Collections - The Arboretum
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Library History

“One of the nine objectives put forth in 1948 by the California Arboretum Foundation Board administrator for the newly founded Los Angeles State County Arboretum, was library service. A reference library for staff members only was the original intent in planning for a library, but since Arboretum objectives included both research and public information, it was soon apparent that the library must eventually become both a staff and a public resource.” (From: What’s in an Arboretum Library by Lydia S. Bowen, LASCA Leaves, Summer 1966, Vol. XVI, No. 3)

Subjects include, but are not limited to:

• Plants grown in Mediterranean and semi-tropical climates
• All aspects of gardens and gardening
• Garden design
• Plant lore
• Medical botany
• Specific kinds of plants; both native and non-native
• Horticultural history
• Ethnobotany and economic plants
• Botanical art, illustration and nature crafts


The Library houses more than 30,000 books with a particular emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and semi-tropical climates.
• More than 25,000 books in open stacks, accessible through the online catalog
• Children’s books are housed in the Children’s Room toward the back of the library
• Fiction – explore mysteries and more with plant related themes
• Oversized books, reference works and some other groups housed separately
• Rare book collection housed separately – books retrieved for viewing on request
• New books are housed on the display racks on the stacks in the front of the library.  Preview new books and articles here.


Over 5,000 E-books are accessible through the online catalog for  Arboretum members.  Preview new e-books and instructions here.


The collection includes nearly 110 current magazine subscriptions, as well as 500 non-current or out-of-print titles, covering botany, popular gardening, plant society magazines, green industry magazines and magazines from other botanic gardens.

Nursery Catalogs

Visitors interested in locating sources of garden plants have access to more than 50 current retail, wholesale and equipment catalogs. The Library also has extensive archival catalog holdings useful to researchers in horticultural history.

Additional Collections

• Pamplets – A variety of pamphlets are integrated into the books stacks with bibliographics entries in the card catalog
• Slides – The William Aplin slide collection contains 7,000 images of plants, landscapes and the Arboretum taked from the 1940s to the 1980s. The plant slides are searchable in electronic format in BG-BASE
• Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden Plant Collection Lists – lists are arranged by genus, family, accession number and Arboretum location
• CDs, videos and DVDs
• Historical photograph collection – Over 1000 historical photographs of the Arboretum and environs including “Lucky” Baldwin ranch pictures as well as movies and television programs filmed here.

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© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007