Royal Horticultural Society Libraries

Contact details

Website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0)207 8213050

Royal Horticultural Society Library

About the library

The Royal Horticultural Society libraries hold the world’s finest collection of books and printed materials on gardening. The collections focus on horticulture and allied subjects, and include archives, photography and botanical art.

The libraries are situated at three main sites:

  • Vincent Square, London
  • RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey
  • RHS Garden Harlow Carr, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire

Additionally there are Library Reading Rooms at:

  • RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon
  • RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex

The RHS has had a library since its foundation in 1804 and has actively collected publications that relate to the science, art and practice of horticulture. The library staff care for rare books which date back to 1514 and have built a large collection of botanical and horticultural publications from before 1800.

The lending and research collections include printed material on all aspects of practical gardening, horticultural science and taxonomy and focus on the history of the RHS, the history and folklore of gardening and plants, modern and historical garden design, and the history and techniques of botanical art. They include an extensive collection of early gardening periodicals, nursery catalogues and horticultural ephemera as well as works on herbals and medicinal plants, children’s gardening literature and the largest collection of books on flower arranging in the UK.

RHS library collections are available for loan to RHS members and are widely used for research.

The local library catalogue is available online.

The Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library also contributes to the Archives Hub. To browse descriptions of their archive materials, visit their Archives Hub information page.

British Library inter-library loan codes

Library code


Policy code


For an explanation of these codes, and for more information on arranging inter-library loans, see the inter-library loans page on the British Library website.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? No.

Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? Yes - subject to the library's local lending policy. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff for advice on ordering an item.

Can I visit the library to view materials? See the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.


Browse all of the Royal Horticultural Society Library records in Library Hub Discover here.