Photo of a book in the Mertz Library's rare book room


For more information about archives and manuscripts, please use the link below to search the finding guides for these collections.

Finding guides

Archives and Manuscripts

The Archives of The New York Botanical Garden provide a comprehensive history of the growth and development of The Garden since its inception in 1891 as well as chart the history of American botanical science and horticulture as fields of study. The departmental records chronicle the growth and development of the Garden as a major international scientific, educational, and cultural institution and document the relationships between Garden staff with colleagues at other botanical, horticultural, and cultural institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries, both in this country and abroad. Manuscripts of important botanists, horticulturists, and educators provide a wealth of information about the individuals and their notable accomplishments.

The collections contain nearly a mile of unpublished archival documents and manuscripts such as correspondence, working papers, field notebooks, photographs, architectural plans, maps, illustrations, portraits, and artifacts.

The Archives are arranged in three main categories:

  • The institutional records were created as a result of official Garden activities.
  • The personal papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, research notes, and other materials from botanists, horticulturists, and landscape designers associated with the history of botany and horticulture in the U.S. and the growth and evolution of the Garden and its work.
  • The repository archives are the historical records of selected botanical and horticultural organizations, plant societies and plant-related business and industry.

Descriptive records for many collections may also be found in the Garden’s online catalog. The archives and manuscript collections are only available for researchers with an appointment. Try searching ARCHIVEGRID to discover primary source materials for your research.