TECHNE AHRC Funded Studentship – Partnership Award University of Roehampton and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Kew’s imperial archive: Cataloguing Economic Botany in the Miscellaneous Reports, 1841-1928
This studentship offers the opportunity to research and study the history, composition and arrangement of a major collection held in the archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The project focuses on the Miscellaneous Reports: 771 volumes of printed and manuscript material relating to the administration of the British colonial botanic gardens and stations, dating from the 1840s to 1928. The Reports document the economic botany of these regions through correspondence with Kew, printed reports, newspaper articles, and illustrative material such as maps, photographs and sketches. They are grouped by country and by economically useful product (such as tea, cinchona or rubber). Although mainly focused on economic botany, the collection also includes material relating to colonial history, geography and anthropology. As a whole, this collection offers a rich and as yet untold narrative of Kew’s global operations in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. No comparable collection exists in any other institution worldwide. The significance of the Miscellaneous Reports was recently recognised by the award of a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant for their conservation and cataloguing.