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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Visit the Library

The Horticultural Library and Archives are open by appointment only. Please email at least a day in advance to schedule your visit. You may visit the library online and engage with library staff via email at Lisa Pearson, ca. 2010.
Library reading room

At Your Service
We are pleased to assist you with navigating our collections.
Please e-mail us at

Charles S. Sargent and Charles E. Faxon seated in front of herbarium cases.
The founder of the Arboretum Library Charles Sprague Sargent and the first librarian Charles Edward Faxon. Unknown photographer, 1882. Arnold Arboretum Archives.

Standard Hours

We are open to the public by appointment Tuesday through Friday, 10:00am–4:00pm. Changes in hours of operation are posted here [scroll down to Arnold Arboretum]. Please email at least 24 hours in advance to reserve a time for your visit. Because of our limited staffing, we cannot accept drop in guests.

No coats or bags are allowed in the library; please ask the Visitor Center staff for assistance in checking them in the lockers on the first floor. Please refer to our Use of the Library and Archives guidelines.

Covid Notice

We follow Harvard University Covid guidelines. Masking is optional in the library. If you are not feeling well on the day of your visit, or think you may have been exposed, please contact us to reschedule.

Our Philosophy

As a small collection in the Harvard Library system, the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives’ success is the result of the quality, dedication, and special expertise of our staff. Teamwork, cooperation, courtesy, and respect coupled with the desire to share information with all who seek it are our guiding principles.

A corner of the library in a 1903 photograph by Thomas Marr.
A corner of the library in a 1903 photograph by Thomas Marr. Archives of the Arnold Arboretum.

Permissions, Licensing, Imaging Services

We regulate the use of materials in our collections. Our access, reproduction, and publication policies were established by the Library with the advice of Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel. Our policies balance the needs of patrons, the rights of the copyright holder, and our rights and responsibilities towards our collections.

Our licensing agreement, permissions documents, and fee schedules:

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries logo

Member of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries.

An international organization whose purpose is to initiate and improve communications among persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance and use of libraries of botanical and horticultural literature.