RHS Lindley Library recognised as one of the most important collections in Britain

The Designation Scheme, managed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is a mark of distinction, celebrating unique collections of national and international importance. Designated collections are recognised as vital components of England's cultural identity.

The RHS Lindley Library collection spans 500 years of gardening history related to the art, science and practice of horticulture and the history of garden plants of the British Isles and beyond, making it the world's leading horticultural library. Comprised of printed material, periodicals, nursery catalogues, photographs, over 30,000 original botanical illustrations and the archives of influential plantsmen, gardeners and garden designers, the collection presents a unique insight into the social history of gardening and the nation's cultural heritage

Barbara Collecott, RHS Head of Library, Art and Archives said: "The work we do in the Lindley Library safeguards Britain's horticultural history and influences our horticultural future. As a charity, the RHS is dedicated to inspiring people to garden and our Library provides vital research tools for all types of gardeners, from designers to scientists, whose work influences the way we garden today. The Library also provides gardening inspiration for many more, through our exhibitions and publications, helping bring gardening into the lives of all."

The RHS Lindley Library has an ongoing programme of preservation, documentation, outreach and interpretation. Projects include the conservation of a unique collection of botanical drawings by anonymous Chinese artists, sent to the RHS in the early 19th century, and funding is currently being sought for the preservation of 7,000 watercolours of award-winning orchids.

On 19-20 March, the RHS Lindley Library will showcase some of its collections at the RHS Botanical Art Show, with a display celebrating the life and work of women artists and gardeners. Featuring botanical illustrations and photographs from the collections at the Lindley Library, this will be an opportunity to see the influence that talented women have had on the world of horticulture.

The RHS Lindley Library has collections in London and at all four RHS gardens. Freely open to all for reference, the RHS Lindley Library's lending collections are a membership benefit, giving RHS members direct access to the best information, inspiration and imagination in every sphere of gardening.


Article posted on 19 Mar 2011.

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