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.
Delighted to see you spreading the word about our wonderful library and archive collections. Keep up the good work! Penny Beckett, Trustee, Landscape Institute
Wonderful to know that the LI collection is in such capable hands and to see pictures of some of the very special items it contained. I spent over 30 years setting it all up with the help and enthusiasm of some committed colleagues and am delighted to know that the good work will continue.
Thanks so much for your comment Penny! We are delighted and excited by the collection, I look forward to getting into the library books in earnest. Will be sure to keep everyone up to date with progress on the blog!
Thanks to you too, Claire. Just to let you know that Sheila Harvey (who has just commented here) was the Institute’s librarian until c. 2003. She was made an Hon. Fellow of the Landscape Institute in recognition of her services to the Institute. It is also Sheila who set up our archive in 1995 by accepting the offer by Geoffrey Jellicoe’s niece, Ann Mayne, to gift the Susan and Geoffrey Jellicoe’s collections to the Institute.
Ah it’s great to learn a little more about the establishment of the library and archive, thanks Penny and Shelia. It’s a wonderful collection and looks like it will complement our existing MERL library holdings really well. I look forward to having it all accessible to the public again, here at MERL.