Thanks to the support of donors over several years, and the work of a dedicated team of volunteers for the past three years, we are building up a specialist library and a well documented archive to support the Garden’s vision of conservation, education and inspiration. As a specialist reference collection, it covers the subjects researched and taught at the Garden, and is used mainly by staff, students and visiting researchers.

If you would like to use the library or archive, please contact us in advance, we are currently open 2 or 3 days a week.

Our resources include: Books: approximately 2,000 books in the main collection covering Welsh and world floras and monographs, botany, biodiversity conservation, horticulture, and botanical illustration, with special interests in ethnobotany and Welsh herbal traditions. Special collections:

  • Stanley J Hughes collection – over 10,000 books and reprints donated from the personal collection of the world-renowned taxonomic mycologist. We have begun to digitize key works from this collection for the Cyberliber electronic library of mycology.
  • British Lichen Society’s library- over 300 books and 8,500 reprints overseen by its honorary librarian, Ray Woods.

Images: we are developing a centralised information system for the Garden’s images, and have completed the digitization of its print and slide collections covering the Garden’s early development. Slide shows based on the collection are shown in our gatehouse. Archive: over 2,000 documents and images have been collected relating to the development of the Garden from 18thcentury Middleton estate to Millennium project to national institution; currently a 1/3 of these are indexed on our internal database. Current projects:

  • Koha database: the library collection is being catalogued, with support from the Kew Library, using the Koha open source system; it will soon be available on this website.
  • Welsh county flora: we are actively collecting references to both old and new publications to cover all vice counties of Wales.
  • Welsh botanists: we are researching the Welsh botanists that have made our nation one of the best botanised in the world.
  • Former residents of Middleton: we are collecting documents and photographs and compiling an oral history of memories from former residents of the Garden’s estate.

The team: An enthusiastic team of volunteers has sorted and organized the hundreds of books and journals donated by members and supporters. They have various backgrounds, but are united in the effort to provide a first-class collection and information service. The experience is part of lifelong learning for many, as they take on research projects, and strive to understand the various subjects that comprise the work of a botanic garden in the 21stcentury.

For further information or enquiries about helping, please contact

Margot Greer, Project librarian (volunteer) Randall David, Photographs and Archive collections (volunteer) Dr Natasha De Vere, Head of Conservation and Research On September 3rd 2010, Dr Stanley Hughes, one of our major donors, was presented with the Order of Canada for his contribution to the field of mycology, for the full story click here.