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Arkansas’ Apple Heritage

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SEI20131013_0112October is the month to celebrate bountiful apple harvests: apple cider, apple pies, applesauce,  and caramel covered apples! From California to the Appalachians, many apple growing regions host traditional events or festivals around particular apple varieties.  There is even an annual October “Apple Day” in England. Northwest Arkansas has a rich history of apple orchards and last year at this time I was working with University of Arkansas Special Collections librarians to complete our first digital collaboration: Fruit-Full Arkansas: Apples.

An example of a book of apple specimens from the Crystal Bridges' Library of color-print books.

An example of a book of apple specimens from the Crystal Bridges’ Library of color-print books.

Please take some time to view, or re-view, this special online exhibition and learn more about the nineteenth-century market for Southern-grown and Benton County apples and the demise of the apple industry at the end of the century. Also browse the more-than sixty chromolithography images of color nursery catalog apple prints and fascinating apple-related images from University Special Collections.

COMING UP:  There are no apples growing on Crystal Bridges’ grounds, but there are lots of other fruits, berries, and other plants in the forest that provide forage for a host of wildlife through the long cold winter.  Learn more about what’s growing at Crystal Bridges in drop-in Fall Forage Tours!  They are taking place at 11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays through November 30.

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