Library and Archives

Supporting Kew’s science, history and horticulture, as well as the academic research of visitors from around the world.

Map of India and old newspaper cutting

Head of Library and Archives: Fiona Ainsworth 

The Library forms one of the most important botanical reference sources in the world.

The holdings extend back to the 14th century and include most of the important works relating to botany ever published.

The Art collections include illustrations which act as herbarium type specimens as well as those documenting the visual characteristics of plants and fungi, plus special collections of work by some of the great botanical illustrators.

All these collections are used to support Kew’s science and horticulture but are also frequently consulted by visitors from across the globe to support their research in a diverse range of academic disciplines.

The Archives collections comprise original source material on Kew’s history as well as the papers of botanists and plant collectors.