“If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
At The Morton Arboretum, we’re fortunate to have not only a garden, but also a library. The Sterling Morton Library gives visitors multiple ways to explore, learn, and be inspired.
Think of the Sterling Morton Library as a constellation of collections, resources, and able information navigators to support the exploration and research of trees, shrubs, and other plants and their environments. With collections mainly focused on botany, horticulture and related subjects, expert staff is available to assist, support, and guide.
Open to all, the Library and its collections present an array of resources ranging from highly scientific works to general gardening guides to a robust children’s collection. Knowledge and information about plants comes in all shapes, sizes and formats: an original letter written by Joy Morton, an eBook on ginkgos, graphite drawings of oak leaves, slides of the grounds, gardening books, scientific journals… the list goes on. And, thanks to our online databases and open hours, users have multiple options for accessing this information both on- and off-site. Those planning a visit to the Library are invited to explore the interactive Plant Hunters exhibit, go on an origami paper crane hunt, or relax in the May T. Watts Reading Garden.
Arboretum staff, members, and volunteers have borrowing privileges for our circulating and eBook collections. Not an Arboretum member? We actively participate in interlibrary loans and regularly send resources from our collections to other libraries. Contact your public or academic library to find out about this service.
Special collections items like early Arboretum photographic images, illustrations by noted botanical artists and audio presentations by Arboretum experts are available for study, viewing, and listening both on-site and via ACORN, our recently launched collections management system. On-site access to special collections items is by appointment. ACORN, our growing collection of digital resources, supports access and research of our special collections. Interested in viewing artwork by May Theilgaard Watts? Want to read early Arboretum publications? ACORN provides access to these resources as well as a host of others.
So this summer, dive into the collections and resources of the Sterling Morton Library. Visit the Arboretum and the Library to determine if, like Cicero, you have everything you need.