Botany, Trade and Empire: Exploring Kew’s Miscellaneous Reports Collection

A three day online conference exploring our Miscellaneous Reports Collection.

A collection of different drawings and letters

This event has now taken place.

You can watch the talks on YouTube:

Watch: Day 1 on YouTube

Watch: Day 2 on YouTube 

Watch: Day 3 on YouTube

View the programme

View the speaker details

Kew’s Miscellaneous Reports Collection is a major resource relating to colonial and global networks of economic botany and scientific activity between 1850-1928. 

The Collection contains 772 volumes of unique archival and rare printed material which provides evidence of the plants and plant products, botanists, commercial interests, and gardeners, moving across an expanding web of botanic gardens and agricultural and forestry stations. 

It holds huge potential for both historical and scientific research, including imperial history, the use of plants by indigenous communities, medicine, nutrition and health, the environment, as well as anthropology, ethnography, and agricultural history. 

It is also a crucial source of evidence for critically examining and confronting Kew’s own history and colonial role. 

In this three-day online conference, discover the Miscellaneous Reports through talks by researchers who have used this archive in their own research, including keynote talks given by Professor Richard Drayton and Professor Vinita Damodaran. 

Discover the central themes of botany, trade and empire, and explore the collection’s challenges, from revealing the unheard voices of the past, to realising the future potential of this colonial archive. 

Supported by

Linnean society logo

Miscellaneous Reports project

Enabling access through cataloguing and conservation to the Miscellaneous Reports Collection: an essential resource for exploring the central role of Kew in the colonial and global networks of economic botany and scientific activity, 1850-1928.