Sterling Morton Library

Sterling Morton Library

The Sterling Morton Library welcomes all guests of The Morton Arboretum. The collection is rich with botanical and horticultural materials, including a host of historic and contemporary books, journals, artwork, correspondence, papers, nursery catalogs, landscape plans, maps, video and audio recordings, photographic images, and specimens for your browsing and research.

The library is located in the Administration and Research Building, with convenient parking nearby. The library is free for all to use with admission to the Arboretum. Arboretum members, volunteers, and staff are invited to borrow materials with a Sterling Morton Library card. The mission of the Sterling Morton Library is to provide knowledge, information, and resources to encourage, advance, and inspire the study and understanding of trees and shrubs, as well as other plants and their environment. You can ask a librarian a question, request an appointment, or contact the library by email at library@mortonarb.org or by phone at 630-719-2429.

Asked Questions

  • The Sterling Morton Library is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    At any time, you may access digital resources via ACORN and the e-book Collection.


  • You can contact the Library by phone at 630-719-2429 or by email at library@mortonarb.org.

    You can also ask a librarian a question or make an appointment to view rare books, archives, and art collections.

  • Located on the Arboretum’s East Side in the Administration Building, the Sterling Morton Library is a short walk from the Visitor Center.

  • Arboretum members, staff, and volunteers can borrow books from the circulating collection, as well as the e-book collection. Guests are invited to use resources in the library or request items from their local library through interlibrary loan.

  • The collections include a wide range of resources, including books, e-books, magazines, e-journals, photographic images, correspondence, maps, and plans, all with a special focus on botany and horticulture, along with urban forestry, natural history, botanical art, forestry and conservation, as well as landscape design.

    Staff can assist and support your explorations.

  • Named in honor of Suzette Morton Davidson, granddaughter of Joy Morton, the special collections include the archives, rare publications, and art collections. Enhancing and supplementing the circulating and reference collections, these special resources provide critical information to the study of botany and horticulture, as well as the history of the Arboretum.

    You are encouraged to explore these special collections. A good starting point is ACORN, the digital collections management system. If you need additional assistance, please request an appointment to view an item from these collections.

How to Use the Library

Browse the circulating and journal collections.

Borrow the circulating collection resources

if you are an Arboretum member or volunteer.

Receive reference assistance

by submitting a request form.

Study in the Reading Room.

View special collection materials

with an appointment.

Request a library tour

by contacting the library staff.

Learn more about collections

during an educational presentation or program.

Explore digital collections

using ACORN.

Join Leafing Through the Pages,

the library’s book discussion group for members.

Visit Imprinted: Views of the Landscape from the Archives of The Morton Arboretum

an exhibit in the library.