Annotated Bibliography on Herbaria and Art

Andel, Tinde van, Sarina Veldman, Paul Maas, Gerard Thijsse, and Marcel Eurlings. 2012. “The Forgotten Hermann Herbarium: A 17th Century Collection of Useful Plants from Suriname.” Taxon 61 (6): 1296–1304.  How the Hermann Herbarium is in reality that of Hendrik Meyer and contains specimens collected in Suriname.  They document the presence of species brought from Africa by enslaved species before the end of the 17th century.

Andel, Tinde van, Rutger A. Vos, Ewout Michels, and Anastasia Stefanaki. 2022. “Sixteenth-Century Tomatoes in Europe: Who Saw Them, What They Looked like, and Where They Came From.” PeerJ 10: e12790.  Early examples of images and specimens of the American tomato in Europe.

Angell, Bobbi, and Gustavo A. Romero. 2011. “Orchid Illustrations at Harvard.” The Botanical Artist 17 (1): 20–21.  On the illustrations created by Blanche Ames for her husband Oakes Ames’s publications on orchid taxonomy.

Arber, Agnes. 1938. Herbals: Their Origin and Evolution, A Chapter in the History of Botany, 1470-1670. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Still a good introduction to the history of early printed herbals.

———. 1954. The Mind and the Eye: A Study of the Biologist’s Standpoint. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Arber was a plant morphologist who created all her own illustrations.  this gave her an interesting perspective on botanical inquiry.

Bleichmar, Daniela. 2011. Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  The significance of botanical art to plant collecting in Latin America.

Bruzzone, Raffaella, Charles Watkins, Ross Balzaretti, and Carlo Montanari. 2018. “Botanical Relics of a Lost Landscape: Herborising ‘upon the Cliffs about the Pharos’ in Genoa, March 1664.” Landscape Research 43 (1): 20–36.  Describes attempts to determine what plants were growing on this site in the past using herbarium specimens and other botanical information.

Bryant, J. A., H. Plaisier, L. M. Irvine, A. McLean, M. Jones, and M. E. Spencer Jones. 2016. “Life and Work of Margaret Gatty (1809–1873), with Particular Reference to British Sea-Weeds (1863).” Archives of Natural History 43 (1): 131–47.  Gatty contributed significantly to research on algae and also collected extensively.

Bynum, Helen, and William Bynum. 2017. Botanical Sketchbooks. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.  A beautiful book that includes the work of a number of important plant collectors.

Carine, Mark, ed. 2020. The Collectors: Creating Hans Sloane’s Extraordinary Herbarium. London: Natural History Museum, London.  An engaging introduction to a significant historical collection.

Cave, Roderick. 2010. Impressions of Nature: A History of Nature Printing. London: British Library.  A great survey of nature printing.

Ciancio, Luca. 2016. “The Many Gardens–Real, Symbolic, Visual–of Pietro Andrea Mattioli.” In From Art to Science: Experiencing Nature in the European Garden 1500-1700, edited by Juliette Ferdinand, 34–45. Treviso, ITA: ZeL.  Mattioli’s approach to learning about plants.

Crowe, Victoria, and David Ingram. 2007. Plant Memory. Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Academy.  On the collaboration between artist Victoria Crowe and botanist David Ingram that included work with herbarium specimens.

Davies, Julie. 2016. “Botanizing at Badminton: The Botanical Pursuits of Mary Somerset, First Duchess of Beaufort.” In Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science, edited by Donald Optiz, Staffan Bergwik, and Brigitte Van Tiggelen, 19–40. London: Palgrave Macmillan.  Describes the serious botanical and horticultural work of Mary Somerset, including her exchanges with Hans Sloane.

Egmond, Florike. 2017. Eye for Detail: Images of Plants and Animals in Art and Science, 1500-1630. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  An insightful analysis of several early modern collections of natural history art.

Findlen, Paula. 2017. “The Death of a Naturalist: Knowledge and Community in Late Renaissance Italy.” In Professors, Physicians and Practices in the History of Medicine, edited by Gideon Manning and Cynthia Klestinec, 127–67. New York: Springer.  The work of Luca Ghini, one of the early proponents of using specimens in botanical inquiry.

Flannery, Maura C. 2012. “Flatter than a Pancake: Why Scanning Herbarium Sheet Shouldn’t Make Them Disappear.” Spontaneous Generations: A Journal of the History and Philosophy of Science 6 (1): 225–32.  The dimensionality of herbarium specimens and its significance.

Fleischer, Alette. 2017. “Leaves on the Loose: The Changing Nature of Archiving Plants and Botanical Knowledge.” Journal of Early Modern Studies 6 (1): 117–35.  How early modern herbaria have been altered over time, often with loss of portions of collections and of information.

Goff, Alice. 2014. “The Schildbach Wood Library in Eighteenth-Century Hessen-Kassel.” Representations 128 (1): 30–59.  Describes this large collection of book-like wood specimens and includes photos of several.

Hayward, Michael, and Martin Rickard. 2019. Fern Albums and Related Material. London: British Pteridological Society.  A lovely book on the 19th century fad in fern collecting and the albums that resulted from it.

Kusukawa, Sachiko. 2012. Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  This book includes material on Conrad Gessner’s working method of documenting plants in drawings and notes.

Milliken, William. 2017. “Mobilising Richard Spruce’s 19th Century Amazon Legacy.” Kew Blogs. 2017.  The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is working with indigenous populations in the Amazon region to investigate the botanist Richard Spruce’s collections.

Müller-Wille, Staffan. 2006. “Linnaeus’ Herbarium Cabinet: A Piece of Furniture and Its Function.” Endeavour 30 (2): 60–64.  The significance of how Linnaeus stored his specimens.

Nasim, Omar W. 2013. Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. The prologue gives an extraordinary introduction to how art was used not only in illustrating nebulae, but in their discovery.

Noltie, Henry J. 2017. Botanical Art from India: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Collection. Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.  Good introduction to the botanical art created by indigenous artists under the direction of British botanists.

Salick, Jan, Katie Konchar, and Mark Nesbitt. 2014. Curating Biocultural Collections. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.  How economic botany collections are being viewed in light of their ethnobotanical significance.