Plant Profile: Holly

It’s a plant perhaps best known for decking the halls, but holly goes far beyond holiday decorations.

From the Library: Rare Book Discovery

Death, be not proud . . . No man is an island . . . And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Sound familiar? These phrases all come from the pen of John Donne (1572-1631), an influential English poet whom some of you may remember from your…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 5)

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. What Is Alum? Alum is an aluminum salt that has been used for hundreds of years to process…

From the Library: Context be Damned | Bacon’s New Atlantis

Francis Bacon is largely known for his Novum Organum Scientiarum (the philosophy that established the scientific method), Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human (proposing that higher education of everyone is beneficial to society as a whole), and New Atlantis. It is this last tract in Bacon’s oeuvre that is most misunderstood—and in…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 4)

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. The Peter H Raven Library’s copy of Bateman’s Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala was issued in several parts…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 3)

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. The Pages of Books Can Tear and Chip Paper is generally a very stable substrate for printing…

Collection Connection: Whiskey and Research

“There’s a deeper story to almost all of these,” says Ralph Haynes as he peers into a box of dried corn cobs. The co-founder of Pinckney Bend Distillery is meeting with Garden research staff, exploring the herbarium, and flipping through the pages of rare botanical books—taking a deeper look at the intersection of his passion…

Plant Profile: Hops

Stop by the beer aisle at your local grocery store and you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of brands, styles, and flavors of beer to choose from. The selection can range from classic American lagers to stouts to more adventurous choices like imperial India pale ales. Despite the diversity, nearly all beers share the same…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 2)

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. The Pages of Books Get Dirty Liquid spills, soiled hands, coal-burning furnaces, oil-burning lamps, drops to the…

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…

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…