Lenhardt Library Collections

General Collection
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, and pest and disease diagnosis, in formats including print and e-books.

Youth Collection
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. More than 1,000 items—including board books and foreign-language books in Spanish, German, and Polish—are available in the Kids Corner.

Activity Books
A variety of books for adults to use with their children or students include nature crafts, science fair projects ideas, and ecology. There are books that demonstrate best practices to teach gardening and support curricula.

Periodical Collection
The periodical collection includes about 200 current print and online subscriptions to academic journals, horticulture journals, gardening magazines, plant society journals, and newsletters. American Gardener and Orchid Digest are just two examples.

Rare Books and Journals
The Lenhardt Library is developing a collection of national prominence that strengthens its service to staff 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, or 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 noon and 4 p.m.

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 the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Discover more about the Archives and view the Finding Aid here. Viewing of unrestricted archival material is by appointment only. Please call (847) 835-8201 to make an appointment.
Lenhardt Library