Tuesday, 17 January 2017      Home | Membership

Vinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo Slider

Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library

Massachusetts Horticultural Society shares its collection
of Botanical Prints through the Digital Commonwealth


Thanks to three months of collaboration between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and Digital Commonwealth, more than 1,000 rare images from the oldest horticultural library in the nation are now available at the click of a button. With prints dating from 1620 to 1969, Mass Hort’s Botanical Print Collection captures more than three centuries in the evolution of botanical illustration, offering an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and authors in the field of horticultural….(read more)

To View Mass Hort’s Digital Botanical Print Collection: Click here.

About the Library

Creating a practical library was a top priority for the founding members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in 1829. Today, the 20,000-volume library is a testament to their vision and a symbol of the Society's steadfast role as a champion for horticultural in America.

Housed at the historic Elm Bank estate in Wellesley, the library is at the heart of Mass Hort. With more than 40,000 items spanning three centuries, including numerous rare editions, the collection of books, periodicals, and illustrations encapsulates the development of American horticulture. The exquisitely illustrated seed and nursery catalogs along provide critical historical insight for botanical research. More than just a repository, Mass Hort's library is an archive of the science of horticulture, and a showcase for scholarship in the field.

We welcome visitors, researchers, scholars, and authors to browse through the stacks at our library and to peruse our digitized official history books and historical Transactions. Follow the link http://archive.org/details/masshorticulturalsociety.

The library is located at the Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley

Mass Hort's Library in the news

In August 2011, Smithsonian magazine published an article about Charles Hovey, a leader of the Society in the mid-19th century. Mr. Hovey was a pioneer in the publication of illustrations and books that catalogued the fruit varieties found in America. In the course of their research for the article, Smithsonian visited the Mass Hort library and photographed Mr. Hovey's portrait and samples of the illustrations from his books. To read the article, please click here.

Library Schedule

The library is usually open on weekdays from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. It may be a good idea to check in advance with Maureen Horn, Librarian, at 617-933-4912 or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Library holdings online 

Click here to view our online listings: Online Catalog. We also provide additional resources, including General Onefile, Academic Onefile, New York Times Archives, Massachusetts History Online and Health Reference Center.

MassHort Library Book Return Policy

Patrons returning MassHort Library books must return the library materials during library open hours. Members can also return items via mail and pay for any postage incurred.


Maureen Horn, Librarian
(617) 933-4912
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New England Garden History SocietyJournals

The MassHort staff is gratified that there has been continuing interest in the scholarship and artistry that was created by the authors who wrote for the Journals of the New England Garden History Society across twelve years and eleven volumes, which were published between 1991 and 2003. During that time, the Journal was founded and edited by Judith B. Tankard. One can remain current with her activities at www.judithtankard.com.

We offer below three entry points to the contents of the publications. A comprehensive index of all eleven volumes will appear at the end of the summer.

Back issues of the Journal can be ordered by contacting the Library at the Elm Bank Horticulture Center, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482; 617-933-4910; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click on the following link to view or download the indexes:


Seed Catalogs

The scientific documentation and art history represented in the Society’s seed and nursery catalog collection are part of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s legacy to horticultural research. Although we own many catalogs with an earlier date, MHS did not begin to deliberately collect them until 1880, just in time to benefit from the Golden Age in seed catalog design. Professor Charles S. Sargent, director of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum donated many catalogs, both American and foreign, and an exchange with the library of the U. S. Department of Agriculture brought many more. Because several of the Society’s founding members were nurserymen, there are early catalogs bearing their names, most notably that of Joseph Breck. By the 1930’s more fanciful names began to appear, e. g. Weathered Oak Herb Farm, in 1937. Click on the following links to view the listings of the MHS collection of U. S. and International Seed catalogs available in our archives.

New Books in the Library!

Call Number
The garden of reading
PS 648 .G37 2005
Cohen, Russ
Wild plants I have known…and eaten
QK 98.5 .U6 C64 2004 Herb Society
Cooley, Laurel B.
The Bartlett way
HF 6201 .T73 C66 2007
Cullina, William
Native ferns, moss & grasses
SB 429 .C85 2008
Halda, Josef J.
The genus Paeonia
SB 413 .P4 H24 2004
Hayward, Allyson
Norah Lindsay
SB 470 .L56 H39 2007
Kingsolver, Barbara
Animal, vegetable, miracle
S 521.5 .A67 K56 2007
Kuskin, Karla
Green as a bean
PZ 8.3 .K96 Sq 2007 CHILD
Lambert, Alice Caron
Book of roses
SB 411 .L24 2004
Lowenfels, Jeff
Teaming with microbes
S 591 .L59 2006
Marder, Brenda L.
Stewards of the land
S 539 .G8 a455 2004
Mickel, John
Ferns for American gardens
SB 429 .M515 2003
Nash, Helen
Complete guide to water garden plants
SB 423 .N355 2003
Page, Martin
The gardener’s peony
SB 413 .P4 P342
Petherick, Tom
SB 466 .G7 H45 2004
Purnell, Bob
Container gardens by number
SB 418 .P87 2004
Rathbone, Belinda
The Guyd
DA 826 .R38 2005
Rochester, Margot
Earthly delights
SB 453 .R625 2004
Rushing, Felder
Dig, plant, grow
SB 457 .F869 2004
Simeone, Vincent A.
Great flowering landscape shrubs
SB 435 .S483 2005
Simonet-Avril, Anne
SB 371 .L37 s45 2005
Smith, P. Allen
P. Allen Smith’s container gardens
SB 418 .S64 2005
Smith, P. Allen
P. Allen Smith’s garden home
SB 473 .S575 2003
Stewart, Amy
The earth moved
QL 391 .A6 s733 2004
Stuart, David C.
Classic garden plans
SB 472 .S79 2004
Wasowski, Sally
Requiem for a lawnmower
SB 439 .W38 2004
Whittaker, Paul
Hardy bamboos
SB 317 .B2 W49 2005
Williams, Paul
Container gardening
SB 418 .W5199 2004
Wilson, Emily Herring
No one gardens alone
SB 63 .L36 W56 2004
Wressel, Christina
A bouquet of roses
SB 449.3 .R67 W74 2005

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2016-2017 Calendar & Courses