Begun in the 1880s as an adjunct to the Arboretum’s living, library, and herbarium collections, today the Arboretum’s visual resources include over 65,000 items. Digital images, black-and-white and color prints, 35mm slides and their predecessor lantern slides, trace the evolution and management of the Arboretum’s landscape, record individual taxa in the living collections, and capture these same plants growing in their native habitats.
Plant collectors and their expeditions to Eastern Asia are well represented; their images document the people, events, and customs of these exotic lands as well as the flora. There are also images of the people who have curated, studied, propagated, and taken care of the plant collection, herbarium, and library. Photographs of other plant collections, private gardens, and parks located throughout the world round out the collection.
In addition to searching our collections in the Visual Information Access database (VIA), all are welcome to browse these
|Arnold Arboretum Plant Image Database is a free resource of historical and contemporary images of accessioned plants in the living collections, useful in the identification of plant taxa and to reference the formal characteristics (morphology) and seasonal aspects (phenology) of temperate woody plants in the Arboretum collections.|
|Botanical and Cultural Images of Eastern Asia represents the work of early 20th century plant explorers who returned with not only seeds, live plants, and dried herbarium specimens, but also with remarkable images of people and landscapes.|
|South Central China and Tibet: Hotspot of Diversity provides access to the natural history and ethnographic collections that resulted from Arnold Arboretum past and present expeditions to China and Tibet.|
|Ernest Wilson’s New England Trees collects early twentieth century images of noteworthy New England trees, landscapes, and architecture.|
|Cienfuegos Botanical Garden, Cuba was established in 1899 as the Harvard Botanic Station for Tropical Research and Sugar Cane Investigation. In 1932, the Garden became the Atkins Institution of the Arnold Arboretum.
|The Arboretum Through Time, Historical Landscape Images records the evolution of the Arnold Arboretum’s landscape and its living collections as well as its buildings, paths, and roadways since 1889.|
|The Arnold Arboretum Captured in Time: 1982-1987 by Corliss Knapp Engle (1936-2009), who captured wonderful views of the Arboretum’s landscape throughout her long and dedicated association with the institution.|
|The Seed Herbarium Image Project (SHIP) supports scientists, horticulturists, propagators, nurseries, and educators, particularly in conservation research and management of rare and endangered species. These digitized images of seeds offer an important aid for teaching seed identification, and can be searched by entering the scientific name, family name, or Arboretum accession number.|