1910 – 1917 Walker, Robert Sparks, Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook, Archival Materials.
Either Walker or someone close to him was a meticulous keeper of scrapbooks. The Tennessee State Library and Archives holds the Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook, a collection of correspondence Walker received between 1910 and 1917 as publisher and editor of said magazine. The Chattanooga Public Library has two scrapbooks of articles on the Brainerd Mission. Mary Bell Fisher mentions having examined “The Walker Scrapbooks,” in her Thesis for the Master of Arts Degree at Peabody College of Education.
On October 13, 2019 the author examined the only copy of the Southern Fruit Grower Scrapbook in a restricted area at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. A guard provided the author with a key to a locker for storage since no pens, cameras, cell phones or extraneous items are permitted in the archival portion of the library. The author was permitted to bring in a mechanical pencil. The archivist provided a pair of white cotton gloves to wear while examining the document and loose-leaf paper for notes, one sheet at a time.
The scrapbook consists of correspondence Robert Sparks Walker received relevant to his role as editor and publisher of the Southern Fruit Grower magazine. The letters offered thanks for copies received as well as accolades stating how the magazine had benefited the recipients in business. A few included subscription renewals. Many from government agencies stated the value of the magazine for agriculture and horticulture in their respective states. Those from academic institutions stated its value for their students. Most were typed on letterhead stationery. A few were handwritten on stationery and some on lined paper.
Walker acquired 50% ownership of the magazine in 1900 and served as editor and publisher until he sold his interest in 1921. For further information on the years Walker spent editing Southern Fruit Grower, consult the early chapters of Robert Sparks Walker: The Unconventional life of an East Tennessee Naturalist by Alexandra Walker Clark.
A list of just a few of the correspondents whose letters are preserved in this scrapbook follows:
U. S. Department of Agriculture, C.B. Bracket, Pomologist
South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station
The Commonwealth of Virginia, State Crop Pest Commission
The University of Kentucky, Agricultural Experiment Station
The University of Tennessee, Experiment Station
Georgia Experiment Station
The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institution