Library of Botany and Horticulture
The Library was founded in 1875 in the Singapore Botanic Gardens and is one of the oldest specialized libraries in Southeast Asia. The Library was renamed in 2005 as the Library of Botany and Horticulture.It holds over 120,000 accessioned items, including more than 30,000 books. The Library’s collection is a rare and irreplaceable resource that supports the work of the Gardens staff, students, and researchers across the globe in a diverse range of science and horticulture disciplines. The collection contains books, periodicals, field books, botanical artwork, historical maps of the Gardens and various other print and digital media. The Library is equipped with Wireless@SG wifi service. The Library’s collections are held in two areas: the Public Reference Library (unrestricted access & open to public) and the Staff Library (restricted access).
The Public Reference Library & The Staff Library
Monday to Thursday
9.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m
9.00 a.m – 3.00 p.m
Weekends & Public Holidays
Search the Library Catalogue
The Library of Botany and Horticulture holds a variety of collections for specialist botanical and horticultural resources. 70% of the collection is searchable in the Library Catalogue
The Staff Library
The Staff Library holds the majority of the print media collection. Many important international scientific journals, bibliographies, reference books, botanical reprints, monographs on botany and taxonomic studies are held here. The collection has been acquired by gift, purchase and exchange and is a highly regarded resource in Singapore for materials on plant science, horticulture, nature, natural history, ethnobotany, landscaping, botanical research and conservation. The Staff Library is only accessible to the staff of the National Parks Board and visiting researchers; other interested parties are required to write in to the Deputy Director/Library, Training & External Relations to gain permission to consult the collection.
Rare Books Collection and Archives
Within the Staff Library is a secured room which holds the Rare Books collection and the Gardens’ Archives. The oldest book held in this room dates back to 1531. Around 2,000 botanical artworks dating back to 1890, important archival materials such as documents, letters, annual reports, photos and slides pertaining to the Gardens under colonial administration and beyond are also kept here.
Access to the Rare Books and Gardens’ Archives collections is restricted and prior approval needs to be obtained from the Deputy Director/ Library, Training & External Relations. The Library does not entertain drop-in request to consult the archives collection.
The Public Reference Library
The Public Reference Library is open to the general public. The collections are only for reference and not for loan but a photocopying facility is available at a cost. Reading areas and public computer terminals for viewing audiovisual materials (e.g. cds, dvds) are available in this section. This library also holds many general books on horticulture, conservation, landscaping, floral design, botanical science, ethnobotany, natural history, botanically themed children’s books and local newspapers. In this library is also displayed a large, colourful wall tapestry that depicts iconic structures, animals and plants of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
- Carpological Display
Located at the far end of this library, is the well-illuminated glass display cabinet containing a carpological (fruit) collection. Showcased are a few very unique, rare and beautiful dried carpological specimens that are well labelled.
- Herbarium Display and General Display
Also displayed in this library are around a hundred specially prepared sets of herbarium specimens of common plants found in Singapore for reference. This self-help collection allows library visitors to try their hand in identifying their own plant samples.
- General Display
Small exhibits of ethnobotanically important items derived from plants are regularly showcased in this library. The exhibits are normally changed every six months.