Andersen Horticultural Library Off-campus

Located at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Andersen Horticultural Library (AHL) is a reference library specializing in horticulture, botanical art, plant sciences and natural history. 

In addition to the reference collection, custom-built Nakashima furnishings make this space a welcoming retreat for reading and reflection.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Visit the Andersen Horticultural Library

Plan your visit

Located in the Leon C. Snyder building at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Andersen Horticultural Library is open to the public. There is an admission fee for entry to the Arboretum, but it is waived for visitors who come only to research at the library. Get directions to the Arboretum, or view an interactive map of the Arboretum grounds. 

AHL is part of the University of Minnesota Libraries. A reading and reference library; items cannot be checked out.  Search the library's holdings by using the University Libraries' catalog.

To make an appointment to view rare and historic materials, contact the librarian, Kathy Allen.

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Illustration of two colorful birds, one eating an insect

The Art of Flying: Bird Images from A to Z

Take a stroll through a hallway full of birds! This exhibit, located in the Skyway Gallery, showcases two stunning bird prints for each letter of the alphabet from rare books in Andersen Horticultural Library’s collection. Featuring 52 beautifully illustrated different species of birds, mostly from John Gould’s seven-volume masterpiece The Birds of Asia (1850-1883), this is a magnificent display of feathers you won’t want to miss. This multimedia exhibit is fun for the whole family, and will also feature ambient bird songs playing over speakers as you explore, general bird fun facts throughout, and some of British artist Edward Lear’s bird-related nonsense limericks and illustrations. 

March 26 - August 12 in the Arboretum Skyway Gallery & Andersen Horticultural Library  
Japanese woodblock print featuring peach illustration

Journey through Japan: Traditional woodblock prints from the Edo Period (1603-1868)

Feast your eyes upon brilliant Japanese woodblock flora and fauna art from the Edo Period (1603-1868), a time in Japanese cultural and political history of relative peace and stability. This period provides the inspiration for the Arboretum’s Japanese Garden and is characterized by the innovation of artistic techniques, such as colored woodblock printing.

All prints in this exhibition are from the library's rare book collection, many from Honzō Zufu (Illustrated Manual of Medicinal Plants), by Iwasaki Tsunemasa (1786-1842). Tsunemasa was a Japanese botanist and samurai. Although he created these prints in the early 1800s, this work was published between 1916 and 1922. Woodblock prints by prominent Japanese artists from the Shijō School of Painting in Kyoto are also featured.

March 26 - August 12 in the Andersen Horticultural Library
Illustration of a Monarch butterfly on milkweed flowers

Flora and Fauna Illustrata

The Flora and Fauna Illustrata [FFI] collection is the Andersen Horticultural Library’s ongoing project to document all the species of plants, animals, insects, and fungi living at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum through scientifically accurate fine art.

The FFI collection is currently made up of over 90 juried two-dimensional works of art donated by over 30 different artists, many of whom are local. This exhibition features selected outstanding works from the FFI collection, from aspens and butterflies to turtles and water lilies, as well as process materials from FFI artists.

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Join us for Storytime at the library!

In-person Storytimes are being held once per month on the last Friday at 10:30 a.m. We’ll celebrate plants and nature and foster a love for books and reading as we explore the library's vast catalog of children’s books.

Upcoming Dates:

July 29 | The Birds & the Bees
Join us as we read stories about some of the most beloved flying creatures in our gardens: birds and bees!

Aug. 26 | Friendship & Kindness
Celebrate the joys and importance of friendship and kindness this week for a special StoryTime, featuring guest readers. In addition to our regular Library staff readers, the Linnes-Bagley Family will be reading their recently published story, “Who Is Your Friend?”

Sept. 30 | Harvest Time
Reap the rewards of your spring plantings and celebrate autumn harvest time. We will read stories about harvesting, sharing, and enjoying fruits and vegetables.

Oct. 28 | Staff Favorites
Join us for the last StoryTime of the season, featuring some of our staff's favorite stories.


Pre-recorded virtual storytimes can be watched here.

Call for artists

Artists from around the world are invited to show us the best of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s flora and fauna. Information about this joint project with the library, as well as submission information is on the FFI website.

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Collections in the Andersen Horticultural Library

The Library collection is a rich resource for everyone from the weekend gardener planning a perennial border to the professional horticulturist.  

Its collection of nearly 20,000 books and 300 subscriptions to magazines, newsletters, and scientific journals provides information and inspiration.  

Areas of specialization include

  • horticulture,
  • botany,
  • landscape design,
  • botanical illustration,
  • garden crafts,
  • cookbooks, and
  • natural history.  

Included is a children's collection of books for readers of all ages. 

Digitized collections

Andersen Horticultural Library's digitized items are freely available online through the UMedia Archive.

Special research collections

Our special research collections include:

Seed and Nursery Catalogs

One of North America's largest seed and nursery catalog collections with over 76,000 items dating from 1614 to the current year.  More than 8,000 firms are represented.

Rare books and journals

Rare books and journals on horticulture, botany, garden design, botanical art and illustration, trees, birds, flowers, and other natural history subjects from the early 1500s to the present.

Plant Information Online

Plants from hundreds of recent catalogs were listed in the now-retired Plant Information Online. View the Plant Info archive and alternative resources.

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Give to the collection

The Andersen Horticultural Library relies on the generosity of the community to help fund its operations.  Your funds to help us get books, seed and nursery catalogs, and journals unique to our collection. Benefactors ensure our library's ability to educate and inspire.

Make a gift or become a Friend of AHL today.

Explore ways to give

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