Armchair archivists 19th century letters
Help us transcribe the letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, the trailblazing botanist.
This activity would suit volunteers with an interest in history and the ability to read 19th century handwriting. It involves transcribing the letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, this can be done from remotely from home
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911) was a trailblazing botanist and explorer and Kew’s second director. He undertook many botanical expeditions, detailing plant diversity and economic botany, he remains an influential figure to modern botanical science. During his career he was also a prolific correspondent, writing to family, friends and colleagues, including Charles Darwin.
Our Joseph Hooker Correspondence project, based in the Archives at Kew, works to make his letters available online, through the digitisation and transcription of Hooker's correspondence. The formation of this online repository, comprised largely of previously unpublished archive material, will facilitate academic research in such fields as botany and other natural sciences, horticulture, British imperialism, garden history, the history of science and the history of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. We also hope to bring knowledge of Joseph Hooker to a wider audience and to extend awareness of the extent and significance of his work.
Volunteers working on this project have developed: skills in palaeography, learnt about the leading 19th century scientists of the day and gained experience prior to embarking on a career in archives.
More about Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Hooker Correspondence Project
Digitizing the personal and scientific correspondence of the 19th century botanist and explorer Joseph Hooker.
Hooker's career and legacy
Hooker began his career as an Assistant Surgeon in the Navy on HMS Erebus for the Ross expeditions.