RHS Lindley Library

RHS Lindley Library
Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

The RHS Lindley Library is the world’s leading horticultural library. Covering over 500 years of gardening history, the library collections include historic and contemporary books on gardening, botanical artworks, photographs and the personal archives of a number of notable gardeners and garden designers. The main library collection is held at the RHS Lindley Library in London but materials can also be accessed via the garden libraries and reading rooms at all of the RHS gardens sites across the country.

The public lending library in London now includes a dedicated exhibition space hosting a continuously changing programme of small displays showcasing rare and significant items from the collections.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Public lending library and exhibitions open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
Research and viewing rooms bookable by appointment.

Admission charges


The collection in London comprises over 50,000 books ranging in date from 1514 to the present, over 300 current periodicals as well as many older runs, 22,000 botanical drawings, the country's largest collection of horticultural trade catalogues, and the Society's archives. Members may borrow books from the Library, by post as well as in person.

Collection details

Agriculture, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Archives, Social History, Design

Key artists and exhibits

  • William Hooker
  • Nellie Roberts
  • Claude Aubriet
  • Georg Dionysius Ehret
  • Lilian Snelling
  • Anna Paoletto
  • Kate Nessler
  • Graham Stuart Thomas
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Honeysuckle, hand-coloured engraved plate, 1730

Healing Garden

  • 10 September — 14 December 2018 *on now

The desire to harness the healing power of plants is centuries old. Throughout the course of history we have often turned to our own back gardens to provide relief from our ailments. This exhibition will look at the healing powers once attributed to familiar plants that we grow in our gardens today. Drawing on early printed botanical encyclopaedias, known as herbals, it separates medicine from myth and reveals surprising uses of well-known plants. Discover how our understanding of these plants has changed and investigate the use of plants for healing today.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free admission



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Illustrations from Nicholas Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, 1653

A History of Herbals

  • 26 September 2018 11am-12pm, 2-3pm

Join us for a special viewing of the exhibition ‘Healing Garden’ and an opportunity to go behind the scenes at the RHS Lindley Library. This tour will include a curator’s introduction and the chance to see early printed herbals from the library’s Rare Books Collection and find out more about the medicinal uses of plants in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Places are limited, registration required - contact the library to book.



RHS Lindley Library
80 Vincent Square
Greater London





020 7821 3050

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.