Taylor Collection


Taylor Collection


A selection of around 550 books from the library of the eminent Scottish botanist Sir George Taylor (1904-1993), former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Taylor was born in Edinburgh and graduated from Edinburgh University with first class honours in botany. He went on plant collecting expeditions to Africa, Bhutan and Tibet in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1950 he became Keeper of Botany at the British Museum and then in 1956 he became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he remained until he retired in 1971. He spent the rest of his life in East Lothian, serving as director of the Stanley Smith horticultural trusts in Britain and the USA. The collection contains mostly books on botany and natural history in general, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries, as well as a substantial run of 'Curtis's Botanical Magazine', Taylor having edited the journal for a number of years. There are books from Taylor's own childhood collection, and travel guides and offprints of articles. Around 20 books in the collection were formerly in the collection of the English botanist Charles Edgar Salmon (1872-1930) and have his bookplate or inscription. The majority of the post-1900 books from Taylor’s collection have been incorporated into the Library's general collections.


The books have been catalogued individually and have the shelfmark 'Taylor.'.


The collection was presented to the Library by Sir George Taylor in 1987, along with his correspondence and personal papers.

Related collections

The manuscripts are held at Acc.9533.





Natural history