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The Library - collections

About the Collections | Pictorial | Reports | Archive | Rare Book | Plant Identification Tools | Biographical

About the collections


The book collection of nearly 30,000 items focuses on the taxonomy, biology and horticulture of Australian plants.
General themes include the ecology and conservation of Australian plants, especially endangered species, biodiversity, environmental issues for Australia, the use of plants by First Nations Australians, landscape design, botanical art, botanic gardens and herbaria, Australian national parks, history of Australian exploration and plant collecting, and floras of other countries.
The Library has major collections on cryptogams and on orchids, with literature from worldwide sources.

The journal collection has a similar focus to the books. Titles range from general interest magazines such as Gardening Australia to academic titles on very specific topics such as Mycotaxon.
All journal titles held by the Library are listed in the Library catalogue. Electronic versions of a selection of these are available to staff and to library visitors.

Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) library collection
ABRS staff are located at the Gardens and the collection is located within the ANBG Library. All material is included in the Library catalogue. This collection comprises titles on Australian flora and fauna, including journals from the major Australian natural history museums.

Map collection
The Library holds sets of 1:100,000 and 1:250,000 topographical maps for Australia.
Selected 1:25,000 topographical maps and some geological, soil and vegetation maps are also held.

Audiovisual collection
A small collection of videos and dvds, all catalogued.

Reprint collection
This collection contains articles and protologs. Mostly uncatalogued.

Vertical file
This uncatalogued collection contains pamphlets, clippings and photocopies on botanic gardens and on topics of general interest.

Seed list collection or Index seminum
These are institutions' lists of plant seeds which are available to other institutions for purchase or trade in seeds. The ANBG collection contains contemporary lists from botanic gardens worldwide.

Exsiccatae collection
The ANBG Library collection comprises booklets containing sets of labels for plant specimens, mostly cryptogams. This collection is catalogued.

Herbaria on microfiche
The Library holds microfiche sets of images of plant specimens for five orchid herbaria, i.e. Lindley Orchid Herbarium, the Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames, Reichenbach Herbarium, Smith Herbarium and Wallich Herbarium.

Library pictorial collection

Comprises more than 500 images with approximately 250 being listed in the library catalogue. The collection includes original botanical art with two large collections of illustrations by Collin Woolcock and Elizabeth McDonald.
The main image collections of the ANBG are managed by the Photograph Curator.


Miscellaneous unpublished reports about research conducted in the Botanic Gardens, consultants' reports about various aspects of the Botanic Gardens and its activities, internal staff reports on Botanic Gardens activities etc.   Index Page

Archive collection

This collection includes ANBG publications, pamphlets, and press clippings relating to the ANBG. Unpublished material held in this collection includes field note books, architectural and site plans, early planting lists, stock take records and copies of correspondence.

Rare book collection

A collection of over 400 items, which require special storage due to their age, rarity, value, fragile condition, or size. These items are generally not available for loan.

Plant identification tools

A range of interactive identification tools are available on the ABRS website. Other biological identification tools can be accessed via the Lucid Central site.

The ANBG Library has a large collection of identification books for various geographical regions and for different plant taxa. Please check the Library catalogue.

Biographical collections

The Library holds biographical files on staff and others associated with the ANBG, as well as published biographies and files on botanists, plant collectors, botanical illustrators, horticulturists and landscape architects.


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