Plant Talk

Creepy Creatures: Images from the Mertz Library’s Special Collection

Posted in Inside our Collections on October 21, 2022, by Rose Octelene & Cosette Patterson

Rose Octelene is the Resource Sharing Librarian at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and Cosette Patterson is the Digital Marketing Coordinator of The New York Botanical Garden.

An illustration of a pumpkin, depicting the full fruit, the pumpkin cut in half, and both the inside and outside of the seeds.

NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library is full of fascinating and fearsome records. In honor of Fall-O-Ween, we’ve selected several petrifying prints, all held within the Library’s special collections and rare books. Though spooky, these illustrations are important historical and biological records of various species (most real, some mythological).

These images and more can be viewed in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an online, open access consortium of which the Mertz Library was a founding member. Fact is stranger than fiction—where do you think the idea for Dracula sprouted, or tales about supernatural spiders? Bewitching beasts like these, of course!

Bats, frogs, even a six-headed monster await you below—peek at your own risk!

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