From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 1)

Conservation work on the Peter H. Raven Library’s copy of The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala has begun! Follow along as we document this painstaking restoration of one of the largest and grandest volumes in the Garden’s rare book collection. James Bateman, a wealthy English orchid collector, was responsible for the creation of The Orchidaceae…

Discover + Share: The Best of 2017

This year marked the first year for Discover + Share, a new blog from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our goal was to give visitors a glimpse of the Garden most don’t often get to see or experience–to share our stories and help you learn a little more about the many facets of the Garden’s mission….

From the Library: Bookbinding Curiosities—Paste Papers

The practice of decorating paper with pleasing patterns and colors began in China, where paper was invented. By the 10th century, Chinese craftspeople were probably practicing a rudimentary kind of paper marbling, a complex process that results in sheets covered with sinuous, organic, often colorful designs. This art traveled west along with paper making technology,…

From the Library: A Different Kind of Conservation

The Peter H Raven Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden contains many rare and unusual books, but they aren’t all in the Rare Book Room. Our General Collection also holds many rare, even unique items, such as this small volume (about 6.5” long) of pressed plants from the Holy Land.   This book, Flowers of…

From the Library: Analyzing a Mystery Book

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Peter H. Raven Library has recently been upgrading many of its rare book cataloging records. One such record is for a book published in 1764 by noted botanist Carl Linnaeus (the namesake of the Garden’s Linnean House conservatory) called Genera Plantarum, printed in Stockholm by Lars Salvius. It was thought to…

From the Library: Ancient Books Given Another Chance

“Utopian visions we had about the Internet and all it would be able to do are just that: utopian visions,” says Susie Cobbledick, book conservator at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Peter H. Raven Library. “Electronic files don’t last very long,” she adds, “These [books] are very rare materials, many being the last or only copies…

18th Century Coloring Book Discovered at the Missouri Botanical Garden

A 256-year-old coloring book was discovered in the Peter H. Raven library in May by botanist Amy Pool. Robert Sayer’s The Florist was first published as a coloring book in 1760, with distinct instructions on how to color the pages. Pool first came across the title of the book while she was researching botanical illustrations…

From the Library: Experiencing Omaha

The Setting You progress toward a group of people who are milling around on an early spring morning. Snippets of conversations can be heard as you pass through the crowd, providing a clue why such a gathering is taking place in a large hallway. The hallway here is L-shaped shaped with an open meeting area…

From the Library: Another Kind of Conservation

When you think of “conservation” and the Missouri Botanical Garden, you probably picture a botanist in the field working with endangered plants or a horticulturist restoring a landscape by seeding native flowers. But the term conservation can also have a slightly different but equally important meaning within scientific and cultural institutions—the care and repair of…

From the Library: Book Binding Curiosities

The next time you open a book to read a text, spare a moment to look at the binding; it reveals a lot about the culture that produced the book in your hand. Here is an interesting case in point. The title of this book is Florilegium Novum. It’s content was created by the engraver…