Research & Archives

Access our library by appointment

For lifelong learners and those inspired by the Bartrams, the John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library houses one of the most complete collections of writings, genealogical information, books, and photographs by and about the Bartrams and their garden. The library features rare books and herbals from the Dr. Philip George Collection, many of which would have been in the Bartram’s family library or on his reading list.

Among the holdings is John Bartram’s own copy of Linnaeus’ Genera Plantarum given to him by Dr. Gronovius of Leiden in 1743. John in turn gave this volume to his son William in 1755 and it is inscribed with both their names.

The library also contains a selection of reference books about Philadelphia history, 18th and 19th century gardens and botany, out-of-print books about the Bartrams, transcriptions and copies of published editions of Bartram correspondence, as well as diaries, journals, drawings, plant lists and catalogues, tax and census records and estate papers. In addition, the collection contains the complete archive of the John Bartram Association activities, correspondence, annual reports, minutes, memorabilia, and garden guides, as well as technical reports and architectural drawings/specifications/plans documenting restorations, repairs and archaeological surveys of the site.

Library hours

The library is open by appointment 12-4 pm, Tuesday-Friday.

Assisted research and reproduction fees

The fee for assisted historical and genealogical research is $25/hour.

Our fees for photographic rights and reproductions are here.

To make an appointment or request photocopies or photographs, call 215-729-5281, fax 215-729-1047, or email