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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Visit the Library

The Horticultural Library and Archives are currently closed, as are all the buildings at the Arnold Arboretum. You may visit the library online and engage with library staff via email. Lisa Pearson, ca. 2010.
Library reading room

Covid Notice

The physical location of the library in the Hunnewell Building is closed to the public in response to COVID. We do not know when we will reopen. We are open virtually and our staff is happy to assist you. Please email us at for service.

Standard Hours

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.

We are open to the public Monday through Friday, 10:00am–4:00pm, and closed on weekends and holidays. Changes in hours of operation are posted here [scroll down to Arnold Arboretum].

When the Visitor Center is open, please see a greeter for library access. When the Visitor Center is closed, call the library at 617.522.1086 from the courtesy phone in the lobby.

No coats or bags are allowed in the library; check them in the lockers on the first floor. Please refer to our Use of the Library and Archives guidelines.

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.

At Your Service

We are pleased to assist you with navigating our collections. We can provide introductions to our materials, training on our systems, and interlibrary loans for onsite use.
Please e-mail us at

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.