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Rare book of botanical art finds home in Illinois

Published: Friday, March 7, 2014 6:59 p.m. CST

LISLE – A rare book of French botanical art has found a home in the Sterling Morton Library at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle.

The botanical garden outside Chicago announced the acquisition Thursday. The book was published in Paris in 1836 and contains hand-colored engravings based on illustrations by Pancrace Bessa, a French natural history artist.

Fewer than 15 copies can be found in library catalogs around the world.

The book will be stored in the library's vault and can be viewed by appointment. Library Collections Manager Rita Hassert says it will be especially valuable to students in the arboretum's botanical art and illustration education programs. She also encourages the public to use the library's resources.

The arboretum has collected rare botanical books and artwork since it was founded in 1922.

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