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Leonie Paterson – Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

11/09/2020

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Leonie provides an overview of her role at the library, describing how an inquiry from botanist George Forrest's granddaughter led her to a career in Archiving.

We learn about the contents of the archive including correspondence from collectors, field books, manuscripts, David Douglas' telescope, plant models, illustrations, artwork, dance programmes, the glass plate photo collection and the hidden history of women working in the garden.

Leonie explains the challenges that part time archivists face: time-managing researcher requests, administration, dealing with the output from volunteer workers and the ongoing cataloguing necessary to make her "perfect archive".

There is a discussion around the "decolonisation of archives" and the experience of physical engagement with the collection when public access is increasingly digital and remote, especially during the COVID 19 lockdown.

She shows that even though the archive is ostensibly about plants, it is also about the lives of the people who worked and engaged with the garden.

Links

Website: www.rbge.org.uk/science-and-conservation/library-and-archives/archives/

Leonie Paterson – Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

Leonie provides an overview of her role at the library, describing how an inquiry from botanist George Forrest's granddaughter led her to a career in Archiving.

We learn about the contents of the archive including correspondence from collectors, field books, manuscripts, David Douglas' telescope, plant models, illustrations, artwork, dance programmes, the glass plate photo collection and the hidden history of women working in the garden.

Leonie explains the challenges that part time archivists face: time-managing researcher requests, administration, dealing with the output from volunteer workers and the ongoing cataloguing necessary to make her "perfect archive".

There is a discussion around the "decolonisation of archives" and the experience of physical engagement with the collection when public access is increasingly digital and remote, especially during the COVID 19 lockdown.

She shows that even though the archive is ostensibly about plants, it is also about the lives of the people who worked and engaged with the garden.

Links

Website: www.rbge.org.uk/science-and-conservation/library-and-archives/archives/

To be notified as new recordings are released, please subscribe using the button below.