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Joseph Hooker project team and partners

Joseph Hooker in India

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Virginia Mills

Photo of Virginia Mills

Project Officer
Joseph Hooker Correspondence
Library, Art & Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Tel: 020 8332 5450
Email: v.mills@kew.org

 
Appointed in July 2013, Virginia is responsible for the day-to-day running of the project: from selecting material to be included and coordinating the digital imaging being carried out in house at Kew, to cataloguing the letters and producing transcripts. Virginia is also the coordinator for the project's team of volunteer transcribers. Currently the only member of staff working full-time on the project but with the support of staff from the Archives, Library, Reprographics, Digital Media, Conservation and IT departments at Kew.

Please contact Virginia with any questions relating to the project. For more general archives enquiries please contact:

The Archives
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Richmond
Surrey TW9 3AE
UK
Tel: 020 8332 5417
Fax: 020 8332 5430
Email: archives@kew.org


Our partners

University of Sussex

A wealth of botanical and environmental knowledge, collected by pioneering explorers from the 17th to the 19th centuries, is housed in fragile and sometimes endangered archives in museums and botanical gardens around the world. The Centre for World Environmental History at Sussex is working with partners to transcribe, collate and digitise such archives to preserve them and to make them more accessible to researchers.

Digitising these vast and dispersed records, housed in museums and botanical archives around the world, amounts to an enormous collective effort for historians and scientists. Sussex's Centre for World Environmental History specialises in the environmental history of the tropics, and fosters interdisciplinary and interinstitutional collaborations that cross the boundaries of the social sciences, humanities, and the history of science. A goal of the Centre is to facilitate projects that allow the use of information housed in such historical archives to achieve its full potential.

The early transcription work on the Joseph Hooker Indian Correspondence was undertaken at University of Sussex and was led by Dr Vinita Damodaran, Director of the Centre and Senior Lecturer in South Asian History at Sussex with a transcription team (Drs Anna Winterbottom, Lowell Woodcock and Kristopher Grint). This is part of an ongoing collaboration between Sussex and Kew with Dr Vinita Damodaran and Dr Jim Endersby, first initiated by Prof Richard Grove, a leading global environmental historian. Dr Jim Endersby is a world-renowned expert on Joseph Hooker and his work has contributed much of the contextual content on the Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project website.

The team at Sussex continue to work on developing and applying a schema to mark up the transcribed text to make it useful to a community of diverse users. For example, from the perspective of the history of global climate change these archives are of interest to Meteorological Office scientists as a source of pre-instrumental records of rainfall and drought.


Dr Jim Endersby

Dr Jim Endersby

Dr Jim Endersby

Reader in the History of Science
University of Sussex
Email: j.j.endersby@sussex.ac.uk
Tel: 01273 678005

I am a specialist in the history of science, with particular interest in the impact of empire on nineteenth-century Britain, science and literature, and in the reception and influence of Darwinism. My first book, A Guinea Pig's History of Biology (2007), won the Royal Society of Literature's Jerwood Prize and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. It has been published in hardback and paperback in the UK and USA, and a Spanish translation was published in 2009 and a German translation appeared in October 2012. My second, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the practices of Victorian Science (2008), was published by the University of Chicago Press and appeared in paperback in 2010.

I edited a new edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species that was published by Cambridge University Press in May 2009. I am currently writing a cultural history of the Orchid for Reaktion books and will then write a history of imperial science and classification for Atlantic Books (UK) that will be published by Metropolitan Books (Henry Holt & Company) in the US. Tentatively called: A Place for Everything: how science and empire ordered the world, it will explore the connections between science and empire during Coleridge's 'Second Scientific Revolution', by looking at the ways new sciences were shaped by new classification.

Dr Vinita Damodaran 

Dr Vinita Damodaran

Dr Vinita Damodaran

Senior Lecturer in South Asian History
Director of the Centre for World Environmental History
University of Sussex
Email: v.damodaran@sussex.ac.uk
Tel: 01273 606755

Dr Damodaran is a historian of modern India. Her work ranges from the social and political history of Bihar to the environmental history of South Asia. Her publications include: Broken Promises, Indian Nationalism and the Congress Party in Bihar (1992), Nature and the Orient, Essays on the Environmental History of South and South-East Asia (1998) and Post Colonial India, History Politics and Culture (2000), British empire and the natural world: environmental encounters in South Asia, (2010). She is also the author of several articles in established journals. She is particularly interested in questions of identity and resistance and is completing a manuscript on landscape and indigeneity in Chotanagpur.

An experienced researcher and teacher, she is the director of the Centre for World Environmental History at Sussex. The Centre is host to several research projects and a number of research associates. Dr Damodaran has had several research grants for her work from the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and the AHRC. She is currently leading an AHRC network project on the botanical and meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 2012-2014. The centre collaborates actively with Kew, the British Library, the UK Met Office and several institutions in India such as JNU, Delhi the Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. She is engaged in building up the profile of South Asian studies and environmental history at the University of Sussex and internationally.

The Natural History Museum, London                 

Natural History Museum, London

The Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project is indebted to the staff of the Natural History Museum's Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP) and to the Natural History Museum digital development and content teams, who have provided valuable advice and are assisting us with ongoing improvements to the project website.

The database we use to catalogue letters was created by George Beccaloni and Mike Sadka for the Wallace Correspondence Project; its original development for the WCP was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, USA. Our transcription protocol is also based on the protocol developed for the WCP.

Jupe productions

Peter Donaldson and Jupe productions have kindly allowed the Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project to post some exclusive clips from their fascinating documentary film project about Joseph Hooker. http://www.jupeproductions.com/

Michael Palin

Our thanks go to Michael Palin for allowing us to reproduce his talk Joseph Hooker: the Man Who Knew Everybody, originally given at the Athenaeum Club in February 2013.

Toby Musgrave

Toby Musgrave, Garden Historian, is the author of the Kew magazine article Tracking Hooker, reproduced with his kind permission.

Read the full article, 'Tracking Hooker' from Kew magazine (20MB PDF)