The New York Botanical Garden


Collection Development

The Acquisitions Department identifies and collects publications in print and digital formats with subjects relating to plant studies. These materials reflect the programs of The New York Botanical Garden in Science, Horticulture and Education. Materials are received as purchases, as gifts, or through exchange with other botanical and academic institutions throughout the United States and in Europe, Africa, China and countries in Central and South America.

The collections are used Garden staff as well as by people and organizations outside of the Garden. The work of these professionals and students cannot be conducted at the highest level of achievement without access to the best and most current thinking in their respective fields.

The LuEsther T Mertz Library maintains as comprehensive collection within the core disciplines of floristics and plant taxonomy. The Library also collects research materials in arboriculture, biodiversity conservation, botanical illustration, ecology, ethnobotany, floral arrangement, forestry, gardening, garden history and design, horticulture, landscape history and design, parks, plant anatomy and physiology, plant ecology, plant molecular biology, propagation, and other areas of plant studies. The collection policies reflect the work of the Education, Horticulture and Science departments and the mission of The New York Botanical Garden as a steward of the plant world.

Ongoing projects

The library holds over 1600 active subscriptions to journals from around the world and adds hundreds of monographic items each year in dozens of languages. Annual analysis of the acquisitions patterns provides data for strategic collection development and includes comparing the library catalog against published bibliographies and reviewing the use statistics for accessing library resources. The department completed a title by title comparison of Frodin’s Guide to standard floras of the world (2nd edition) against the library catalog. This review revealed that the Library holds over 80% of the published world floras listed in Frodin and identified titles the library lacks for future acquisition.

Electronic Resource Management

The acquisitions department oversees the management of electronic resources provided by the library for use by staff and patrons. Resources are selected for their relevance to the study of plants and are made available through a subscription with True Serials. These resources are organized within two sections: Journals and Databases. Some of the resources are available only to authorized users. The department continues to evolve in response to subscription cancellations and format shifts, and growth in the acquisition of e-resources.

Exchange Program

The library has been engaged in exchanging publications with other organizations and institutions since the library was formed in the early 20th century. The exchange program offers New York Botanical Garden publications to participating libraries around the world in trade for publications from their home institutions.

Bookplate Program

In coordination with the Development Office the Library offers an opportunity to recognize remarkable people or events at the same time as contributing to the work of the Garden through the Library Bookplate program. The acquisitions department works with the Development Office and with donors to select titles which will contain a personalized memorial or honorary bookplate. Contact the Development Office for details.

Book Sale and Journal Duplicates

The acquisitions department accepts gifts and donations of books and magazines for the library.

If the book or magazine duplicates a copy already held by the library, the acquisitions department will arrange to send the magazine to other libraries for the cost of postage. The list of available titles can be found here. Contact with the title, volume and issue number and the complete mailing address and contact information of the requesting library. Books received as gifts that duplicate library holdings or which fall outside of the subject areas collected by the library will be offered for sale in the Reference area of the library. These items must be picked up in person in the library.