The Eleanor Squire library comprises a surprising and delightful collection of beautiful and highly informative horticultural, botanical and gardening books located at the Cleveland Botanical Garden on University Circle. Most of the library’s assets are available for loan to members. The library started cirulating material to members in 1937, making it one of the oldest circulating garden libraries in the country. In 2014, the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden merged to become Holden Forests & Gardens. In a continuing effort to consolidate resources and provide easier access, the library resources at each institution have been combined into one catalog.


Sunday: Noon – 5pm
Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm
216.707.2812, ext. 195

Displays and Events

Nature Tales Story Time, Tuesdays at 11am

Starting in November, the Hershey Children’s Garden Story time will be held in the Eleanor Squire Library. Children with an accompanying adult enjoy nature stories, songs, and fingerplays followed by a hands-on activity or craft.

Glow Sale Book Specials

Our Glow seasonal celebration will be from Saturday, November 23rd through Saturday, January 4th. During this time, the library will have sales that feature special gift books, cook books, children’s books, prints and new books, as well as our huge inventory of modestly priced books. Members may receive 25% off sale price by showing your current membership card.

Glow Member Day

Monday, December 2, 2 – 8pm

The library will have a special sale that features gift books, cook books, children’s books, prints and new books, as well as our huge inventory of modestly priced books. Members may receive 50% off sale price by showing your current membership card.

Search the Holden Forests & Gardens Catalog

Find books, videos and periodicals from both the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Eleanor Squire Library and the Holden Arboretum’s Warren H. Corning Library in the updated joint online catalog. Materials can be used in the library by the general public. Members may borrow circulating books. Similar titles will be in one catalog record. Search by Author, Title, or Subject for most inquiries. When an item appears, click on its title for more details and its location at either institution.

Collections and Services

Welcome to the Holden Forests & Garden library system. The two libraries have nearly 20,000 books and 40 journal subscriptions relating to trees and shrubs, horticulture, ecology, woodlot management, forest farming, sustainability, and plant conservation. The Corning Library at the Holden Arboretum places special emphasis on trees, shrubs, and native plants of the Great Lakes region and Northeastern Ohio, whereas the Squire Library at Cleveland Botanical Garden features urban and general gardening. The Corning Library also maintains a rare book collection of 500 titles (1,000 volumes) which is housed in a separate climate controlled room. This collection is open by appointment to researchers and others with a special interest in historical horticulture.

The Eleanor Squire Library is one of the oldest and largest circulating gardening libraries in the country. Its resources encompass all aspects of gardening, horticulture and botany. Although the scope is broad and international, our focus as reflected in our mission statement is on general gardening, local resources, sustainability and core plant subjects. The library has special book sections for children’s, teacher resources, new books, prominent gardeners and horticulturists, reference, Ohio gardening, and Madagascar – Costa Rica, as well as DVD’s and periodicals.

The library also maintains special and historical book collections and the Cleveland Botanical Garden Archives. The Archives collects and saves all records and artifacts pertaining to the Garden having permanent organizational, historical or scientific value. The Archives is also a repository for local horticultural organizations and specific individuals whose work or purpose reflect the Garden’s overall mission. Information is currently being organized and indexed into a word searchable database, with information available through the library catalog.

  • Past issues of the Garden’s Bulletin are located by a word searchable database. Print copies are available, and original issues are also available for research.
  • Books can be obtained outside of our library collection using Ohiolink and OCLC lending vendors. A shipping fee may be required.
  • Internet Access: Freewifi is available
  • Lectures and programs on Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Eleanor Squire Library and prominent horticulturists and gardeners can be arranged for garden clubs and groups, with on and off-site availability. Contact Librarian Gary Esmonde (, 216.707.2812) for details.

Circulation Policy

All current members of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum and their families, as well as staff, interns, and volunteers, may borrow library materials. Membership cards will be honored at either location. Items can be retrieved and sent to either location within 1-2 business days. Items may be returned to either library. Library items circulate for three weeks and can be renewed in person, by phone or through email. Up to 10 items can be checked out at any given time. If a patron has overdue items, they may not be able to check out additional items. Replacement costs will be pursued for items long overdue or lost.

Reference Services

Staff, members and visitors may seek reference assistance in person, by phone or by email:

Library phone – 216.707.2812, ext. 195
E-mail – Gary Esmonde, librarian

Special Collections

There are three special collections housed within the Eleanor Squire Library. The Charles Irish Collection consists of over 300 books and are available for circulation. They are located in the middle aisle of the library. Charles Irish is considered a founding father of the American arborist profession and was known for his innovative patents within the field.

The library’s rare book collection was relocated to the Corning Library after the 2014 merger with Holden Arboretum due to its larger climate-controlled environment. The rare book room at Eleanor Squire Library has been converted into a reading room that houses two other collections and the Archives. Special Collections consists of all circulating books published prior to 1980 and back to the 1870’s. Consisting of over 800 titles, these books may be checked out.

The Historical Collection houses nearly 125 titles that were originally in the rare book collection, but remain here for their significance and availability to students and scholars. The Archives is a repository for all records and artifacts pertaining to the Garden having permanent organizational, historical, or scientific value. Information and artifacts from the Archives as well as books from the Historical Collection can be used in-house but can only be borrowed with special permission from the librarian.


Click here to learn about the history of the Eleanor Squire Library.