TOWER HILL LIBRARY

WELCOME!
All are invited to the Tower Hill Library on the lower level of the Stoddard Education and Visitors Center, open Thursdays through Sundays 10am – 4pm weekly.

The adults’ and children’s areas are great places to sit and read, share a story, do some research, or just enjoy a quiet moment. We have tables for spreading out your work as well as comfortable couches. WiFi connection is available. When it’s warm, head outside to our Reading Garden patio.

The Library holds more than 8,000 books, magazines, and other materials on gardening and related topics for all ages and abilities, as well as a Seed Library and an Adaptive Gardening Tool collection.

Everyone is free to browse and use items in the Library. Borrowing privileges (including the Seed Library) are granted to members of Tower Hill Botanic Garden and of THBG organizational member groups. See Borrowing and Returning under Library Services below for more details.

Search the Tower Hill Library collections.


LIBRARY SERVICES

Books and other library items may be borrowed by Tower Hill members and other affiliates (e.g., people who belong to organizational member groups of Tower Hill, faculty at Academic and Research Collaborative institutions) for one month. To request a renewal, contact the Librarian by phone or email. Materials should be returned to the Library directly or, if the Library is closed, to the Reception Desk or gatehouse staff. Mailing returns is also an option—please contact the Librarian at librarian@towerhillbg.org for full details.

Tower Hill Special Collections material is available for use by appointment. Collection strengths include the history of gardening, horticulture, and botanic illustration. See Historic Collections for more information.

Tower Hill Library accepts donations of lightly used books covering all aspects of gardening. Donations of up to five books are accepted without prior notice during the Library’s open hours. Please contact the Librarian ahead of time if you have more than five books to donate.

We also sell a selection of used books when the Library is open.

LIBRARY PROGRAMS

The Tower Hill Library offers programs including hands-on time with treasures from the Library Vault, kids’ storytimes, a book discussion group, and events around the annual Tower Hill READS community read program. Library programs appear in Tower Hill’s quarterly bulletin and in the Events Calendar.

Read about 2018 Tower Hill READS related programs here.

View the complete list of books read by the book group from 2011 to 2017.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden opened in 1986 but its history as the Worcester County Horticultural Society dates back to the 1840s, and the Library goes back almost as far. Early library holdings began with donations from founders and members. Today the Library provides access to institutional and garden history records as well as the rare book collection to researchers. The Library regularly exhibits materials from our Special Collections.

View more information about our digitized historic resources.

The Transactions of the Worcester County Horticultural Society 1840-2006 are available online for reading and full-text search. More recent Transactions are available in print at the Tower Hill Library.

The Tower Hill Library coordinates projects aimed at connecting the greater Worcester community to the natural world through exploration of the landscape’s histories, like the Lost Gardens of Worcester County and Community Garden History projects.

Contact the Librarian if you are interested in joining the projects or contributing historic materials.

The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association provides a Horticultural Help Line at located at Tower Hill.

Need an on-the-go reference? Can’t find what you’re looking for in the Library? Check out the following websites for more ways to find information.

Online Resources for Plant Research
USDA Plant Database
UMASS Extension
Biodiversity Heritage Library

Other Botanic Libraries
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL)
Arnold Arboretum Library
Mass Hort Library

More Historic Materials Online
Digital Commonwealth
Digital Worcester

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIBRARY
Please email librarian@towerhillbg.org.