Index to American Botanical Literature

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Compiled by William R. Buck
With the assistance of Gena Fernandez and Thomas A. Zanoni
From the resources of The LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden

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(Last updated 15 May 2003)

The Index to American Botanical Literature has provided a service to the American botanical community for over a century, published initially in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club and subsequently in Brittonia. Beginning in 1886, when Elizabeth Britton of The New York Botanical Garden was editor, the Index has provided bibliographic data both on books and articles in periodicals. In 1999, the Index went to an entirely electronic format.

The Index contains entries dealing with various aspects of extant and fossil American plants and fungi, including systematics and floristics, morphology, and ecology, as well as economic botany and general botany (publications dealing with botanists, herbaria, etc.). "America" is defined in the broadest possible sense, encompassing land and marine plants and fungi from Greenland to Antarctica. American territory outside this area, e.g., Hawaii, is not included.

The searchable database includes all those entries published in the Index since 1996, and thus includes botanical literature appearing since late 1995. We have made minimal progress in retrospective cataloging, and will continue to add older literature as time and manpower are available. If a bibliographic entry is not in the Index, it probably means either (1) the subject matter was considered inappropriate (e.g., physiology, genetics), or (2) the publication has not arrived at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden.

If the publication has not arrived, it is possible the journal is not received by the Library or, if a book, that it was not purchased. The Library is particularly strong on systematic botany (including mycology) literature on a worldwide basis. If a journal has only meager botanical inclusions, it may not be received. In these cases, a reprint would be most welcome, and would be included in the database and subsequently deposited in the Library's reprint collection. These may be sent to: Dr. William R. Buck, Institute of Systematic Botany, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126, U.S.A.

Errors, typographic or otherwise, should be called to the attention of William R. Buck (

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