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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.

Welcome to Kew's archive...

Meet the Archives Team and read about the Darwin-Henslow letters.

Ancient uses of paper

Graduate trainee Tavian Hunter explores the history of paper and its uses from ancient to modern times.

Nicholas Culpeper and his herbal

Nicholas Culpeper, the notorious herbalist, took on a medical stronghold and challenged the idea that medical knowledge should be just for physicians.
Photo of the Marianne North donation from John Vaughan

New Marianne North donation

Marianne North's grandniece and grandnephews have donated 41 wonderful new paintings for our collection.
A bespoke frame is made to display Japanese wooden panels from Kew’s Economic Botany collection

Flora Japonica exhibition installation

Catch up with our progress in the galleries as we change exhibitions from Brazil: a powerhouse of plants to Flora Japonica.

Behind the scenes at Kew's Archives

History student Betty Atkins writes about her experiences during a two week internship with the Archives department here at Kew, and what she has learned from her first hand encounter with historical documents.

Jubilee celebrations

Read about a special display that has been produced for the Library Reading Room to celebrate Her Majesty's connections with Kew.

Misfortune in paradise

Read about one 19th Century botanist's run of bad luck while collecting plants in Latin America. Every botanist has a different story to tell, although not always a happy one.

Introducing the new Archives Graduate Trainee

Read about the first few weeks of our new trainee and the story behind the travels of Kew's Japanese Gateway

Everard Im Thurn and the 'lost world'

We take a look at the varied career of Everard Im Thurn through his correspondence with the Directors of Kew, and find out about his exploration of the 'lost world' of Mount Roraima in British Guiana.

Introducing the Library Graduate Trainee

Meet Kew's current Library Graduate Trainee and discover the range of interesting duties his role comprises

Extreme plant hunting in the Archive

Archives Graduate Trainee, Alice Evans, gives a glimpse into some of the fascinating letters from Victorian plant collectors and female travellers she has discovered in the Archives.

The King's avocado

Even in the depths of the Great War, Kew continued to deal with horticultural enquiries from many quarters - even royal ones - as Graduate Library Trainee Jess Hudson discovered.

What has Kew brought to the plate?

Kew On A Plate has re-established a long-lost royal kitchen garden, the like of which hasn’t been seen at Kew since Georgian times. We take a look at the Georgian kitchen gardens role in royal life and find out why they disappeared.
Photo of Botanica in originali by Johann Hieronymus Kniphof

Printing the plant

Artists have portrayed plants with a variety of techniques throughout history and printmaking helped bring them to everyone.
Photo of The Hermitage from An exact plan of the Royal Palace Gardens and Park at Richmond. Roque, John (c.1704-1762). (2013).

Merlin, hermits and follies: William Kent at Kew

Melissa Candy from Kew's Library team explores the history of Kew's follies and the work of William Kent.

William Robinson at Kew's Library

Kew Librarian Craig Brough writes about the influential 19th century gardening author William Robinson, his garden at Gravetye Manor, and their connection to Kew.

Library display celebrates digitisation landmark

To mark the completion of the latest phase of the Directors' Correspondence Digitisation Project, a display has been prepared in Kew's Library Reading Room to showcase the collection. The display includes 19th and 20th century letters from botanists, travellers and directors of botanic gardens across Asia, as well as photos, illustrations and plant products they sent to Kew with their letters.

Making the most of Library Services at Kew

Read about the Library's Information Services Team and find out how they can help with your questions and curiosities about the world's plant life, plant artefacts and other plant uses such as medicine.

Masterpieces, mishaps and memories: Mount Kanchenjunga in the Directors' Correspondence

Kew's own Sir Joseph Hooker was the first Westerner to explore the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga. Read about other stories surrounding this mountain, inspired by a letter from the artist and writer, Edward Lear.