The Peter H. Raven Library is globally recognized as one of the most comprehensive libraries of botanical literature in the world.

The Library is vital to the Garden’s mission "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment, in order to preserve and enrich life." It serves as an invaluable and irreplaceable resource that supports the work of Garden scientists, students, and researchers from around the globe seeking to better understand, identify, classify, and conserve plants.

Those interested in using the Garden’s Library are encouraged to make a research appointment.


Peter H. Raven Library Collections

Scientists from around the world depend on hundreds of years of accumulated botanical information maintained in the Garden's Library.

The Library's collections of modern to centuries-old botanical literature are essential for scientists who name and describe plants. While the collections focus on plant names and descriptions, the Library is also rich in other subjects such as the study of edible and medicinal plants, the art of botanical illustration, and the history of scientific exploration.

The Library includes more than 250,000 items! And the collections contain more than books. Botanical artwork, field books, photographs, as well as modern and historical maps are but a few of the other objects housed in the Garden's Library.

The Library's collections are divided into two major categories: the General Collection and the Special Collection. The Special Collection includes the Rare Book Collection and the Garden Archives.

Search the Library Catalog

General Collection

Rare Book Collection

Garden Archives

The Peter H. Raven Library is a research facility, and its vast holdings do not circulate. However, the Imaging Lab has digitized more than 8,000 volumes—approximately 2.5 million pages!—from the Library's collections making them freely available to the world at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Peter H. Raven Library Labs

The Peter H. Raven Library also includes two labs: an Imaging Lab and a Book Conservation Lab. Both labs protect the Library's 250,000 items from wear-and-tear while increasing accessibility to the collections.

Imaging Lab

Book Conservation Lab

Peter H. Raven Library
Fourth floor of  The Bayer Center
4500 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Library Hours:
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Phone: (314) 577-5155
Fax: (314) 577-0840


Library Staff
Discover + Share Blog: From the Library