Education and botany have been closely related for centuries, including in Amsterdam. In 1638, a Hortus Medicus with medicinal plants was founded in the city; it was later called the Hortus Botanicus. Aside from education, the plants were also used for botanical research. In addition to the plants, the botanical gardens also had a botanical library. The most important work in the library was undoubtedly the Moninckx Atlas: a series of 420 painted images of plants from the garden, mainly produced between 1686 and 1709. From 1755, students of medicine from Amsterdam’s Athenaeum Illustre also received their education in the botanical gardens. When the Athenaeum was granted the status of a university in 1876, botany became a university programme. The library of the botanical gardens came into the university’s possession and underwent considerable expansion. Until around 1970, many hundreds of botanical wall charts were purchased for botanical education. The botany image archive shows the most important and most beautiful images from these collections.

Published by  Special Collections UvA

2 July 2014