Home Is Where the History Is

July 13, 2020 Stephanie White , Former Research Coordinator

While the Freyer – Newman Center has yet to open to the public, we have been diligently working behind closed doors to transfer non-living collections to their new homes in the Center. These collections include plant and fungal specimens, artworks, archives, rare books and more – some objects dating back to the 1500s. 

“This is the first time in the library’s history that the archives will be publicly accessible,” says Archivist Angela Naumov in a video about the moving process. The Center offers improved storage for all collections and opportunities for them to grow in both size and accessibility.

Scientists look forward to when visitors are able to walk into the Center for the first time and immediately see plant and fungal research ongoing through the glass walls of the herbarium. Exhibits team members now have customized storage for artworks while they are not on display in the Center’s new gallery spaces. Education staff enjoy improved storage for collections as well as an expanded library, where visitors will be able to access the main collection, as well as historical ones through the rare book reading room.  

Whether it’s a herbarium specimen, botanical illustration or gardening guide, each object represents humanity’s connection to the natural world throughout history. We feel at home in the Center because it is where our history is – not just as a botanic garden, but as people who connect with nature. Once the Center has opened to the public, we hope that you will visit to connect with natural history – and that you will feel at home, too. 

Re-housing our collections to the Freyer – Newman Center has been made possible by a Museums for America award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (Award ID: MA-30-18-0410-18). Thank you, IMLS!


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