The aim of this website is to introduce potential users to the wealth of material relating to cinchona and quinine at Kew. Some background information on the genus Cinchona and the history of cinchona bark and quinine alkaloids is included, but users looking for more detail will need to see the further reading listed on the Bibliography page.
Three key sets of data are presented here:
A standardised list of collectors and donors (from whom the bark specimens originate. Some are well-known figures in pharmacy or botany, but tracking down some individuals and institutions has required use of primary sources such as newspapers and census records.
A comprehensive list of contemporary (mainly 19th century) publications and archive documents relating to the bark specimens, based on systematic searching of Pharmaceutical Journal and Kew’s library and archives. A working bibliography of literature on the history of cinchona is also provided.
Lists of the bark specimens, with summary data, broken down by region and, in some cases, collector. More detailed exploration of the catalogue records is possible using the full catalogue records, available as a spreadsheet. For reasons of space, the summary data concentrates on provenance and omits botanical identifications.
Work continues on cross-referencing of bark specimens to individual publications and manuscripts.