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Tower Hill Botanic Garden Library: Collections

Digitized resources, archival and special collections, exhibitions, and other items of interest.

Welcome to the Library!

The Tower Hill Library is open to all on the lower floor of the Stoddard Education and Visitors Center! Come visit us Thursdays through Sundays, 10am-4pm, and check out more info on our collections and history below.

New in the Library

As of Spring 2019, the Tower Hill Botanic Garden Library has two new collections! The Seed Library and Adaptive Gardening Tool Collection officially open on April 25, 2019. 

Adaptive Gardening Tools check out for one month at a time. See our full list of Adaptive Gardening Tools available for borrowing for more details.

Seeds from the Seed Library Collection check out for one growing season. We request you save seeds from your plants and return them for others' use the next year--but if you aren't able to return seeds, that's all right too. The list of seeds is currently only available on-site in the Library.

Tower Hill Library History

The Tower Hill Library began in 1986 and our current space opened in 1992, but our history goes back to the 1840's with the creation of the Worcester County Horticultural Society. Early members decided:

"The Society [will] have a small but well selected Library, consisting of treatises upon subjects interesting to Horticultural readers."

and began collecting books and journals for member use and circulation. Today those early collections provide depth and a wide range of botanical history and art covering six centuries. 

Like many libraries, much of our time and effort is devoted to making our resources more accessible. Currently you can search our online catalog, and read through 166 years of Society Annual Reports, but as we continue to digitize other resources, this libguide will provide access to several  smaller collections and unique resources.

Image from our earliest herbal, Incipit Tractatus de Virtutibus Herbarum (1499)

The Ornaments of Tower Hill

In 2003 Tower Hill produced a guide to the growing collection of statuary and garden ornaments placed in and around the growing botanic garden. Trustee and former President Mary V.C. 'Sid' Callahan took on the project of gathering information, researching the pieces and their place in garden history, and writing the guide.  The Ornaments of Tower Hill includes descriptions of 39 works of decorative and garden art and several structures either purchased or donated to Tower Hill.

For more information

Questions? Need additional information or interested in seeing any of the resources listed here? Please contact the Tower Hill Library ( or 508-869-6111 x116).

Other useful links:

Tower Hill's Online Catalog

Tower Hill's What's New in the Library? A bi-monthly guide to new materials, programs, and exhibits.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library. A great resource to find digitized botanical books, journals, and artwork.