From the Library

Spotlights from the Shelf: Arbor Day

Posted in From the Library on April 24th, 2017 by Samantha D’Acunto – Be the first to comment

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of Arbor Day SquareThis Arbor Day the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is hoping you find friends, family, and neighbors to plant with! Today we are featuring some titles from our Children’s Collection that will help the youngest of readers understand the importance of trees and the celebration of Arbor Day. To learn more about Arbor Day celebrations near you, check out Arborday.org.

Arbor Day Square by Kathryn O. Galbraith (2010)

The townsfolk of this newly erected prairie town try to establish community, friendship, and home. Their plan for the town square is only missing one thing: trees! This story follows Katie and her father as they work together with friends and neighbors to plant trees throughout the town. After a successful Arbor Day, the townsfolk pledge to return each year to plant more trees. As the trees grow, so do the families. Katie celebrates Arbor Day each year with her father, her daughter, her husband, and the town. As more trees are planted and the others grow, the town has plenty of branches to climb, fruit to eat, and shade to find. Cyd Moore’s illustrations allow readers to experience the town coming to life as they turn each page. Arbor Day Square is a wonderful way to connect with family and friends before planting your own special tree.
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Handbooks for the Practical Urban Gardener

Posted in From the Library on April 21st, 2017 by Esther Jackson – Be the first to comment

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Cover of the Urban Farm HandbookThe Urban Farm Handbook: City-Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat is a 2011 book by Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols for Skipstone. The word “handbook” is frequently applied to a variety of books, some useful and some less useful. “Handbook,” in the case of Urban Farm Handbook, is appropriately used, as Cottrell and McNicols provide readers with hundreds of tips and resources for every aspiring and current urban homesteader.

Handbook is divided into four seasons. Each season includes suggested seasonal chores related to food, both plant and animal. Do you want to keep chickens for eggs? Plant a vegetable garden? Learn home food preservation? Raise and slaughter rabbits for meat? All this and more is discussed in the Handbook. Readers can jump into a chapter to learn about a single topic, or read the book from cover to cover and get the tools for undergoing a radical lifestyle change.
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Spotlights from the Shelf: Earth Day

Posted in From the Library on April 17th, 2017 by Samantha D’Acunto – Be the first to comment

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of the book 'Anywhere Farm'This year Earth Day falls on Friday, which means there is a whole weekend of Earth Day festivities around New York City and here at NYBG! The LuEsther T. Mertz Library is inviting you to check out some of our favorite books that will be perfect reads to tie into your Earth Day plans. Young and advanced readers alike will get into the spirit of the holiday with these titles from our Children’s Collection. We hope you visit us and enjoy your Earth Day celebrations!

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root/Illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2017)

Farms are everywhere! You just have to look! A box, a shoe, a lot… anywhere can be a farm because all you need is sunshine, soil, water, and a seed. The rhythmic narrative of Anywhere Farm drives home the idea that gardening, farming, and planting can take many forms. Examples of this are easy to find in the colorful illustrations that grace each page. This is the perfect book to offer to new and experienced readers as it simply inspires all to get creative and just plant!
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On Gardening for the Kitchen

Posted in From the Library on April 14th, 2017 by Esther Jackson – Be the first to comment

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Photo of the Foodscape RevolutionThe Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden is a new book by Brie Arthur for St. Lynn’s Press. This charming and accessible book offers guidance for new gardeners and inspiration for the more experienced.

From the first page, Arthur draws the readers in with a friendly, assuring, and easy tone. She writes for people who want to grow edible plants and also for those who have a love for ornamentals. As such, she advocates for “foodscaping,” or growing food alongside flowers in a landscape that already exists. By mixing annual vegetables with perennial ornamentals (or other combinations), home gardeners can have access to delicious and organic produce without sacrificing the ornamentals they love.
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Study Day and Colloquium: Great Collectors and the Art of Nature

Posted in From the Library on March 31st, 2017 by Vanessa Sellers – 1 Comment

Photo of a painting

Jan van Kessel the Elder (Flemish, 1626-79). [Study of plants and insects, arachnids, mollusks, and reptiles] (detail), 1653-58. Oil on copper. Courtesy of Oak Spring Garden Library.

On Friday, January 27, 2017, the Humanities Institute—LuEsther T. Mertz Library and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation presented a special Study Day and Colloquium in conjunction with the exhibition Redouté to Warhol: Bunny Mellon’s Botanical Art, a selection of extraordinary works of art assembled by Rachel Lambert Mellon at Oak Spring, her estate in Upperville Virginia. The full-day program included a morning Study Session and afternoon Colloquium, both of which focused on the theme of great American collectors and their exceptional botanical collections.
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Small Treasures in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library

Posted in From the Library on March 17th, 2017 by Jane Lloyd – Be the first to comment

Jane Lloyd is a volunteer in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden.


Thuya-Lodge-bookplate-by-Jane-Lloyd-December-2016[1]As I huffed and puffed my way up that steep path from the road to Thuya Garden high on the hillside near Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine, I thought that this time curiosity about the books in the Rare Book Room of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library had taken me too far. That day in July 2016 was blisteringly hot and I was sweaty and thirsty. But there it was at last, a rustic board-and-batten house with a porch, appearing out of the forest of evergreen trees and shrubs at the end of the stone path. It looked just like the drawing on the bookplates I’d found in two books in the Mertz Library.

Joseph Henry Curtis (1846-1928) began to summer at Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island on the Maine coast in the 1870’s and later he bought a property on the slope of a mountain near Northeast Harbor, becoming one of the first summer residents of a growing summer colony of wealthy families. Curtis spent the rest of his life turning his property into a mountainside park, building a trail with granite stairways and scenic lookouts ascending the steep slope to a board-and-batten cottage that he named Thuya Lodge after the local white cedar tree, Thuja occidentalis. In 1905 Curtis created a trust to maintain his estate as a public trust for the local community; when he died his friend Charles Savage became director of the trust.

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Princeton-Mellon Exchange Program

Posted in From the Library on March 17th, 2017 by Vanessa Sellers – Be the first to comment
Students on the Princeton-Mellon Trip

Mellon Coordinators Aaron Shkuda (Princeton) and Vanessa Sellers, with the NYBG Mellon Fellows on Princeton’s Campus

On October 19, 2016, the Humanities Institute’s Andrew W. Mellon Fellows traveled to Princeton University to visit their colleagues at the Princeton School of Architecture Mellon Initiative and participate in an Urban Forum surrounding the topic of “Nature in the City”. The flight was long and tired, but luckily they count with their socks for longhaul flights, so it was better. During this visit, several of the NYBG Mellon Fellows presented their current research. Robert Corban, a doctoral student in the History Department of Columbia University and an intern at NYBG, gave a presentation about Benito Mussolini’s “Battle for Grain” and the impact on agriculture and industrialization.
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Colloquium: Shifts in the 19th-Century American Cultural Landscape

Posted in From the Library on March 16th, 2017 by Vanessa Sellers – 1 Comment

Image of an American Impressionist painting

The Humanities Institute hosted a Colloquium on Friday, September 9, 2016, entitled Shifts in the 19th-century American Cultural Landscape. Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas, this round-table looked at the various cultural-philosophic and economic forces that led to rapidly changing landscapes in America. Participants discussed how these developments impacted the 19th-century vision of nature, the art of landscape painting, and the design of gardens and choice of plants.
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Spotlights from the Shelf: Celebrating Culture and Nature with Books

Posted in From the Library on March 13th, 2017 by Samantha D’Acunto – Be the first to comment

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Photo of book, Call Me TreeThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is pleased to welcome Lee & Low Books to the Children’s Collection. The titles below celebrate diversity and all reading levels through fun and colorful stories. Come by and check them out for yourself!

Call Me Tree / Llàmame arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez (2014)

The bilingual poetry of Maya Christina Gonzalez in Call Me Tree / Llàmame arbol flows beautifully. She invites the reader to experience what it means to be a tree—from seed to leaves. From curling up very small like a seed in the ground to reaching high into the sky, this story will make young readers want to get up and be a tree! This a perfect book to read aloud as its language and illustrations are a treat for all to experience.
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Spotlights from the Shelf: The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Children’s Collection

Posted in From the Library on March 1st, 2017 by Samantha D’Acunto – Be the first to comment

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


We Dig WormsThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is happy to share with you some of our newest additions to our Children’s Collection! We’re delighted to feature a range of reading levels and genres for this post. We hope to see you in the library soon!

We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey (2015)

In We Dig Worms Kevin McCloskey demands the reader’s attention by celebrating one of nature’s smallest creatures, the worm! Through a series of hand-painted illustrations, all of which are depicted on recycled paper bags, the reader is able to observe the work of an earthworm. The importance of a worm’s work is explained with simple vocabulary making this book great for new readers.
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