Books and publications

Allen, D. E. (1994) The Naturalist in Britain: a social history. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.

Allen, D. E. (2001) ‘Early Professionals in British natural history’. In Naturalists and Society: The Culture of Natural History in Britain, 1700–1900. Aldershot, Ashgate/Variorum: 1–12.

Arber, A. (1986) Herbals: their origin and evolution. A chapter in the history of botany 1470-1670. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Brockway, L. (1979) Science and Colonial Expansion: the role of the British Royal Botanic Gardens. New York, Academic Press.

Browne, J. (1983) The Secular Ark: studies in the history of biogeography. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Browne, J. (1989) ‘Botany for Gentlemen: Erasmus Darwin and The Loves of the Plants’. Isis 80(304): 593–621.

Desmond, R. (1995) Kew: A history of the Royal Botanic Gardens. London, The Harvill Press.

Drayton, R. H. (2000) Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain and the ‘Improvement’ of the World. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Endersby, J. (2000)‘A Garden Enclosed: Botanical barter in Sydney, 1818–1839’. British Journal of the History of Science 33(118): 313–34.

Gates, B. T. (1998) Kindred Nature: Victorian and Edwardian women embrace the living world. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Green, J. R. (1909 (1967)) A History of Botany: 1860–1900. Being a continuation of Sachs ‘History of Botany, 1530–1860’. New York, Russell & Russell.

Hoyles, M. (1991) The Story of Gardening. London, Journeyman.

McCracken, D. (1997) Gardens of Empire: Botanical institutions of the Victorian British Empire. London, Leicester University Press.

Morton, A. G. (1981) History of Botanical Science: an account of the development of botany from ancient times to the present day. London, Academic Press.

Ritvo, Harriet (1990) 'The Power of the Word. Scientific Nomenclature and the Spread of Empire', Victorian Newsletter, v.77: 5–8.

Ritvo, Harriet (1997) The Platypus and the Mermaid: and other figments of the Victorian classifying imagination. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.

Secord, A. (1994) ‘Corresponding Interests – Artisans and Gentlemen in 19th-Century Natural History’. British Journal of the History of Science 27(95 Pt4): 383–408.

Secord, A. (1994) ‘Science in the Pub – Artisan Botanists in Early-19th-Century Lancashire’. History of Science 32(97 Pt3): 269-315.

Shteir, A. B. (1996) Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science: Flora's Daughters and Botany in England. 1760 to 1860. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Shteir, A. B. (1997) ‘Gender and "Modern" Botany in Victorian England’. Osiris 12: 29–38.

Spary, E. C. (2000) Utopia's garden: French natural history from Old Regime to Revolution. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.


Joseph Dalton Hooker website

Site devoted to Joseph Hooker, including material on his life, collectors and writings. Contains links to other botanical resources.

Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution and Diversity Studies to 1950

A bibliography and full-text archive designed for advanced students and researchers engaged in work in biogeography, biodiversity, history of science, and related studies. Includes material on Joseph Hooker, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace and many others.

European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group

The European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group (EBHL) is an association to promote and facilitate co-operation and communication between those working in botanical and horticultural libraries, archives and related institutions in Europe. “Europe” is interpreted in the widest sense to include countries both within and outside the European Union (EU). Includes a useful directory of botanical and related libraries in Europe.

The Garden History Society

Aims to promote the study of the history of gardening, landscape gardening and horticulture in all aspects and promote the protection and conservation of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes, and to advise on their restoration.

Harvard University Herbaria and Libraries

The archival collections of the Botany Libraries hold many rich sources of information. The botany archives specializes in unique historical materials that document the activities of botanists and their colleagues, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries. Materials include personal and institutional inventories, field notes, diaries, expeditions, plant lists, photographs, historic letters, and artifacts. Includes masses of information on Asa Gray, one of Hooker’s most important correspondents.

History of Science Society (HSS)

The world’s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in their historical context. Founded over seventy-five years ago, it is the oldest such society. Through its publications and other activities, the Society provides scholars, decisions makers and the public with historical perspectives on science policy and on the potentials, achievements, and the limitations of basic and applied science.

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. To this end, the Institute acquires and maintains authoritative collections of websites, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications and other modes of information service. Designed to assist current research in botanical systematics, history and biography, and to meet the reference needs of biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The official website of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, includes some information about their history as well as details of how to contact their library and archives staff.

Lefalophodon: History of Evolutionary Biology

This website was an informal and incomplete guide to the history of evolutionary biology from about 1800 to about 1950. It was maintained by John Alroy. Its main emphases were on the late 19th century and on paleontology.

Linnean herbarium

The Linnean herbarium at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm comprises some 4000 herbarium specimens, several of which are types formally designated by various experts. The specimens were once distributed by Linnaeus to his disciples and eventually they became part of the collections of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, subsequently the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Linnaeus' main collections are today housed at the The Linnean Society of London.

The Garden Museum, formerly the Museum of Garden History

This beautifully presented site is about the Tradescant Garden, a replica 17th century Knot Garden, which commemorates the famous 17th century gardeners and plant hunters, the John Tradescants, father and son, and is planted with plants of the period.

Plant Explorers

A site for modern plant explorers those whose ‘goal is discovery more than acquisition’ – including botanical photographers and painters. The site also includes some historical information.

Created 28 September 2002

Last modified 24 February 2023