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More about the Phillips Collection

The E. F. Phillips Beekeeping Library at Mann Library is one of three major U.S. collections on the subject of bees.

Honey super medallion

Working closely with Dr. Everett F. Phillips in the early decades of the 20th century, beekeepers of the northeastern United States played a pivotal role in the creation of an endowment to fund the development of rich and lasting storehouse of knowledge that could advance the work of the beekeeping community. In many cases, beekeepers earmarked the profits derived from specific hives as contributions directed toward the endowment's growth. True to this original vision, the rare and distinctive collection in apiculture housed at Mann Library today ranges from some of the oldest treatises written on the subject of bees to the most currently available publications in the field of apiculture. The Phillips endowment allows Mann Library to acquire virtually all publications about bees produced in English. Rare books in the collection are housed under secure conditions and may be viewed upon request. Modern materials are available for loan by New York State residents as well as current Cornell faculty, students and staff. Patrons from outside New York State are also welcome to use the collection in-house during regular library hours.

The Hive and the Honeybee

Seventy-five years after beekeepers helped Dr. Phillips create one of the world's finest collections of books and journals in beekeeping, a new generation of apiculturists inspired an early 21s- century effort to digitize major parts of that collection. Following a 2002 conference of the Eastern Apiculture Society held on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, individual beekeepers and beekeeping organizations of the EAS organized a national appeal the country to help make some of the greatest works from American authors on beekeeping available online. With the help of this generous support, collaborating staff from the University of Delaware, Mississippi State University, Mary Washington College, the Finger Lakes Beekeeping Association and Mann Library at Cornell University launched The Hive and the Honeybee site in the spring of 2004. At first release, the new online collection provided public access to the the full text of ten rare books from the Phillips Collection, chosen by a team of scholars for their historical importance and usefulness to beekeepers today.

Ongoing giving by American beekeepers has continued to expand the collection, and today The Hive and the Honeybee consists of the full text of nearly fifty books from the Phillips library as well as the first forty volumes of the American Bee Journal, an influential English language beekeeping journal read by scholars and practicing beekeepers and still being published today.

Mann Library would like to extend special thanks to the Eastern Apiculture Society and Mike Griggs for providing the initial inspiration and funding to create The Hive and the Honeybee online library. We are equally grateful to the many generous beekeeping associations, extension agencies, and individuals across the United States --from Florida to Maine and New York to Washington State --who have made the continued development of this digital collection possible.

For more information on using the Phillips collection, you may contact the Mann Library Help Desk at If you would like more information about the The Hive and the Honeybee, and how to support this growing collection, please contact Eveline Ferretti, Albert R. Mann Library (email: