The Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy is based in the Department of Plant Sciences and is managed in association with the Oxford University Herbaria, which contain specimens to which many of the printed and manuscript works in the library collections relate. They contain both modern floras and species monographs, mainly housed in the Herbaria but available to all library users, and historic works, many of which are grouped in the Sherard Collection. The latter is housed in an air-conditioned stack and originated in the collections of the Oxford Physic Garden (now the University of Oxford Botanic Garden), founded by the Earl of Danby, Henry Danvers, in 1621. It is now recognised as one of the finest collections of pre-Linnaean material in the UK. Highlights include Ferdinand Bauer's 966 original drawings for the Flora Graeca of J. Sibthorp and J. E. Smith; Sherard's work on Bauhin's Pinax; 139 coloured drawings of African plants, known as Herbarium Capense; and some beautiful watercolours of Japanese (Chinese?) plants with inscriptions by N. Witsen.

Occasional exhibitions are held in the Herbaria for pre-booked groups and items are also supplied to public exhibitions, including in 2005 A New Flowering: 1000 years of botanical art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. One of the Museum's most popular temporary exhibitions, this showed historic works alongside those of contemporary botanical artists from the Shirley Sherwood Collection. Small displays are also mounted in the library and online, as in this recent example on Linnaeus.

Fauna Graeca : Red Squirrel
Fauna Graeca : Red Squirrel
(Ms Sherard 238 Pl. 8)

Opening hours:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 09:00 -- 17:00 by appointment only.
Tuesdays and Fridays closed
Saturdays and Sundays closed

Contact details:

Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy
Plant Sciences Department
South Parks Road

Manager: Anne Marie Catterall

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