The Huntington is an independent research center with holdings in British and American history, literature, art history, and the history of science and medicine. The Library collections range chronologically from the eleventh century to the present and include a half-million rare books, nearly six million manuscripts, 800,000 photographs, and a large ephemera collection, supported by a half-million reference works. The Burndy Library consists of some 67,000 rare books and reference volumes in the history of science and technology, as well as an important collection of scientific instruments. Within the general fields listed above there are many areas of special strength, including: Middle Ages, Renaissance, 19th- and 20th-century literature, British drama, Colonial America, American Civil War, Western America, and California. The Art Collections contain notable British and American paintings, fine prints, photographs, and an art reference library. In the library of the Botanical Gardens is a broad collection of reference works in botany, horticulture, and gardening.