Three important collections join the Designation Scheme

By Culture24 Staff | 11 February 2011
a drawing of a pink flowering plant
A Reeves Peony from the Royal Horticultural Society collection© Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Library, Chetham’s Library in Manchester and the Joseph Wright of Derby collection at Derby Museum and Art Gallery are the latest collections to join the MLA's Designation Scheme.

All gain recognition for their pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in non-national museums, libraries and archives under the scheme, which is currently administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Library houses publications from 1514 to the present day and covers over 500 years of history related to the art, science and practice of horticulture.

It also covers the history of garden plants of the British Isles and beyond in the form of printed material, periodicals, nursery catalogues, oil portraits and over 30,000 original botanical illustrations.

Chetham’s Library in Manchester is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. Since its foundation in 1653, it has sought to be the main repository for printed literature and study materials in Manchester and acquired books on a wide range of human knowledge.

Since 1945, when the current collection policy was redefined, the library has also sought to acquire books, manuscripts and archives relating to the history of the North West of England.

Chetham’s is particularly well known for its substantial collection of medieval manuscripts and books on theology, history, science, medicine and the classics. 

Derby Museum and Art Gallery holds the largest collection of Joseph Wright’s work in a collection comprising 34 oil paintings and over 300 drawings and prints, original frames, personal items and documents.

One of the most exciting and innovative British artists of the 18th century, Wright made his reputation through a unique series of paintings on scientific and industrial themes, ranging from scientific discovery and experimentation, industry and landscapes, through to literature, the classics and contemporary history.

The Chair of the Designation Panel (and Trustee of the MLA), Dr. Helen Forde, said she was “delighted” to welcome the important collections, which she said played a “vital part of our national cultural heritage”, into the Designation Scheme. 

“The Scheme continues to play an increasing role in helping the public to identify the very best collections in museums, libraries and archives across the country.” 
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