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Lenhardt Library Collections

General Collection
The general collection 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, and more.

Periodical Collection
The periodical collection includes about 350 current print and online subscriptions to academic journals, horticulture journals, gardening magazines, plant society journals, and newsletters.

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 2,000 rare books and 2,000 historic periodical titles. Find out more about our rare book collection here.

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.

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:

Nursery Catalogs
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.

10,000 slides are available to Garden staff for lectures, presentations, and classes. Slides images include specific plants and gardens as well as historic Garden events.

Current Books on Gardening & Botany
The Lenhardt Library is the publisher of an e-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 volunteers of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

DVDs (Videos)
The collection includes 600 DVDs and videos on gardening, gardens, flower shows, and other topics.

Teacher Materials
A variety of books including such curriculum materials as teaching gardening, teaching environmental science, nature crafts, and science fair projects.