Saturday, September 27, 2014

294.. Andersen Horticultural Library, Chaska, MN

This is a very specialized library, located in the Snyder Building at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I visited this library once, perhaps a couple of decades ago (gasp) and what I remember most clearly were the wonderful tables. They are still here, along with other furniture by George Nakashima.

The library provides pleasant spaces for reading and research, but materials do not circulate. Whether you are a gardener or a reader (or both), this is the place for books about horticulture, plant sciences, and natural history.

Climate controlled archives store rare and special texts, catalogs, and botanical artwork. Catalogs, you ask? How about a collection of almost 57,000 seed and nursery catalogs! They represent over 6,700 firms and date back to the 1820s.

In the lobby of the Snyder building I saw a display of books about the flowers of various countries, including Cuba, Ireland, the Galapagos, Russia, and Australia. Also one on Alpenblumen.

I find it wonderful that this special library also houses a collection of relevant children's books and has a story hour each Thursday at 10:30. That story hour and a visit to the nearby Arboretum Learning Center with its "green" playground and interactive exhibits would make a memorable day.

Not far from the library is the Arboretum gift shop, much, much larger than the last time I was there, with a whole bookstore-worth of books on horticultural and environmental topics.

For more information, go to

9/27/2014, car


One of several beautiful tables
custom-designed for the library by George Nakashima

Part of the main collection

I like the juxtaposition of the wood, card catalog,
facsimile of an old botanical book (on the rack at the far end of the counter)
--and a computer.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful write-up, Ellen! Just visited this for the first time and enjoyed the peaceful ambiance and displays. I was most impressed by the presence of a children's collection and storytimes! Great find. -Charles


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