Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology (book) Web Resources

This Web page contains the URLs and annotations for the Web-accessible resources listed in Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology, published by Libraries Unlimited in December 2005.


Chapter 3:  History and Biography



Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. l- . Washington DC: National Academy Press, 1877- . Irregular. Price varies. ISSN 0077-2933.

This annual publication includes complete biographical information about the deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences.  A portrait, bibliography of publications, and a complete chronology are provided for each scientist.  The full text is available for free on the Web.



Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. Vol.12- . Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1995- . Quarterly. $435.00. ISSN 1355-4905. Available electronically.

In terms of historical significance, Curtis's Botanical Magazine is the oldest botanical journal in continuous publication.  It was founded in 1787 in London by William Curtis, the owner and editor as well as an eminent English botanist and entomologist.  It changed titles at various times: The Botanical Magazine; or Flower Garden Displayed (1787-1800), Curtis's Botanical Magazine (1801-1983), and The Kew Magazine (1984-1994).  The full text of the first twenty years of the magazine can be viewed at the National Agriculture Library’s site.


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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias


Matthew, H. C. G. and Brian Harrison. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: In Association with the British Academy: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 60 vol. $13,000.00 (set). ISBN 019861411X (set).

A collection of 50,000 specially written biographies of men and women who have shaped all aspects of the British past, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2000.  Includes over 10,000 illustrations on a total of 61,792 pages, written by almost 10,000 contributors.  The online version includes the full text of both this new edition and the original edition.  Online updates will be published three times each year starting in January 2005 and will add new biographies (taking in people who died after 2000) in addition to reference material designed to help readers navigate and interpret the dictionary.


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History of Science Society. PO Box 117360, 3310 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7360. Phone: 352-392-1677. Fax: 352-392-2795. E-Mail:

Funded in 1924 to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.  Dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in a historical context.  Publishes
Isis and Osiris and several other series, guides, and more.



Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. 5000 Forbes Avenue, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890. Phone: 412-268-2434. Fax: 412-268-5677. E-Mail:

“Specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation.”  It acquires and maintains authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files, and provides publications such as Huntia and the Bulletin of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation as well as collection catalogs, reference works, and much more.



Society for the History of Natural History. c/o The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK. E-Mail:

It “is the only international society devoted to the history of botany, zoology and geology, in the broadest sense, including natural history collections, exploration, art and bibliography.”  Publishes Archives of Natural History and a Newsletter.


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12/22/2005   mma