Skip to main content

Florida Daffodil Society records and papers of John C. and Linda M. Van Beck

Collection number: ahc.MSS1212

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, articles, daffodil inventories, and reports from the Van Becks' daffodil research. Also a part of the collection are records from the Florida Daffodil Society which include correspondence, program and meeting information, financial reports, and minutes. The collection also includes promotional media, correspondence, and research from Linda and Sara's 2004 book, Daffodils in Florida. The Van Becks' support of horticultural institutions and organizations is represented through correspondence and committee work with the Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Florida; LeConte Woodmanston Plantation, Georgia; Kane Island Daffodil Farm, South Carolina; and the American Daffodil Society.


  • 1990-2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

John Charles Van Beck (1934-2001) was born in St. Charles, Illinois, and moved to Florida in the late 1940s. He earned a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's degree from the University of Florida. Linda May Lounsbury (1935- ) grew up in Ontario, Canada, attended Palm Beach Junior College in Orlando, Florida, and married John Van Beck in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1960. The couple had a daughter Sara Lindsey (1964- ), moved to Tallahassee, Florida, in 1965, and began gardening and researching historic varieties of daffodils on their property on Lake Lafayette in 1974. Linda is a self-taught painter and widely-exhibited artist, including at the LeMoyne Arts in Tallahassee, where she also served as curator. After working for several Florida State government agencies, John retired in 1991, and focused on his daffodil research, his work with the American Daffodil Society as Regional Director, and organizing the Florida Daffodil Society. He became recognized as an authority on daffodil culture in the South. After John's death in 2001, Linda co-authored, with her daughter Sara, Daffodils in Florida: A Field Guide to the Coastal South (2004), building on years of research compiled by John.

Biographical / Historical

John Van Beck established the Florida Daffodil Society in 1994, and served as first president. The society promoted the planting of daffodils in private and public gardens, and researched historic and modern daffodils that could do well in Florida. The society also performed daffodil trials, produced a newsletter, Florida Daffodil Society News, and held bulb sales, flower shows, lectures, and other educational outreach activities. The society distributed over 390,000 daffodil bulbs to public garden and master gardener project gardens. After John's death in 2001, Linda helped grow the organization through various roles, including president. The society was a member of the American Daffodil Society and established the John Van Beck Medal for the Best Historic Bloom at the ADS National Convention in 2002. Also in 2002, the John Van Beck Memorial Daffodil Garden was established at McCord Park in Tallahassee, Florida. The society disbanded in 2017.


1.25 linear ft. (three document cases)




This collection is arranged in two series: Series I: Florida Daffodil Society records; and Series II: John C. and Linda M. Van Beck papers. Series' folders are arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2018

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2021.

Florida Daffodil Society records and papers of John C. and Linda M. Van Beck
Jennie Oldfield
July 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305