In July and August, the library will be accessible by appointment only!
The library of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium is one of the most important in Europe concerning descriptive botany. The library collects, catalogues and conserves complementary documentation to the herbaria and the living plant collections to serve staff as well as users from all over the world.
Particular emphasis is placed on systematic botany, floristics, plant ecology, botanical history, ethnobotany and horticulture and this concerning all systematic groups of non-vascular plants including Fungi, as well as vascular plants. Although research in the Garden is focused on Central Africa and Europe (esp. Belgium), the library collects publications (e.g. modern floras) from all over the world. The library also possesses many popularized works.
The history of the library, like that of the Garden itself, goes back to the 'Koninklijke Maatschappij van Kruid-, Bloem- en Boomkwekerije der Nederlanden' (Royal Society for Horticulture and Arboriculture of the Netherlands) founded under the Dutch rule in 1826. In the course of time, the library was enriched by legacies and purchases (collections of Dumortier, Crépin, De Wildeman, Errera etc.). Later on, the library started an active exchange policy based on the multiple publications of the Garden.
The Garden library also houses the library of The Royal Botanical Society of Belgium, which receives about 300 journals in exchange for the Belgian Journal of Botany.