Orchid expert to speak at Bracken Library

BSU to give tours of Christy Woods greenhouse before presentation

Orchids are the largest group of flowering plants and also the point of interest for tonight's presentation hosted by Friends of the Library.

At 7:30 p.m. in Bracken Library Room 104, internationally recognized orchid horticulturist Russ Vernon will give a presentation on "Orchid Art and Conservation."

There will be two cooperative presentations earlier in the afternoon.

From 2:20 to 3:30 p.m. there will be a guided tour of the Christy Woods greenhouse.

Sharyl Grant, curator of the greenhouse, hopes the tours and the orchid displays at the library will attract publicity for the greenhouse. Referring to an inadequate amount of money for its extended purpose, she said the greenhouse is operating on a "shoestring budget."

"It's a repository for plant genetic information from around the world," she said. "Two thousand plants are housed in a 1,300 square-foot building, and we are in need of growing space."

From 4 to 5 p.m., there will be a demonstration of the Charles E. Bracker Orchid Photographs Digital Collection in the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Digital Complex on the first floor of the library. These photos are also available to view online at http://libx.bsu.edu.

Charles Bracker, for whom the collection is named, is a retired professor from Purdue University. His late wife grew the plants as a hobby. Bracker has taken over 30,000 photos of orchids over the years. The digital collection premieres with photos of his favorite 300 species.

John Straw, assistant dean of Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, said Vernon hopes the program will attract a large crowd.

"We invited four orchid societies, and the speaker is fairly well-known," he said. "We hope students and others find it of interest."


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