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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.

Reflections on a year at Kew

Archives Graduate Trainee Stephanie Rolt reflects on some of the highlights of her year at Kew in her final blog post

The art of royal life at Kew

Joanne Yeomans explores how Kew has inspired people including royalty throughout its history and introduces a new exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art which celebrates this.

The Nathaniel Wallich conservation project

Paper conservator, Natasha Trenwith, describes the conservation of Nathaniel Wallich’s botanical illustrations.
A photograph of archive materials in a collage

Cataloguing the Nathaniel Charles Rothschild archives

Read about the highlights of the fascinating Nathaniel Charles Rothschild collection of iris papers, written and researched by Archives graduate trainee Alice Evans.
Photo of a painting of a tabby-cat hunting a mouse. Walter Hood Fitch, 1846. From Kew’s illustrations collection.

Kew's curious cats

The internet is made of cats – but, as this week’s look at the Library, Art and Archives collections shows, the presence of our feline friends in interesting places isn’t just a modern phenomenon!

Conservation of Chinese watercolours from the Ann Lee collection

Find out how a paper conservator at Kew, Emma Le Cornu, conserved a collection of extremely fragile Chinese watercolours

Bringing Kew's Archive Alive

In this guest blog from the Trading Consequences team, find out how digital data produced by Kew's Directors' Correspondence team is being brought to life and can be used to visualise the British Empire's 19th Century trade networks

Highlights from the Marianne North Gallery Conservation Project

As the Marianne North Gallery Conservation Project draws to a close, Eleanor Hasler looks back at the highlights of over two years working in the Marianne North Conservation Studio.

Time for a change

Find out about the Gallery team's work and how they are preparing for the upcoming exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, at Kew Gardens.

The letters of botanist Joseph Hooker are now online

Virginia Mills describes our new online collection of Joseph Hooker's Correspondence in which you can explore Hooker's letters from India and the high Himalayas, and look at some of his expedition collections and the plant-hunting paraphernalia held here at Kew.

Formosa and Mycology... Cataloguing Kew's Archives

Read about the papers of William Price and Arthur Pearson that have recently been catalogued by our Archives Graduate Trainee, Steph.

Father of Japanese Botany

Graduate trainee Tavian Hunter explores the history of Japanese botany and shows how one scholar played a key role in introducing Western science into Japan.

The story of penicillin

Penicillin gave the allies a secret weapon during the Second World War and was soon being mass produced. Here we look at the history of this 'miracle drug' along with early photos of its manufacture by Jean Straker.
A photograph of a tea plant

Assam tea

Read about the history of tea, its journey from China to India and its growth in popularity in England in this second post of a two-part blog by Andrew Butterworth.
Image of William Nesfield's plan of the Broad Walk

The Great Broad Walk Borders: history and design

Assistant Archivist Louise Clarke takes a look into Kew’s archives to find out more about the origins of The Great Broad Walk Borders and the man behind the designs, William Andrews Nesfield.

Old letters meet new faces

Digitisation Officers Jon and Jess write about their experience as new starters on the Directors Correspondence project – find out what they have discovered in Kew's archives.

Preparing for the Joseph Hooker exhibition

Read about how the Preservation section prepared for the Joseph Hooker exhibition.

Dr Livingstone, I presume? The Zambesi Expedition 1858-1864

Read about documents from the Zambesi Expedition in Kew's Archives.

Settling into the Archives: catch up with our budding archivist

Kew's Archives Graduate Trainee, Sarah, blogs about her fascinating work and the new skills she is gaining three months in.