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Blog Posts

Filtering by Category: Library

Coffee and Climate Change

OSGF

When Ellis discovered the fragrant and popular plant, he wrote an introduction to An Historical Account of Coffee describing the flower and fruit. While many of Ellis’ affiliated contemporaries studied plants, he was not only interested in growing them: he was most interested in the culture plants created. By the time he caught wind of Coffea arabica, it was most prominent as a beverage consumed while people assembled “in crowds to pass the time agreeably.” In 2017, we face the threat of losing the cultural staple to climate change.

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John Ellis and the Venus Flytrap

OSGF

Charles Darwin once said that the Venus flytrap was “one of the most wonderful [plants] in the world.” The carnivorous plant was discovered in North Carolina, soon to become one of the most fascinating studies in plant discoveries during the 18th century. Behind the doors of the Oak Spring Garden Library is a manuscript of England’s first formally recorded encounter with Dionaea muscipula.

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Anna Maria Hussey

OSGF

As part of an initiative to increase recognition of the role that women have played in the development of plant science through botanical art, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation has been hosting interns to visit the Library and research our collections. One of the women researched was Anna Maria Hussey, an artist and mycologist.

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Elizabeth Blackwell

OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Library houses the works of many great women artists in its collection -- most of whom were ahead of their time in one way or another. One of these women, Elizabeth Blackwell (1707-1758), is best remembered for A Curious Herbal, which was conceived and published under curious circumstances. The Oak Spring Garden Library has a copy of both volumes of A Curious Herbal, along with 73 of the original manuscript paintings she did for the book. Here is her story.

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