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General Collections

The Blaksley Library has a rich collection of plant information unequalled on California's central coast. The library houses over 15,000 books, digital media, and journals on all aspects of plant science with an emphasis on the flora of California and its offshore islands. Collection strengths include floras of other Mediterranean regions of the world, botanical exploration of North America, plant conservation, ornamental uses of native plants and low-water use landscaping, landscape architecture and garden design, and Santa Barbara garden history.

The library of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has joined with the Santa Barbara Historical Society and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to form the Central Coast Museum Consortium, a cooperative cataloging venture. All book and periodical titles from the three libraries are listed in an online searchable catalog at centralcoastmuseums.org.

Additional Collections

  • Vertical subject files of uncataloged articles, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets
  • Reprint files, including the Katherine Esau collection on plant anatomy and the C.H. Muller collection
  • 700 maps, including USGS topographic maps and Dibblee geologic maps for California

In-house indexes:

  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden scrapbooks, 1930s-present—Indexed articles from local and regional newspapers. Subjects include the Garden, native plants, Santa Barbara trees, local people and gardens, and other people associated with plant science
  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden publications—Indexes of the Garden's newsletters and annual reports, from 1926-present
  • Index to Oral Histories published by the Garden
  • Biographical Indexes and Files—Botanists; people associated with the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden; people involved in Santa Barbara garden history