The library collections focus on historical sources, and guides aimed at finding and using sources. We have a range of material covering garden history, sometimes found in unexpected places. These are sources not just explicitly about gardens, but also broader material which enables the historian to glean information about garden history, for example from letters, diaries and travel accounts, estate accounts, trade records and parliamentary sources. The collections complement specialist archives and libraries elsewhere. Listed below are a few examples from our holdings.
The library collections are mostly arranged geographically, with a few topical collections such as Religious History. Material on garden history can therefore be found throughout the library. Although we focus on Western Europe and its colonial history, descriptions of gardens can be found for other parts of the world. We also have a set of core books for the IHR's MA in Garden and Landscape History available outside the Library Enquiry Office.