The BRIT Library supports botanical research and education in Texas and around the world. Our collection has been carefully curated and is a valuable research tool for those studying systematic botany, horticulture, natural history and ethnobotany. The BRIT Library houses one of the largest and finest collections of botanical works in the southwestern United States.
Our collection is non-circulating but we are open to the public for use as a reference library Monday - Friday, 10am to 4pm. To ensure that someone is available to assist you, please make an appointment before stopping by.
In honor of National Library Week, BRIT Library would like to highlight a recent acquisition of the BRIT Library & Archive collection. In July of 2018, BRIT Library acquired the collection of botanist Sherwin Carlquist. This acquisition includes 100,000 color field photograph slides, 5,000 microscope slides, and 15 field notebooks. Carlquist is a Guggenheim fellow and a plant anatomist based at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Herbarium (SBBG) in California and continues to publish on his research findings to this day. Over the course of his career, the primary focus of his research has been on island biogeography and island flora. The most active years of his field research span from 1953-1989 and include regions such as Western Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan, Malaysia, and Africa.
In honor of International Women’s Day 2019, on March 8, 2019, BRIT Library highlighted the botanist Mary Sophie Young. As one of the earliest botanists at University of Texas, Mary Sophie Young’s extensive collecting throughout Texas greatly contributed to the flora of Texas as well as the holdings of the University of Texas herbarium. The estimated number of her collection is thought to be in the vicinity of 10,000. Young was born in Glendale, Ohio, in 1872. She earned her B.A. at Wellesley College in 1895 and her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1910. In 1912, she became the curator of the University of Texas at Austin herbarium as well as a faculty member in the botany department.
In our "Hidden Treasures" series, Special Collections Librarian Alyssa B. Young features notable works in the BRIT rare book collection. The work of Dr. Eula Whitehouse spreads tentacles throughout BRIT. Our herbarium contains over 500 specimens she collected, our library houses six of her publications, and the Eula Whitehouse Collection in the BRIT Archives documents her life's work. Much like the names Mahler or Shinners, Whitehouse's name is omnipresent since she's integral to the core of BRIT as an institution. To celebrate Women's History Month , we want to tell the story of this remarkable woman. Eula Whitehouse was born in Cleburne, Texas, on August 1, 1892. She attended University of Texas in Austin, where she received a B.A. in 1918, M.S. in 1931, and a Ph.D. in 1939. Such educati...
How much do you know about Alexander von Humboldt, one of the most influential naturalists in history? More species and plants are named after him than after any other human being, but in the last 150 years he's been nearly forgotten. Let's change that.
As you look through the shelves in our rare book room, you see rows and rows of beautifully-bound books. They have bindings of leather and vellum, ornate embossed and gilded decorations on the covers and spines. Two volumes stand out: Flora Sibirca.
One of the treasures of BRIT’s rare book collection is Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, a premier journal for early botanical illustrations and descriptions. The journal has featured over 10,000 color illustrations in its 230 years of publication. Originally titled The Botanical Magazine, it is the longest running illustrated botanical periodical and is still being published today.