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Chinese water lily from The New Botanic Garden, by Sydenham Edwards, 1812

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Books and Journals

The General Research Collection is housed on compact shelving in the new, 9,000 square- foot, environmentally controlled storage facility and consists of over 105,000 titles of books published after 1850, and nearly all of the Library’s 12,000 serial titles.

The Rare Book and Folio Collections, housed in the Rare Book and Folio Room, include the earliest manuscripts and printed books as well as some of the most beautiful volumes held by the Library. The Rare Book Collection is limited to pre-Linnean works (published before 1753), and the writings of Carl von Linné. The Folio Collection is particularly notable for its holdings of 18th and 19th century books featuring many fine botanical plates, rendered in print from paintings and drawings by important botanical artists as Pierre Joseph Redouté, Pancrace Bessa, George Dionysius Ehret, and Walter Hood Fitch.

The Pre-1850 Collection is made up of more that 5,200 books and serial titles published between the years 1753 and 1850. The collection is particularly noteworthy for its early American imprints. A few titles published after 1850, works of exceptional value or rarity, are housed with this collection for safekeeping.

The Circulating Collection is a small, select collection of roughly 3,300 titles of popular books focused on basic botany, gardening, and landscape design. These books may be borrowed for home use, for up to three weeks, by Members of the Garden, Volunteers, and Garden staff and students enrolled in the Graduate Program and the School of Professional Horticulture.

The Reference Collection is a carefully selected non-circulating collection of immediate value to the library staff and visitors for their quick reference content. It is housed in the Reference Room. These books include dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, directories, and bibliographies. Other authoritative works useful for plant identification, information concerning poisonous plants, plant care and maintenance, diagnosis of plant pests and diseases, or locating sources of plants in the trade are also found in the collection.

The Bindery Collection is a special collection of books about the care, conservation, and preservation of library materials. It is kept in the Conservation Lab but may be consulted by Library users.

The Herbarium Library is a departmental collection kept near the work areas of the members of the botanical science staff. It consists mostly of duplicate holdings from the general research collection, or specialized titles consulted by researchers on a daily basis.

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