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Library Collections

General Collection

The Helen Fowler Library houses a book collection of approximately 25,000 titles on subjects including gardening, horticulture, botany, Colorado native plant life, landscaping, agriculture, world flora, botanical art and illustration, medical botany, ethnobotany, plant pests and diseases, plant lore and more. A large selection of children’s books, as well as DVDs and videos, are also available. Additionally, we have an expanding selection of fiction titles made up of gardening and horticulture-related mysteries, adventures, thrillers, romance and more.

Access our online library catalog from any computer to search for materials by subject, title, author, or keyword.

Periodical Collection

The Helen Fowler Library maintains subscriptions to over 200 serial titles and keeps back issues of many of these items in storage. The collection covers subjects such as regional gardening, organic and heirloom gardening, gardening and landscape design, environmental conservation and botanical illustration. In addition, the library retains several academic journals on topics ranging from taxonomy and botanical study to current research in ethnobotany and ecological restoration. We also receive publications from many flower and gardening societies, native plant societies and regional gardening associations.

Rare Books

The rare book collection, housed within the Waring Room of the Helen Fowler Library, contains over 1,000 titles dating to the sixteenth century. The collection includes early European herbals, publications of initial botanical study in the New World and of exploration into the trans-Mississippi West, and many other unique works related to the study of botany and gardening, both regional and across the world.

In addition to titles listed in our catalog, we have an extensive collection of items on loan to the library

To view an item, please make an appointment by calling the head librarian at 720-865-3571 or by emailing Allaina.Wallace@botanicgardens.org. Viewing times are arranged in advance outside of the library’s normal hours. The library is closed to the general public on weekday mornings and Fridays.


The archival collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs and slides relating to the founding and history of Denver Botanic Gardens. Also included in this collection is a significant compilation of botanical and nature-related postage stamps collected from around the world.

Seed Catalogs

The Helen Fowler Library maintains a collection of late nineteenth and twentieth century nursery and seed catalogs from across the country.