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Archival Collections | Catalog | Copying Services | Timeline

The archives includes more than 3,000 linear feet of Garden records and publications, professional and personal papers, historic manuscripts, Garden photographs, oral histories, original artwork from Garden publicatons, and architectural drawings. Noteworthy are the personal papers of Henry Shaw, including letters, account books, diaries, and legal papers documenting his business transactions and the development of the Garden. The George Engelmann Papers, numbering some 5,000 letters and 30 boxes of botanical notes, are resources in the history of nineteenth-century botany and exploration of the West. Other important collections are the Tower Grove Park Archives and the Julian Steyermark Papers.

Andy Colligan (andrew.colligan@mobot.org)
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299

John S. Lehmann Building
2345 Tower Grove (southeast corner on MBG grounds)

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

Please make an appointment with Andy Colligan to confirm information about collections and staff availability.

Check with Mary McNamara (mary.mcnamara@mobot.org) for low-cost housing available for the Garden's visiting researchers.

George Engelman Biographical and Portrait Collections

The biographical collection consists of more than 9,000 printed biographies relating to botanists, naturalists, horticulturists, and Garden associates. There are approximately 1,000 portraits in the portrait collection. For additional biographies and portraits, see the Ewan Collection.


A Guide to the Archives and Manuscripts of the Missouri Botanical Garden

The catalog is available here in its entirety as a PDF document. To view the catalog, Adobe Acrobat Viewer is required. If you need to download this application, please go to the Adobe site. It is a free download.

Scope of the Guide
This is the first general guide to records and papers in the Missouri Botanical Garden Archives. It is an introduction to the collections that will allow scholars to find research materials that are of interest to them. Unpublished finding aids and inventories are available for nearly all collections, and researchers may request these from the archivist.

The Garden Archives is chiefly concerned with staff papers and the official records of the Garden. It also collects records of regional botanical and horticultural organizations. Important personal papers in the archives are those of Henry Shaw, the founder of the Garden and George Engelmann, his scientific advisor. Tower Grove Park records are on deposit.

Using this Guide
Our guide describes collections in two parts. Part I lists the records of the Garden by administrative unit. Part II consists of entries for personal papers and organizational records arranged in alphabetical order.

Part 1: Table of Contents, Preface, Use of the Archives and Manuscript Collections, Records of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Part 2: Personal Papers and Organizational Records


Copying Services

Photographic Copying Fees:
  7-10 working days 4 days
Black and white glossy photos
8x10 $15.00 $30.00
5x7 $12.00 $24.00
4x5 $10.00 $20.00
Color transparency
4x5 $16.00 $32.00
120 mm $10.00 $20.00
35 mm slide $5.00 $10.00
Color prints
8x10 $25.00 $50.00
5x7 $20.00 $40.00

Photocopies and fax $10.00 plus $ .20 per page

Publication fees
Non-profit use $5.00$5.00
For profit use$50.00$50.00

Note: Please submit requests for use in publication in writing to Andy Colligan, Acting Archivist [andrew.colligan@mobot.org]. The term publication is understood to include print, film, video, slide presentation, exhibition, and any other usage so defined by the Garden. Non-profit use refers to any individual, government agency, or organization able to demonstrate not-for-profit status.

Notice: Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. Before a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that use may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of the copyright law.

Please order well in advance of your need since completion dates are only estimates and are not guaranteed except for rush service. Orders are generally processed in order of receipt. Mailing by U. S. Mail is $5.00 per package, minimum. For Federal Express, your FedEx number and phone number are needed in addition to name and address. Credit card orders are accepted; payment by credit card is required for overseas orders.


Archives Timeline


  • The Library began to organize the Garden's historically important records when a part-time cataloger began working with the Shaw and Engelmann papers and sorting other collections.


  • Archival materials began to arrive from all parts of the Garden in the recently opened Lehmann Building.


  • Enclosed cabinets installed in the southwest corner of the Library portion of the Lehmann Building;
  • Stored materials included collected papers and other archival collections, architectural drawings, blueprints, and historic photographs.


  • A full-time, Garden-funded Archivist position was created;
  • The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) provided funds to preserve and inventory the Shaw and Engelmann Papers.


  • The full-time Archivist position reduced to half time due to budgetary restrictions.


  • William Deiss, Smithsonian Institution Deputy Archivist, was hired as an independent consultant to conduct a study to determine the condition of the Garden's Archives and to present alternative and recommendations for the future of the Garden's Archives.


  • The Archivist position, held by Martha Riley, was restored to full-time;
  • The focus of the work became accessioning Garden records.

    By 1989:

  • Four hundred twenty linear feet of archives and manuscripts were accessioned by June 30;
  • Ninety percent of the archives records were in acid-free boxes;
  • The Garden Director established basic authority of the Archives through distribution of the Archives Policy;
  • A preliminary records survey was conducted;
  • The accessioning backlog was greatly reduced;
  • A classification scheme for Garden records was created;
  • Additional cabinets were installed;
  • Plans for increased space were being made.


  • Mary Stiffler hired as part-time Archivist Assistant, until 1995.


  • Library awarded an $80,000 Archives development grant, which resulted in the following:
  • Hiring Project Archivist Suellyn Lathrop;
  • Finding Aid and Index to the Board of Trustees records;
  • A Guide to the Archives and Manuscripts of MBG;
  • Online index to the MBG Bulletin created using a database.


  • Guide to the Ewan Papers published with assistance from a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant;
  • Doug Holland named Acting Archivist upon Martha Riley's resignation;
  • Mary-Lynn Ricketts hired as Archives Assistant.


  • Archives space expanded at the Lehmann Building when the Library moved to the Monsanto Center.


  • Archives database of more than 125,000 records migrated to Microsoft Access;
  • Daniel Antil hired to replace M. Ricketts as Archives Assistant.


  • Andrew Colligan hired to replace D. Antil as Archives Assistant;
  • Archives catalog available at http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/molib/archives.shtml#catalog.


  • Doug Holland promoted to Administrative Librarian;
  • Andrew Colligan named Acting Archivist;
  • Archives Assistant position frozen.

    Featured Sites Featured Sites

    An Illustrated History of the Missouri Botanical Garden
    Historic images and more

    Botanicus Digital Library
    Botanicus Digital Library

    Rare Books
    RARE BOOKS: View rare books from our collection

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