The library is a very comprehensive reference collection of orchid literature providing an excellent research resource. It includes more than 2'000 volumes, amongst them an irreplaceable collection of rare and precious folio books since the late 18th century, many with hand-coloured illustrations. These volumes often contain the original illustrations of orchid species. They are amongst the best examples of the few copies still in existence, and they provide a resource, which is exceptionally rare.
The collection of more modern reference books is complete, and as such it is an exceptionally rare and valuable resource for orchid research. It includes regional floras from all over the world, revisions of genera and groups (often highly illustrated), and many other reference volumes. The entire collection has been catalogued, and is included in the University of Basel library catalogue.
The separata collection, of ca. 5'000 scientific articles on the Orchidaceae, is drawn from numerous sources including a very wide range of scientific journals, and provides an exceptionally rich complementary collection of orchid literature.