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About the Collections

Our Library & Archives are valuable learning resources for those interested in the fields of horticulture, botany and the allied arts and sciences. 

The Longwood Gardens Library was originally founded in 1953 to house founder Pierre S. du Pont’s collection of horticultural, botanical, and related works.  The library has since grown into a working collection of approximately 31,000 volumes of books and serials, including special collections.    

The Longwood Gardens Archives holds institutional records from the time of Mr. du Pont’s death in 1954 to present.  Papers created and collected by Mr. du Pont during his lifetime are housed at Hagley Museum and Library.

We are a member of The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL).

Main Collection

Monographs and series in support of the Gardens’ interests and activities. This collection includes works encompassing the subjects of horticulture and botany (including Flora series of the geographical regions of the world).

Periodicals Collection

Onsite, access our article search databases, including JSTOR; BioOne Complete; Gale Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture; and Plant Disease. Back issues of currently published and out-of-print magazines, both bound and unbound—some going back many years. We also subscribe to over 300 current periodicals.

Rare and Special Collection

These collections consist of scarce, fragile, or unique published materials. At the core of this collection are published works owned by Mr. Pierre S. du Pont as part of his personal horticulture library. Other materials document and illustrate the historical context of the Longwood story.

Examples of this guiding principle are rare, beautiful, or unique publications relating to the historical development of the built environment (fountains, for example); American estate and country house gardens; public gardens; horticultural interests of Pierre and Alice du Pont; travels of Pierre and Alice du Pont; design styles strongly evident within the Gardens (formal gardens, for example); history of European gardens; decorative garden ornament; fountains; fireworks; significant publications and botanical illustrations of the taxa represented in the plant collections (especially the core plant collections); history and development of the Longwood land; 18th- and 19th-century floras (as relate to the plant collections); as well as American horticultural history.

Access to these materials is by appointment only.

Archives Collection

The Archives is home to institutional records from 1954 to present, including blueprints, photographs, property maps, and recordings in several formats. The Archives also house Longwood Gardens’ artifact collection.