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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.

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.

The tragic tale of Nikolai Vavilov

Renowned Russian botanist Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov's aim was to feed the world, but sadly his work was dramatically cut short.

Fermenting their way to survival: botanists, medics and internment camp nutrition

Kew botanist/historian James Wearn and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine assistant archivist Claire Frankland reveal how botanists and medics used their knowledge of local plants to save lives in internment camps during the Second World War.

Kew's Heritage Trees

Visit the new exhibition Kew's Heritage Trees at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, with paintings by Kew artist Masumi Yamanaka, who has spent five years painting Kew’s heritage and champion trees.
Nature's Bounty at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art

Fruit and vegetables in Kew’s galleries

A new exhibition of fruit and vegetable paintings at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art showcases contemporary art from the Shirley Sherwood Collection alongside items from Kew's historic collections.
Photo of another of Fitch’s pieces for Curtis’ Botanical Magazine.

The art of Walter Hood Fitch

Francesca Railton from Kew's Library team looks at the work of Walter Hood Fitch, one of the most prolific botanical artists of all time.

Plant collector Joseph Burke and the American West

The fascinating correspondence of nineteenth century plant hunter Joseph Burke is being made available online for the first time through the Directors' Correspondence Digitisation Project.

David Nash sculptures arrive in the Gallery

Read about the Gallery Team's exciting preparations for the David Nash exhibition.

Welcome to the Marianne North Conservation Studio

Read about the Marianne North Gallery Conservation project taking place in the newly built Preservation Studio in the Herbarium at Kew.

Marianne North's hidden inscriptions

Kew's Conservation Team have found all sorts of amazing discoveries beneath the skin of Marianne North's paintings.

Conserving Darwin's Letters

Discover more about the conservation work carried out on one of the most important, popular and fascinating collection in the Archives.

John Lindley, the man who saved Kew

John Lindley, botanist, gardener and orchidologist, is little known nowadays but he played a vital role in preserving Kew Gardens for the nation. Now Kew's exhibition of works by his great grandson, Rory McEwen, is reviving interest in his role and in his own artworks.