The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture serves students, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the general public interested in horticulture and related subject.
We acquire and maintain a comprehensive reference collection of material including books, periodicals, nursery catalogs, pamphlets, slides, and videos. Patrons can search our online catalog from our website or at workstations at the library. Because the collection is non-circulating, there is a well-lit reading room where visitors may sit while using the collections. There are computer workstations, slide viewers, a VCR, and photocopiers (color and black & white) available.
The Library houses more than 23,000 books on horticulture and related topics, with particular emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and other mild temperate climates.
Children's Circulating Collection
The Library houses more than 1,600 children's books related to botanical and horticultural topics, including natural history, zoology, agriculture, forestry, and physical science. This collection is the Library's only circulating collection and can be checked out by current San Francisco Botanical Garden Society members and current San Francisco teachers after successfully applying for a library card. Learn more about checking out books and how to get a library card.
Our unique collection includes nearly 350 current magazine subscriptions, as well as many non-current out-of-print titles.
Visitors interested in locating sources of garden plants have access to more than 1000 current retail, wholesale, and equipment catalogs. We also have archival catalog holdings useful to researchers in horticultural history.
Information about the Garden
Printouts of plantings in the Garden are available, with listings by accession number, botanical name, family, or bed number. Information about the history of the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society is also available, along with archival materials, including historical photographs of Golden Gate Park.
Our annotated bibliographies of children's books, ethnobotany, bamboo, gardening and nature study, plant arts and crafts, Asian art and gardens, culinary botany, etc. are available; other subject bibliographies and updates in process.