The general collection is for staff, members, and visitors and contains books and journals on subjects such 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, in formats from print and e-books formats.
The youth collection supports early literacy and contains books for toddlers through young adults.
The books support story time, summer reading, and drop-in library programs. Educational toys, games, and puzzles are for use in the library. Over 1,000 items from board books, to Spanish, German, and Polish languages books are available in the Kids Corner.
Parent and Teacher Resources
A variety of books for adults to use with their children or students include nature crafts, science fair projects ideas, demonstrate best practices to teach gardening, ecology, and support curricula.
The periodical collection includes about 350 current print and online subscriptions to academic journals, horticulture journals, gardening magazines, plant society journals, and newsletters. American Gardener, Garden Railways, and Orchid Digest, are just a sampling.
Rare Books and Journals
The Lenhardt Library is 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 2,500 rare books and 2,000 historic periodical titles. Find out more about our rare book collection.
To view an item, please make an appointment by calling the library at (847) 835-8201. Appointments are generally available on Wednesday – Friday afternoons, between 12-4pm.
Archives of the Chicago Horticultural Society
Housed in the Lenhardt Library, the Archives of the Chicago Horticultural Society holds approximately 250 linear feet of documents pertaining to the history of the Society and Chicago Botanic Garden. Viewing of unrestricted archival material is by appointment only. Please call (847) 835-8201 to make an appointment.
Discover more about the Archives and view the Finding Aid here: cbhl.libguides.com/CHSarchives.
Containing approximately 1,000 catalogs, the collection of sources for seeds and plants is updated annually to include the latest catalogs from specialists around the country.