and copies most of his publications.
- Crockett, James Underwood