VISIT & explore

Library exhibits

Current exhibits in the Sterling Morton Library:


May Theilgaard Watts

May Theilgaard Watts (1893-1975) was a noted author, artist, and educator, whose artistic talents, engaging prose, energetic style, and ability to “read the landscape” inspired countless Arboretum visitors and beyond to become true champions of trees and the environment. In conjunction with a recent donor-funded project to digitize hundreds of items in our special collections related to Watts and her various endeavors, the Sterling Morton Library has created a new pop-up exhibit which showcases her travel sketchbooks, pottery, drawings, paintings, nature prints, and more. Visit the Library frequently to view the revolving display of these unique and rare items in this special exhibit!

We also invite you to explore more of her work on ACORN, our newly launched digital collections management system!

Plant Hunters

Plant Hunters explores the practice and history of plant exploration and collecting. This exhibit features artifacts from the library's special collections and allow visitors to explore the history of plant hunting as well as the modern plant hunting and conservation efforts of scientists right here at The Morton Arboretum.

Library exhibits are free with Arboretum admission!

Plant Hunters Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum


Tales and Treasures

PREVIOUS EXHIBIT - ended September 13, 2014

Tales and Treasures Exhibit


In 2013, the Sterling Morton Library turned 50! To celebrate this auspicious anniversary, Tales and Treasures showcasesd 50 rare and unique objects from our collections, each with a special story to tell. Displays of rarely seen objects, interactive games, and a library-wide scavenger hunt engaged visitors of all ages in the rich legacy of the Sterling Morton Library. After exploring, visitors were invited to imagine what the next 50 years might hold for this and other libraries!

Listen to and watch the tales of four special treasures previously on display in our exhibit! learn more

World's Fair Gardens

PREVIOUS EXHIBIT - ended March 2013

World's Fair Gardens past exhibit


We often remember World's Fairs for their iconic exhibits and architecture.  More importantly perhaps, and certainly more enduring, are the green spaces underfoot.  World's Fairs not only shaped landscape design in the United States, but also introduced significant innovations in horticulture.  This exhibit was based on the book, World's Fair Gardens: Shaping American Landscapes by Cathy Jean Maloney, and used artifacts from the authors personal collection to tell this story.

Check our online catalog to see if this book is available to check out at The Sterling Morton Library!