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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.

19th century America: impressions from the archive of Joseph Hooker

Discover a selection of Joseph Hooker's views on 19th century America, taken from the great botanist's expedition letters.
Photograph of Hooker by Dawson Turner from a drawing by J. S. Cotman and letter from Hooker

The life and legacy of Sir William Jackson Hooker

A new exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of Sir William Jackson Hooker’s death by celebrating his life and time as Kew’s first official director.
Wardian case received by Kew from Hong Kong

The Wardian case: a history of plant transportation

Philippa Lewis from Kew's Archives team reveals the important role of the Wardian case in the history of plant transportation.

An unexpected visitor

In her last blog post, Elisabeth writes about her experiences as the Archives Graduate Trainee and reveals more about an unexpected Victorian visitor to the Gardens.

Aitchison and Asia in the Directors' Correspondence

Uncovering the plant collecting experiences of a 19th century surgeon naturalist through his correspondence with Kew.

Crossing continents - The next phase of digitisation

Read about the recent changes within the Directors' Correspondence digitisation team and the start of our new project - digitising the Directors' Correspondence collection from Asia.

Rust, smuggling and the Number 11 mango!

Take a glimpse at the Museum of Economic Botany at the turn of the 20th Century, as discovered by our Archives volunteer in a recent addition to our collections.

History of art in the Directors' Correspondence: the painting of an iconic Kew image

Spiridione Gambardella's portrait of Sir William Jackson Hooker is an iconic image of the great man - but how did this painting come about? Letters in the Kew's Directors' Correspondence collection shed some light on the process.

On the murder of Dr Charles Budd Robinson

Read about the death of enthusiastic plant hunter Dr Charles Budd Robinson in Ambon, as told by the murder report in Kew's archives, and learn why miscommunication can be deadly.

Welcome to Kew's LAA Blog

Learn more about the LAA team and what we are doing at Kew

Women gardeners during the First World War

Archives graduate trainee Miriam Hopkinson reveals the important role played by women gardeners at Kew during the First World War

Celebrating the tree

Artist Masumi Yamanaka is exhibiting her illustrations of Kew’s Heritage Trees at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. This stunning exhibition is a great introduction to the many beautiful illustrations of trees to be found within Library, Art and Archives.
Photo of Geranium farreri specimen from Kew's Herbarium

Reginald Farrer: dalesman, intrepid plant hunter and gardener

Reginald Farrer, 'Prince of Alpine gardeners' was an eccentric plant hunter who made an invaluable contribution to alpine gardening.
Photo of pages from a 1664 edition of Theophrastus.

The grandfather of botany – Theophrastus of Eresus

What connection is there between Theophrastus of Eresus, one of the most important Pre-Linnaean botanists, and the library here at Kew? Now you can find out!

The Joseph Dalton Hooker Correspondence project - a preview

Introducing the Joseph Dalton Hooker Correspondence Project, a new initiative by Kew to digitise and transcribe the letters of Joseph Hooker, great Victorian explorer-botanist and renowned director of Kew Gardens. Find out more about the man and the project.

Conservation of Fortune's Chinese tree portraits

Read about the conservation work which has been carried out on some beautiful watercolour tree portraits from Kew's Illustrations collection.

Making order out of chaos - Cataloguing the Rose-Innes papers

Read about the process of cataloguing a recent accession.

Maritime mysteries and mummified heads - Mauritius corresponds with the Director

Discover how an effort to improve my French led to an entertaining scientific journey to 19th Century Mauritius.

Splitters and Lumpers

In a guest post, photographer Liz Orton discusses how her photo series Splitters and Lumpers was inspired by Kew's Herbarium. Her images are on permanent display in the Herbarium, as well as being available to view online.

Discovering David Douglas through the Directors' Correspondence

Read extracts from the letters of David Douglas in the Directors' Correspondence, and learn more about this remarkable plant-hunter and explorer.