Seeds & Gardening: Central Library Seed Collection

What is the Seed Collection?

The Seed Collection is a joint project of the Austin Public Library and the Central Texas Seed Savers, a grassroots group of seed savers, gardeners, horticulturists and social activists that coalesced around the idea of establishing a repository and exchange system for seeds of land race, heirloom, locally adapted and native varieties of fruits and vegetable and other useful plants in Central Texas region. The Seed Collection is housed in the classic card catalog cabinet on the Austin Central Library's 6th floor. Everyone is welcome to "check out" and "return" seeds from the collection.
To request Central Library seed pickup while the building is closed, please email your name and choice of up to four seed packets from our Collection Inventory to Ask a Librarian. To donate to the collection, please seal seeds thoroughly in envelopes or other packaging, labelled with the seed name and date, and leave them in the Central Library bookdrop.

Get Growing with the Seed Collection

The Seed Collection has taken root!

The Central Texas Seed Savers and the Austin Public Library are committed to supporting the local environment and community by sharing seeds and related knowledge through our programming and circulating collection. We believe that seeds are nutritional and historical suitcases which contain the potential for both physical and cultural sustenance. Seed collections like ours are intended to promote sustainability, self-sufficiency, food security and interpersonal exchange.

How does it work?

Do you need seeds to start your garden or get it ready for a new season? Browse the drawers, check out up to four seed packets per visit and record them on a checkout form from drawer 18. Place the completed form back in the same drawer.

Has your garden produced more seeds than you need? Keep the spirit and the seedlings alive with a donation. Use the form from drawer 19, as well as envelopes from drawer 21, if you need them. Place the completed donation in drawer 20.