RHS Lindley Library
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.
Public lending library and exhibitions open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
Research and viewing rooms bookable by appointment.
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.
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
Worth a Thousand Words
- 5 July — 17 August 2018 *on now
Presenting a selection of recent acquisitions, this exhibition will feature some of the finest botanical artworks in the RHS Lindley Collections. In recent times there has been a resurgent interest in this discipline with extremely talented artists emerging across the globe. The very best examples of botanical art today combine very close observation with artistic flair to create informative, scientifically accurate and beautiful pictures. The exhibition will explore the ways in which contemporary artists continue to raise standards and push the boundaries of this discipline. The display will feature original artworks in watercolour, gouache, pen and pencil, by artists who have all been awarded a prestigious Gold medal at RHS Shows.
- Any age
- 10 September — 14 December 2018
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.
- Any age
RHS Lindley Library
80 Vincent Square
020 7821 3050