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

A one day symposium exploring our Miscellaneous Reports Collection.

Map of India and old newspaper cutting

We regret to inform you that, following the escalation of coronavirus, we have taken the decision to postpone the Botany, Trade and Empire Symposium until May 2021. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and if you have any questions please contact

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 is comprised of 772 volumes of unique archival and rare printed material which provides evidence of the plant material, botanists, entrepreneurs and gardeners moving across an expanding web of botanic gardens, 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.

In this one day symposium engage with talks from researchers who have used the Miscellaneous Reports in their own research, including a keynote paper by Dr Abena Dove Osseo-Asare, and explore the key themes of the collection and diverse perspectives on its future potential in a panel session chaired by Professor Jim Endersby.

See a large-scale display of the collection, and discuss material with researchers working on a range of subjects from the history of cinchona, to the history of paper-making. 

Join us for a drinks reception to continue conversations, share knowledge, and inspire future action using this rich archive collection.

Date and Time

**Postponed until May 2021**


Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Gardens 


  • Dr Abena Dove Osseo-Asare (University of Texas at Austin), author of Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (2014)
  • Dr Caroline Cornish (Royal Holloway)
  • Dr Sarah Longair (University of Lincoln)
  • Professor Ian Brown (Staffordshire University)
  • Dr Marine Bellégo (Centre Alexandre Koyré and EHESS)
  • An interactive panel discussion chaired by Professor Jim Endersby (University of Sussex) with Miranda Lowe (Natural History Museum), Professor Felix Driver (Royal Holloway, University of London), Dr Rohan Deb Roy (University of Reading) and Dr Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp (Horniman Museum) 

Supported by:

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