Posts Tagged ‘LuEsther T. Mertz Library’

Books for a Greener World this Earth Day

Posted in From the Library, Learning Experiences, Shop/Book Reviews on April 21st, 2016 by Samantha D’Acunto – Be the first to comment

In celebration of Earth Day, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library would like to acknowledge the march toward greener living. Two recent publications, held by the Mertz Library, highlight the collective and collaborative effort towards a greener world.


Greening Libraries by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough. Library Juice Press, 2012.

Greening Libraries
by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough.
Library Juice Press, 2012.

Greening Libraries edited by
Monika Antonelli & Mark McCullough

Greening Libraries is a compilation of essays and case studies surveying the different ways libraries are environmentally sustainable through design, outreach, and programming. Libraries in many ways have always been sustainable, but now libraries are trying to work alongside the community for a bigger and greener impact and Greening Libraries provides a peek into what libraries around the country are implementing to inspire change around them. Whether libraries are renovating their branches to comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements, providing educational programming, or building partnerships with local organizations that work toward greening their city, these essays highlight importance of the library being at the forefront of the green movement.

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Book Review: A Beautiful Way to Introduce Children to Reading & Nature

Posted in Children's Education, From the Library, Shop/Book Reviews on March 4th, 2016 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.


B is for Bear by Hannah Viano

B is for Bear by Hannah Viano

B is for Bear is the newest addition to the Mertz Library’s collection of juvenile literature*. This is the third book from paper artist Hannah Viano, who has also written the books S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet and Arrow to Alaska: A Pacific Northwest Adventure.

B is for Bear is an alphabet book featuring plants, animals, and other ecological features in North America. The illustrations were created by cutting away black paper “to reveal the essential shapes and lines” of the elements of nature profiled by Viano. The “revealed” areas were then filled in digitally with subdued pastels. The result is simply beautiful. Examples of Viano’s work, including several illustrations from B is for Bear, can be seen on her website.

Upon opening the book, the reader sees one letter to a page, with the exception of “A” and “Z,” which bookend the collection with two-page spreads. Viano picks an eclectic set of organisms and concepts to illustrate, which makes reading the text unpredictable, echoing the adventures promised by the outside world. Each page includes an uppercase and lowercase letter in the upper left corner. The associated word, all in capital letters, appears in the upper right corner. An illustration dominates the central part of the page which finishes with a short, factual sentence about the plant, animal, or natural phenomenon depicted.

Because of its format and beauty, B is for Bear is appropriate for readers of varying ages. Very young readers might use the text to learn the alphabet, while slightly older readers—the young and the young at heart—can use the book to learn interesting facts about the natural world. This is a children’s book with artistic sensibilities, dedicated to “all of those who let children run a little wild” and appealing to all who are looking for a reason to be lured into an outdoor adventure.

*This collection circulates to Members and Volunteers

Bring Botanical History into Your Home with NYBG and Surface View

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews on February 25th, 2016 by Lansing Moore – 1 Comment
‘Dreer’s Large Flowering’ Chromolithograph from Dreer’s Garden Book, Seventy-fourth Annual Edition, 1912 New York Botanical Garden Surface View

‘Dreer’s Large Flowering’ Chromolithograph from Dreer’s Garden Book, Seventy-fourth Annual Edition, 1912

Once again, we have delved into the Rare Book Collection of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and brought out a new way to appreciate its exquisite array of botanical, architectural, and horticultural works of art. NYBG is proud to announce the launch of Surface View’s New York Botanical Garden Collection.

Surface View retrieves images from archival sources, which are then digitally remastered, retaining their unique character yet achieving the finest image quality, and then prints them onto a range of home decor. From hand-drawn botanical studies to aged seed packets and incredible insect illustrations, customers select the specifications and a size to perfectly suit any space. Bursting with vibrant floral imagery, this collection can be transformed into beautiful artworks and unique interior decorations by using the Surface View website to experiment with rescaling and cropping the imagery to create a thoroughly contemporary feel.

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Book Review: Selecting ‘The Indestructibles’

Posted in From the Library, Shop/Book Reviews on February 22nd, 2016 by Lansing Moore – 2 Comments

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.


The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin. Timber Press

The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin. Timber Press, 2015. 288 pages, 160 color photos. Softcover. $22.95. ISBN: 9781604695014

The staff of the Plant Information Office in the Mertz Library are always excited to see a new book from Tovah Martin. Martin has written over a dozen gardening books, drawing from her 25 years of gardening experience to craft classics as well as new favorites. The Library has eighteen books authored or coauthored by Martin, and this month we have added her newest work—The Indestructible Houseplant from Timber Press—to our collection. The Indestructible Houseplant was written for beginners, but experienced gardeners will also enjoy the beauty and advice contained in this well-crafted volume.

Martin starts The Indestructible Houseplant with an accessible yet lyrical introduction that welcomes the “window-sill gardener wannabes,” telling them that this book is for them. Martin promises to help readers overcome obstacles—cost, time, light/environment—and develop their own “lush and verdant” interior paradises. Martin writes about her home gardening environment and then moves into practical guidelines for understanding limitations of indoor space, including selecting and placing containers. Here, too, her prose is crisp, accessible, and practical; Martin even includes a section about her selection process for plants to profile, addressing the omission of some historic houseplant favorites, such as flowering maples, Abutilon cultivars. read more »

November 7: The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities

Posted in Programs and Events on October 10th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

LuEsther T Mertz Library New York Botanical Garden Humanities Institute

The LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s new Humanities Institute will soon host its second symposium. NYBG has invited four experts in the field of human-impacted environments to share their thoughts this November 7 on The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities.
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Inaugural Symposium Launches the Humanities Institute

Posted in From the Library on July 10th, 2014 by Vanessa Sellers – Be the first to comment

Peggy Rockefeller Rose GardenOn June 20, 2014, The New York Botanical Garden’s renowned LuEsther T. Mertz Library, directed by Susan Fraser, officially opened its new humanities division, coordinated by Vanessa B. Sellers.

The Humanities Institute’s inaugural Symposium, Women and the City: From a Landscape Perspective, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to the Ross Lecture Hall.

The audience asked insightful questions relating to the topic of women as architects and photographers—a topic linked to the Garden-wide exhibition Groundbreakers. “Cities are the grand challenge of the 21st century, and for over one hundred years women have played a crucial, if under-celebrated, role in shaping and adapting our urban spaces,” explained Thaisa Way (University of Washington, Seattle). This award-winning landscape historian moderated the fascinating morning session that featured four experts in landscape scholarship and practice, including Susannah Drake (Founding Principal, dlandstudio, Brooklyn), Sonja Dümpelmann (Harvard Graduate School of Design), Linda Jewell (University of California Berkeley), and Mary Woods (Cornell University).
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Women in Urban Planning: Past, Present, and Future

Posted in Programs and Events on June 18th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

LuEsther T. Mertz Library Groundbreakers ExhibitionThis Friday, June 20, the Garden will host the inaugural symposium of the new Humanities Institute within the LuEsther T. Mertz Library! This exciting new initiative will further establish the academic role of the world’s largest, most comprehensive botanical and horticultural library.

In keeping with the spirit of Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and The Women Who Designed Them, Friday will honor the role of women in the historic development of today’s urban spaces with a panel of visiting experts. These various speakers will be led by landscape historian Thaisa Way, ASLA, in a conversation entitled Women and the City—From a Landscape Perspective. Read on for the full lineup and more information about the new Humanities Institute!

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Morning Eye Candy: Through the Lens

Posted in Exhibitions on May 18th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Alongside the tools of the gardeners themselves, the camera played an important role in supporting the growth of American landscape design in the 20th century. It was in the efforts of the photographers, several of whom are currently being highlighted during our Groundbreakers exhibition, that the styles of women like Farrand and Coffin met the public eye. Don’t forget to visit our LuEsther T. Mertz Library for an important exhibit on some of the women who made all of this possible!

Groundbreakers camera

In the LuEsther T. Mertz Library – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: The Golden Hour

Posted in Photography on March 16th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

With the days getting longer, we can enjoy the way the sun falls on the LuEsther T. Mertz Library.

nybg luesther mertz library

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

The Diary of H.H. Rusby: Through the Panama Canal

Posted in From the Library, Science on June 8th, 2013 by Anthony Kirchgessner – Be the first to comment
One of the locks of the Panama Canal, under construction in 1913, eight years before the Mulford Expedition.

One of the locks of the Panama Canal, under construction in 1913, eight years before the Mulford Expedition.

Week two of Henry Hurd Rusby‘s Mulford Expedition sees the Santa Elisa passing through the Panama Canal (see Week One). At the time of this writing, the Canal has been open for less than seven years, and as we read, construction is ongoing. The Canal’s most profound immediate effect is a quicker and safer journey between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A voyage from New York to San Francisco saves over 7,800 miles and the ship avoids navigating the hazardous Drake Passage and Cape Horn.

Dr. Rusby mentions the ceremony of the Court of Neptune, also known as the Line-crossing Ceremony, whereby a commemoration of a sailor’s first crossing of the equator is performed. This ceremony is also performed for passenger’s entertainment aboard civilian ocean liners such as the Santa Elisa. Few details are given by Dr. Rusby, but the ceremony has its colorful characters, including the King of Neptune and Davy Jones.

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