written by Claire Wooldridge, Landscape Institute Library Officer.
Since the arrival of the Landscape Institute Library and Archive a few weeks ago, I have been immersed in a new world of international architectural design, rural development, urban regeneration and land art.
Initial sorting of the library materials is underway – we have received approximately 60 metres of books, periodicals and pamphlets. Whilst complementing our existing holdings, particularly our MERL library books on topics such as gardening, land policy and the environment, this new material also prompts us to consider our MERL collections afresh. The landscape is the backdrop to all aspects of rural life, but must also be seen as a worthy subject of consideration in its own right.
We have received a wonderful and varied mix of material, including twentieth century perspectives on the landscape, several beautifully bound nineteenth century books on gardening, a few rare books and works by some of the Landscape Institute big hitters such as Geoffrey Jellicoe and Sylvia Crowe.
Already a few gems have been unearthed which are featured in this post. I particularly like the beautiful illustration of variegated pelargoniums from the 1930s and the colour chart issued by the Royal Horticultural Society and the British Colour Council.
You can also see examples of some of the strikingly illustrated nineteenth century bindings we have received, alongside literature on the 1951 Festival of Britain (the book shown here features its logo) which celebrated the centenary of the Great Exhibition, fitting in nicely with our Great Exhibition collection.
For rare book fans we have also received Instruction pair les Jardins Fruitiers et Potages printed in Paris in 1697 and a copy of Della Agricoltura di M. Giovanni Tati printed in Venice in 1556 to sit alongside the copy we have in our Reserve collection.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated developments with our progress on the Landscape Institute Library and Archive in the coming weeks.