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• Stories from the
Rare Book Collection
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The general collection contains books and journals on such subjects as botany, horticulture, gardening, plant conservation, restoration ecology, horticultural therapy, Midwest flora, international flora, landscape design, garden design, phytopathology, soil science, pest and disease diagnosis, and more.
The periodical collection includes about 300 current subscriptions to academic journals, horticulture journals, gardening magazines, plant society journals, and newsletters.
Rare Books and Journals
The Lenhardt Library is focused on developing a collection of national prominence that strengthens its service to researchers and the visiting public. In 2002, the Library acquired a collection of rare books and journals from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society of Boston. This acquisition brought to the Chicago Botanic Garden a truly magnificent collection of approximately 2,000 rare books and 2,000 historic periodical titles. Find out more about our rare book collection here.
Housed in the Lenhardt Library, the archive of the Chicago Horticultural Society holds approximately 200 linear feet of documents. To view unrestricted archival material, please make an appointment by calling the library at
Containing approximately 1,000 catalogs, our collection of sources for seeds and plants is updated annually to include the latest catalogs from specialists around the country.
With some 10,000 slides, this resource is available to Garden staff for lectures, presentations, and classes. Slides include images of specific plants and gardens as well as historic Garden events.
Current Books on Gardening & Botany
The Lenhardt Library is the publisher of a unique journal, Current Books on Gardening & Botany, an internet-only review of new books on gardening, horticulture, and botany. Started in 1999, the journal features reviews that are written primarily by the staff and volunteers of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The collection includes 600 videos on gardening, gardens, flower shows, and other topics.
A variety of books including such curriculum materials as teaching gardening, teaching environmental science, nature crafts, and science fair projects.