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Library, Art & Archives blog

Browse our blogs to find information about Kew's collections, services and fascinating work that is taking place. You will also meet the Library, Art and Archive staff who will provide regular updates with news from projects they are involved in, treasures they have discovered and exciting new developments planned for the future.
Grosse Klatschrose, Papaver rhoeas
12th January 2018

From poppies to pixels

Digitisation is transforming access to Kew’s unique Library, Art & Archives collections. Metadata & Digitisation Officer Joanna Durant tells us more about the work involved and Kew's contributions towards the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL).
Sylvan Winter oak engraving
5th January 2018

Not just for Christmas

With winter now upon us and the leaves long gone, the natural structural beauty of trees is revealed. Library Graduate Trainee Andy Farquhar discovers a hidden gem on trees during the season that is both representative of our collections and yet wonderfully distinctive.
Title pages of some of Hooker publications
8th December 2017

Putting the world's plants on paper: Joseph Dalton Hooker and his scientific publications

As the celebrations for Joseph Dalton Hooker’s bicentenary year come to a close, Cam Sharp Jones explores Joseph Hooker’s scientific publications and the process through which these works were produced.
Explore Your Archive logo image
17th November 2017

Explore Your Archive: Explore Botany

This month the Archives team at Kew will be welcoming visitors to special events exploring a variety of plant collectors, and giving visitors a chance to glimpse behind the scenes in the Archives department.
Joseph Dalton Hooker redacted letter
10th November 2017

Censors in the Archive: Redaction in Joseph Dalton Hooker's correspondence

Who has been censoring Joseph Hooker’s archive? Archivist Virginia speculates on a collection of Joseph Hooker’s letters that have been heavily redacted and have piqued curiosity in the archive.
27th October 2017

Kewensia: a history of the supernatural at the Gardens

Our newest Archives Graduate trainee Saffron Mackay explores the supernatural side of Kew through material found in the Kewensia collection.
‘Pyramids’, pencil sketch by Joseph Hooker, 1847
13th October 2017

‘Infinitely more curious than handsome’: Joseph Dalton Hooker and the Pyramids

Cam Sharp Jones explores some of the illustrative works produced by Joseph Dalton Hooker held in Kew’s art and archive collections, particularly those from a visit that Hooker undertook to see the Pyramids in Egypt.
Ask and Archivist 2017
29th September 2017

#AskAnArchivist Day 2017

On 4 October, archives around the world are taking part in #AskAnArchivist Day on twitter. Find out how you can ask Kew’s Archive Team a question.
Plants of "red bark" (Cinchona succirubra) collected by Richard Spruce and Robert Cross in Ecuador on arrival at Ootacamund, Nilgiris, 9th April 1861
8th September 2017

Richard Spruce: Botany on a global scale

Our new Reading Room exhibition explores the career of one of the most extraordinary and modest of Victorian naturalists, Richard Spruce, as part of celebrations at Kew to mark the bicentenary of his birth. The exhibition brings together Spruce’s diverse collections including his original collecting notebooks, correspondence, illustrations, herbarium specimens and ethnobotanical collections.
Photo of some letters sent from Joseph Hooker to George Bentham
18th August 2017

'My dear Bentham' - a Harvard Summer School visit to Kew

On the 26th June 2017, The Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project welcomed a group of undergraduates from Harvard University to Kew as part of their ‘Darwin & Evolutionary Biology Summer School’. Victoria Tong, one of the visiting students here explores some of the activities the group undertook during their two weeks at Kew.
Picture of hedges sent to John Lowe
28th July 2017

Yew, Me and Dr. John Lowe: Cataloguing the John Lowe Papers

Francesca Mackenzie shares her week in Archives cataloguing the fascinating papers of John Lowe
Making of Modern Botany' the Joseph Hooker bicentenary conference poster
14th July 2017

Joseph Hooker, 'The Making of Modern Botany' Conference

Virginia Mills, a researcher at Kew, reflects on 'The Making of Modern Botany', the Joseph Hooker bicentenary conference
Joseph Hooker's Antarctic Journal
29th June 2017

Botany on Ice: Joseph Dalton Hooker's Antarctic Journal

As part of Kew’s celebration of the bicentenary of Joseph Dalton Hooker’s birth in 1817, the Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project is pleased to announce that Hooker’s ‘Antarctic Journal’ is now available online via the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Opium cultivation, Company school painting c.1840 India
23rd June 2017

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker – Trailblazing global botanist and explorer exhibition

Our new Reading Room exhibition explores Joseph Hooker's lifelong research into plant diversity and economic botany, as part of the celebrations at Kew to mark the bicentenary of his birth.
Fitch Illustration of the white and pink flowers of the Victoria amazonica
2nd June 2017

Tales from the world of pollination

Francesca Mackenzie looks into the bizarre and fascinating world of pollination.
Plate 1 of Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium depicting pineapple illustration, 1705.
26th May 2017

The woman who made science beautiful

Razwana Akram looks at the story of Maria Sibylla Merian.
Collage of Joseph Hooker's drawings and correspondence
12th May 2017

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker at 200

Kew will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker’s birth this year, with a number of events and also further work on his correspondence. Cam Sharp Jones tells us more about all that is planned.
7th April 2017

Kew gardener and Panzer ‘ace’ met their fate together in Normandy

James Wearn reveals the long forgotten exploits of former Kew gardener, turned wartime tank driver, John Sutch and his link to Panzer ‘ace’ Michael Wittmann.

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
31st March 2017

Joseph Hooker: Putting plants in their place

A new exhibition at Kew celebrates one of Victorian Britain's most important scientists, Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911).

Title page taken from Hortus Eystettensis colour version
28th February 2017

The Garden of Eichstatt

Razwana Akram shares the fascinating story of the Garden of Eichstätt.