RHS launches digital library of over 10,000 items, including rare treasures from their collections

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has launched a new Digital Collections platform, allowing anyone to access 10,000 library items and herbarium specimens online for free. 

The new collections are available for all, from children doing their homework to academic researchers and garden lovers who want to browse some of the outstanding botanical art made available on the platform.   
The RHS digital library project was made possible with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players1.  
Many of the items available through the Digital Collections are rare, fragile or valuable so would not otherwise be accessible to the public. Currently there are 9,542 library items including books, photographs and artworks, and 458 herbarium specimens such as pressed flowers on the platform. The RHS Lindley Library and Herbarium teams will continue to upload items onto the platform, ensuring the site constantly gets bigger and richer as more content is uploaded. There will be a particular focus on uploading materials that are unique to the RHS collections and resources that are important to researchers, in addition to items that support exhibitions in the Old Lab at RHS Garden Wisley.  
Some of the treasures available in the RHS Digital Collections are:   Fiona Davison, RHS Head of Libraries and Exhibitions, said: “We are delighted to be opening up a whole world of botanical and horticultural treasures to everyone with our new platform, especially as many of these items will not have been seen by the public before. The items in our Digital Collections chart the history of gardens and cultivated plants in the UK, highlighting the important role they play in our lives and the benefits they bring to welling, nature and our planet.” 
Stuart McLeod, Director England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “We are thrilled to have supported this fantastic project to make the fascinating RHS Lindley Library collections and specimens of the RHS Herbarium available through their Digital Collections platform. Thanks to National Lottery players, this platform will provide people from all walks of life with access to this wonderful horticultural heritage and allow them to embrace it in a new way.”
Anyone wishing to reproduce items in the collection for commercial purposes will need to contact the RHS for high resolution versions and a licence to use.  
For more information and to access the RHS Digital Collections please visit, 

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Claire Thorpe: [email protected]  
1 - The herbarium’s digitisation project commenced in 2011 with the generous support of the 1851 Royal Commission, the Mellon Foundation, RHS Members and more latterly, the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
About the RHS 
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 and is the UK’s largest gardening charity. 

The RHS vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place via its inspirational gardens and shows, science research and advisory, extensive library collections and far-reaching education and community programmes. With over 600,000 members the RHS also shares its horticultural knowledge and expertise with millions of people every year through its website and publications. 
In 2021, the RHS launched its Sustainability Strategy, committing to be net positive for nature and people by 2030. The supporting RHS Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign will continue to harness the power of the UK’s 30 million gardeners to help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis. 
We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. 
For more information visit 
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.