Inside the Lloyd Library and Museum

Founded in the 1870s, the Lloyd Library is now home to an incredible collection of works related to botany, pharmacology, and scientific history.

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

At West Court and Plum streets downtown sits a hidden library-slash-secret garden. It’s called the Lloyd Library and Museum, and it was founded in the 1870s by brothers and pharmacists John Uri Lloyd, Nelson Ashley Lloyd, and Curtis Gates Lloyd. The library and museum grew from John’s and Curtis’s shared need to store their growing collections of research materials—pharmaceutical chemistry–related literature for John and botanical and fungi–related materials for Curtis.

After multiple expansions, the Lloyd now houses about 150,000 volumes of books and periodicals, 3,000 linear feet of archival manuscripts, and 3,000 museum artifacts relating to botany, pharmacy and medicine, scientific and natural history, and the visual arts dating back to 1493 B.C.E. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, scholars and curious guests must make an appointment to visit the library and conduct research, peruse the materials, or enjoy one of its digital seasonal exhibits which cover topics ranging from wildflowers to medicinal cannabis. The Lloyd also hosts webinars, lectures, and a podcast exploring the treasures in its vast catalog.

Click through our gallery to view more photos of the Lloyd Library and Museum:

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