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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.

Montserrat: Gem of the Caribbean

Graduate trainee Tavian Hunter explores Kew's work in Montserrat and the resources held by Library, Art & Archives to support this.

The forgotten garden

Directors' Correspondence digitiser, Jon Nicholls, uncovers the story behind the forgotten California Botanic Garden.
A picture of a jar of Poppy Heads

Opium wars

The first in a two part blog looking at how tea and opium changed the history of China forever, proving the power of plants can never be underestimated. Inspiration came from our Economic Botany collection and recently-accessioned reports from the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich.

Rory McEwen - The Colours of Reality

A new exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art showcases botanical illustration from artist Rory McEwen, along with his other artistic talents.

The Story of Kew Gardens in Photographs

Read about Kew's latest publication, which draws on our Library, Art & Archives collections

Discover the new Library, Art & Archives Reading Room

Read about the new Library, Art & Archives Reading Room and how it has transformed services for staff and visitors.

New year, new office, new challenges!

Can you work it out? Kew's Directors' Correspondence Digitisation Team set a challenge to decipher some 19th century handwriting as they start the new year in their brand new offices.

Kill or cure? The perils of nineteenth century medicine

The death of the botanist Henry Trimen in 1896 was said to have 'baffled' his physicians, but evidence uncovered in Kew's Directors' Correspondence archive suggests his doctors may have killed him - accidentally of course!

The Perfect Plant Hunting Companion?

Discovering 'man's best friend' in the Directors' Correspondence collection, part of Kew's archive.

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.