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Recognition for RHS Lindley Library

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RHS library of 'oustanding national importance'

16 March 2011

The RHS Lindley Library has been recognised as being of outstanding national importance and awarded Designated Status by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 

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. 

500 years of gardening history

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 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. 

Libraries at four RHS gardens

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. 

RHS prints

RHS Prints

Many of the RHS' beautiful botanical prints are available from the Online Shop.

View the RHS Prints collection

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