Appointments should be made at least one day in advance.
Monday through Friday 9 am until 12 pm and 1 pm until 4 pm
Staff: Irene Holiman
(909) 625-8767, ext. 210
The collections are divided into two major sections: the general collection and special collections. The special collection includes rare books and archival materials, while the general collection includes volumes of monographs, periodicals and reference works.
Special Collections holds 2,200 rare herbals, historic scientific literature, and illustrated botanical books.
The library continually receives and stocks significant periodicals and publications from around the world. These are all available to the public.
Marcus Jones Website: With the help of Lisa Gluckstein, the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern at RSABG Summer 2011, turn-of-the-century photographs and archival documents from one of the leading botanists in the American West are getting the 21st-century treatment. https://sites.google.com/a/rsabg.org/marcus-e-jones/
The California Golden Poppy Website: From watercolors that derive their beauty from their simplicity to detailed works dedicated solely to the appreciation of the flower, this website seeks to bring these often overlooked works of artistry out of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library and Special Collections and back into the view of the general public. Website created by Shanti Penprase, the 2013 RSABG Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern. https://sites.google.com/a/rsabg.org/the-golden-poppy/
Picturesque California Website: The year 1888 was a time of great activity in the printing world. Not only were there dozens of new printing techniques and unusual formatting techniques, but printing companies were clamoring to satisfy the public’s fascination with the West. Most of these efforts were relatively small-scale in the form of brochures and single prints. However, in 1888, the J. Dewing Publishing Co. brought together these two emerging trends in a highly ambitious work. This work would be known as Picturesque California. Website created by Shanti Penprase, the 2013 RSABG Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern. https://sites.google.com/a/rsabg.org/picturesque-california/
Susanna Bixby Bryant established Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) in 1927. In setting aside 200 acres of her family’s Orange County ranch for the garden, Bixby Bryant provided a location for the research, study and appreciation of native California flora. RSABG became an affiliated institution of The Claremont Colleges in 1951 when the Garden moved to its present location in Claremont, 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The Garden, an independent organization, became the home of Claremont Graduate University’s Botany Program. As a research organization and institution of higher education, RSABG is involved with research in systematic and evolutionary botany (science fields that sort out the relationships and evolutionary history of plants).
Encouraging the use of California native plants in home landscapes is a major aspect of the Garden’s objective and to further this goal, we offer horticulture and community education programs to the public. The Garden’s grounds include many areas designed to illustrate the ways in which native plants can be used to achieve home garden and landscape design projects. More than half of RSABG’s 86 acres is devoted to California plant communities—plantings designed to depict native plant habitats. The emphasis to display plants in their native habitats was established by Bixby Bryant in the early years of the Garden.
In 2015, the RSABG library was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities, Preservation Assistance Grant for Smaller Institutions. This grant is dedicated to improving environmental conditions and care for the archives and special collections, allowing staff to purchase much needed supplies such as an environmental monitoring system, archival-quality shelving units, and archival supplies to protect materials in the Garden's special collections and archives.