The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

Join Paramacharya as he walks through The Huntington: a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington(1850-1927). In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus in 18th and 19th-century European art and 17th to mid-20th-century American art. The property also includes approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens, most notably the "Japanese Garden", the "Desert Garden", and the "Chinese Garden" (Liu Fang Yuan).

The Library building was designed in 1920, by the southern California architectMyron Hunt in theMediterranean Revival style. The library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library's holdings contain 7 million items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera. Highlights include one of 11 vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, theEllesmere manuscript of Chaucer ca. 1410, and letters and manuscripts byGeorge Washington,Thomas Jefferson,Benjamin Franklin, andAbraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos ofHamlet; it holds the manuscript ofBenjamin Franklin's autobiography, Isaac Newtons personal copy of his Philosophiae Natural is Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newtons own hand. the first seven drafts of Henry David Thoreau's Walden, John James Audubon's Birds of America, and first editions and manuscripts from authors such asCharles Bukowski, Octavia E. Butler. Jack London, Alexander Pope, William Blake, Mark Twain, and William Wordsworth.

The Desert Garden, one of the world's largest and oldest outdoor collections of cacti and other succulents, contains plants from extreme environments, many of which were acquired by Henry E. Huntington and William Hertrich (the garden curator). One of the Huntington's most botanically important gardens, the Desert Garden, brings together a plant group largely unknown and unappreciated in the beginning of the 1900s. Containing a broad category of xerophytes (aridity-adapted plants), the Desert Garden grew to preeminence and remains today among the world's finest, with more than 5,000 species.

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