Kew's unique Directors' Correspondence collection is being made available digitally through a new collaborative website, JSTOR Global Plants.
This month sees the launch of JSTOR Global Plants (formerly JSTOR Plant Science) a community-contributed dataset featuring more than 2 million high resolution plant type specimen images as well as reference works, drawings, paintings, photographs and archive materials related to plants and the history of botany.
The database is the product of an ongoing collaboration between more than 270 herbaria worldwide and one of the primary source highlights is Kew's very own Directors' Correspondence collection (DC) which provides an amazing variety of explorers' correspondence, predominantly from the 1830s to the 1920s.
Detail of a map of the area around Lake Shirwa, Mozambique c.1860, from John Kirk, chief assistant to David Livingstone on the second Zambesi Expedition, part of RBG Kew's Directors' Correspondence Collection. [Archives ref DC 60/153]
Users can search original letters and documents from the DC collection from Africa (c.7600 letters), Latin America (c.7400 letters), and Asia (c.9400 letters). We are currently working hard to add the North American DC collection. For a taste of the kind of items available check out our previous Library, Art & Archives blog posts.
JSTOR Global Plants is a subscription site; access is available through terminals in Kew's Library Reading Room. Non-subscribers are able to search, view metadata, view thumbnail images and comment. We hope you enjoy browsing this amazing collection!
- For all the latest news from the DC project follows us on twitter @kewDC.
- For questions about access and participation fees for JSTOR Global Plants, please contact email@example.com.
- Read our blog post about celebrating David Livingstone's Bicentenary at Kew.
- Contact the Archives team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Tropical Nursery
The main functions of the Nursery are to:
- Form a back-up collection of tender tropical plants used to support science, display and education within the gardens. We supply plants for use in displays in the Main Kew conservatries, for festivals and events organised by the Foundation and the Directorate.
- Supply plants for education purposes to the Schools & Families department.
- Act as main propagation facility for the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Palm House and Temperate House as well as supporting the exchange of plants between Kew and other institutions and collections.
- Provide direct education in nursery techniques and the cultivation of tropical plants for the Kew Diploma course, Apprentice and Trainee programme, Internship and work experience programmes and visiting staff from other UK and overseas institutions.
- Support conservation by working with the UKOTs team undertaking propagation and cultivation protocols on targeted endangered species.
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