About Our Collections
The Libraries' physical collections comprise 1.5 million books and manuscripts, along with over 400,000 pieces of ephemera, microfilm, photo collections and a/v material, housed in over 21 locations in Washington, Maryland, New York, and Panama. Some of those collections are available via inter-library loan request through your local public, school, or corporate library. If you're with an organization interested in using one of our collections items in an exhibition, please see the Exhibition Loan Services page.
- Additional details of the collections housed in the various library locations can be found on the branch web pages.
- To see if a specific book or journal is in our collection, search our catalog.
Our digital collections include over 27,000 digitized books and manuscripts (available on our site and at the Biodiversity Heritage Library) as well as digitized photo collections, ephemera, and seed catalogs.
Many of our physical collections have not yet been digitized. Some of the resources listed below - such Trade Literature and Art and Artist Files - are portals for searching the inventories of those collections.