Bonnie Griffin, Curator – Natural Sciences
The Natural History Team are excited to announce that the Broughton Herbarium has been digitised and is now available online!
The Broughton Herbarium is a collection of beautiful pressed plants from Bristol and Jamaica collected by Dr Arthur Broughton (1758–1796), a local physician in the 18th century. It contains the oldest specimens we care for at the museum, some almost 250 years old!
Until 2015, the four volumes had been too fragile to open but, now digitised, they’re finally available to be enjoyed and studied. As you look through the pages you can see wonderful handwritten labels, beautiful shapes and forms and important scientific specimens such as Cassia broughtonii on page 17 of the Jamaican book. This plant was named after Broughton as he was the first to discover and describe it.
You can look through the books here:
To find out more about the life of Dr Broughton, visit our online collections search.
The conservation and restoration of the Broughton Herbarium was made possible by generous funding from Arts Council England’s PRISM (Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material) Fund, The Finnis Scott Foundation and the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives (FBMGA).