The purpose of the Library of the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum, founded in 1815, is, to collect the botanical literature on a worldwide basis as complete as possible and to make it accessible to the users. The library thus holds a wide range of literature on plants from all over the world, in all printed languages and from five centuries, among them precious and very rare books.
The library welcomes everyone who is interested to read about botanical topics, such as, e.g. plant identification, medicinal and other useful plants, plants and people, nature conservation, vegetation.
The library is a reference library, which means that literature can be consulted (and in most cases also copied) in the library but that loans are not permitted.
General collections: Plant science, phytotaxonomy (all groups, including fungi), plant geography (including vegetation science and plant ecology), applied botany (plants used by man, ornamental plants, ethnobotany), nature and species conservation, nomenclature, history of botany.
Special collections: Linnaeana,
publications on botanic gardens and other botanical institutions,
microfiche editions of herbaria, plant images, history and
technique of botanical illustration, portraits and handwritings of
botanists, biographical material, travel accounts, seed lists,
Holdings in numbers (December 2012):
All major bibliographies are kept in the reading room.
For the period 1955 - c.1981 a card index supplements the Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature.
Internet connection is provided for WWW inquiries.
The staff is prepared to provide help in further enquiries.
The Library of the BGBM is founding member of the
European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group (EBHL).