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Library, Art & Archives

One of the most important botanical reference sources in the world, Library, Art & Archives contains several million items, including books, botanical illustrations, photographs, letters and manuscripts, periodicals, biographies and maps.
Photo of Reading Room


During the 160 years of the library's history, material has been acquired by gift, purchase and exchange. Over 90 languages are represented, making the library a global resource for plant science, research and conservation. An extension to the Library, Art & Archives was completed in 2010 and provides much-needed additional and secure storage for our collections, as well as a dedicated reading room for visitors.


Featured digital projects

Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project

The Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project is conserving, digitising, transcribing and making available online the personal and scientific correspondence of Joseph Hooker (1817-1911), an important - but often overlooked - 19th century naturalist and explorer.

More about the Joseph Hooker collection

Nathaniel Wallich and Indian Natural History project

As part of the Wallich and Indian Natural History project, the plant drawings, specimens and correspondence are being reunited online in a collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Natural History Museum, London and The British Library, with additional input from the Indian Botanic Gardens, Kolkata, and the National Archives of India.

More about the Nathaniel Wallich collection