AIS Online Library

The AIS Ben R. Hager-Sidney DuBose Memorial Online Iris

Library of Iris Literature, including articles, books, catalogs, and videos

Iris Library

Mission Statement

For the reference, research, and education of horticultural, scientific, and general audiences, the AIS Hager/DuBois Memorial Iris Library collects and makes available published literature, archives, and visual records pertaining to the genus Iris.


In 1920 when the American Iris Society was being founded by John Wister (its first president) and others, Wister wrote in The Flower Grower about his dream of an Iris Library. He thought it would be a traveling library so that it would be available to everyone. Little did he know that this availability would finally occur with the internet.

That availability now takes the form of the Iris Encyclopedia
His goal was to assemble a collection of all Iris literature, from newspaper clippings, to books, catalogs, photographs and lantern slides. Today we find ourselves with the opportunity to bring together all writings about Irises. The only constraint on these efforts today is copyright issues. For all copyrights for which we cannot gain permission to reproduce in the Library in this Encyclopedia, we will attempt to at least list them and possibly give a summary. Note all contributions to this Encyclopedia retain their original copyrights and are here because the creators have so allowed. Therefore we hope to create a complete searchable resource for all information pertaining to the Genus Iris. It will take many years to compile all of this information but less if we have many helpers contributing material.

This project as in the rest of the Encyclopedia continues to evolve with over 4,500 items. As I write this the author listing contains about 1,100 articles/books. As work continues, these will be linked to the original material when possible. The listing by date presently has over 600 articles and most of these already show the original content. We greatly appreciate the Biodiversity Heritage Library for making these journals available and to some degree Google Books. By bringing all of these sources together into the Encyclopedia, topics can be researched across many journals and someday perhaps this will be a starting point for Iris researchers both scientific and horticultural. Ideas for improvements are always welcomed and implemented when possible. Encyclopedia Manager, Bob Pries. See How you can help!

The AIS Hager/DuBois Memorial Iris Library

Besides this virtual library the AIS Foundation also maintains a physical library where one can find additional literature that is still under copyright and cannot be included here. The AIS Library also contains memorabilia pertinent to the Iris Society. You are invited to visit this real world library by appointment with the AIS librarian. Please consider making contributions of literature and memorabilia to the AIS Library via the AIS Librarian.

Ben Hager was an important Iris hybridizer and with his partner Sid Dubois provided a trust for an Iris library. This virtual library is an online window into the physical library.

Also proposed in 2013 at the AISF meeting was the need for a name for the Library. Also discussed in relationship to the Library was the accession and deaccession policies. A committee with Ron Kosner (Chairman), Will Plotner, Dave Silverberg, Gary White and Jim Morris worked on this project. The funding for this Library comes from the Sid DuBose Trust income, rather than from the Foundation general funds.

Details of the physical library are shown on the AIS Library page