Category: Library and ArchivesPage 1 of 2

Information about the collections held in the RBGE Library and Archives

The seeds of Dead Man’s Finger

Seeds are phenomenal structures which have adapted incredible ways to disperse. One of the of the most eye catching seed pods in the garden at this time of…

Yew trees, the Canaries and a Darwinian Connection in a Perthshire Churchyard

The kirkyard at Fortingall in Perthshire has, for several centuries, been a magnet for tourists with an arboricultural bent – for the sake of its ancient yew. This…

RBGE’s World War Two Memorial

Situated beneath the Memorial to the members of staff at RBGE who gave their lives during the First World War is a smaller, but no less poignant memorial…

A Desperate Escape – George Forrest on the run in China, July 1905

Some of us may be lucky, or in this case, unlucky enough to experience a life altering event that comes to define us whether we want it to…

The Tale of Anne and Beatrix

Research about Victorian botanical illustrator Anne Pratt turns into a Beatrix Potter book binding mystery… Anne Pratt was born in 1806 and, suffering from poor health as a…

A Herbal Mystery

Whilst helping to catalogue the library’s rare book collection for my Book History and Material Culture placement, I came across a herbal from 1586 that contained a very…

Christmas Island and other ventures – legacy of RBGE gardener David Reid Tait

When I was contacted by Dr Bill Lynch in August 2018 with a query about a former RBGE gardener called David R. Tait and his work for Sir…

Fern Book Presents from Christmas Past – 2

In December 1945 the world was entering its fourth month of‘peace’ after six brutal years of global war. A small sign of that ‘peace’ was the arrival in…

Fern Book Presents from Christmas Past – 1

As 2018 nears its end, here are a couple of blogposts telling the stories behind two fern books from the shelves of the Royal Botanic Garden Library.  Both…

Botanical Drawings made in Nepal for Nathaniel Wallich in 1821 by Vishnupersaud and Gorachand

When the museum and library of the East India Company, following its inheritance by the India Office of the British government, was dispersed in 1879 its fragments were…

Rare Book Collection

Interleaving in the RBGE Collections, Part 2: British Marine Algae

By Hannah Swan In this second part of the series on interesting insertions in RBGE volumes, I will delve into the various insertions in an 1874 copy of…

In memory of Corporal Henry McBeath (1878-1918)

Henry McBeath was from Rogart in Sutherland, born in November 1878 to James McBeath, a farm grieve (foreman) and his wife Johan from Rovie, a farm in Rogart…

Rare Book Collection

Buchan Hepburn and McDouall East Africa and Angola Album 1904 – 1909

By Helen Bennett, Library & Archives Volunteer New light has been shed on the creation of Logan Garden by a previously unknown album of photographs and watercolours recently…

Rare Book Collection

Interleaving in the RBGE Collections, Part 1: The Flora of Forfarshire

By Hannah Swan Before publisher’s bindings were de rigueur, texts came in flimsy paper ‘wrappers’, leaving the permanent binding to the new owner. Because of this, many books from…

In memory of Gunner Andrew Ewing Calder (1884-1918)

Andrew Ewing Calder was born in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, on the 12th January 1884 to Robert Calder, a blacksmith, and his wife Sarah Jane, who was a tailoress. Calder…

100th birthday for a Himalayan Wild Pear collected by George Forrest

On the 18th July 2018 we celebrate the 100th birthday of the Pyrus pashia tree growing on the Pyrus lawn.

Rare Book Collection

Comparative Editions: Ryff’s ‘Kurtzes Handbüchlein und Experiment vieler Artzneyen durch den gantzen Cörper des Menschens…’

By Hannah Swan While browsing our Rare Book Collection, we recently came across a boxed book that was as of yet uncatalogued in our online system, Kurtzes Handbüchlein…

Rare Book Collection

A Mystery of Provenance: Boccone’s ‘Recherches et Observations Naturelles’

By Hannah Swan Paolo Boccone’s Recherches et Observations Naturelles de Monsieur BOCCONE, Gentilhomme Sicilien…, published in the translated French in 1674 in Amsterdam, offers several tantalizing clues of…

In memory of Private James Christopher Adam (1882-1918), and his brother Lt. Robert Moyes Adam (1885-1967)

The 21st March 2018 marks the centenary of the death of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) Helper James Christopher Adam. He was the older brother of RBGE’s photographer…

The Battle of Glen Tilt

“was ye at the Glen o’ Tilt, An’ did the shindy see, man? John Hutton Balfour, Regius Keeper at the RBGE and Professor of Botany at the University…