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The Natural Resources Library (NRL) was created by a merger of the Forestry Library and the Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife (EFW) Library in the summer of 2012. Each library brought a rich collection and history of its own.

The EFW Library’s collection included books, serials, and state and federal documents. It began with the collections of Otto Lugger, the first entomologist for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, and Father Francis Jager, a faculty member whose bee collection came to the library in 1930. EFW also brought to the new NRL an extensive collection of rare books, many of them from the Jager and Lugger collections. Notable works include the earliest English language work on entomology, Thomas Moffett's Insectorum, London, 1634. The oldest imprint in the collection is Guillaume Rondelet 's L'histoire entiere des poissons..., Lion, 1558. These and many other older materials do not circulate and must be used in the library under controlled conditions.

The Forestry Library’s collection included books, journals, government documents, maps, microfile/fiche, cd-roms, videos, and more. It provided the new NRL with one of the country’s most comprehensive collections relating to the subjects of forestry, forest products, outdoor recreation, and remote sensing.

The Forestry Library was designated as a disciplinary “Center of Excellence” by the USDA National Agricultural Library in the 1990’s, a testimony to its collection strength, breadth, and depth. It also featured four locally-created online databases, Social Sciences in Forestry, Tropical Conservation and Development, Urban Forestry, and Trail Planning, Construction, and Maintenance. These collection areas received particular attention, and all indexed works were included in the library’s collections.

From 1986 to 2011 the Forestry Library operated as a joint library between the University of Minnesota and the United States Forest Service’s North Central Research Station (later renamed the Northern Research Station). Faculty and staff from both organizations donated vast personal collections of works, resulting in an exceptional collection covering U.S. as well as international forestry literature in many languages – including German, Latvian, Korean, Chinese, Swedish, and Russian.

The merger of the Forestry and EFW collections created a rich, diverse wealth of information on all topics related to Natural Resources. For more information, see the page Collections of Distinction.