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Subject Guides

Plant Sciences: Plant Sciences Collections

Undergraduate recommended reading

All books recommended on Part II Plant Sciences reading lists are held in the Plant Sciences Library. These are in the 'Reserve' collection, shelved at the top of the steps going to the Tom ap Rees classroom.

In the same collection we also provide a copy of books recommended in 1B PMS; plant sections of 1B Ecology and CDB; and sections of 1A Biology of Cells, 1A Evolution and Behaviour,1A Physiology of Organisms, and 1A Mathematical Biology taught by Plant Sciences lecturers.

The bad news : There is usually only one copy and it is strictly Reference only.

The good news : That means you can always get hold of the book.

Recommended journal papers are not usually loaded on to Moodle, though some lecturers do add them. However, they are generally easy to find online.

Don't forget that your College Library should have copies of recommended course textbooks.

Information about collections for Plant Sciences

Although most Plant Scientists now rely on up-to-date information obtained online, you may find you occasionally need older material, or even items only available in paper [yes, not 'everything' is online!]

The Plant Sciences Library [in the main building of the Department of Plant Sciences], and the separate Herbarium Library [in the Sainsbury Laboratory in the Botanic Garden], both hold a wide range of specialist material, some of which is unique.

Examples of specialist items in the 'main' Plant Sciences Library:

  • We still receive a considerable number of journals, not available online, as paper copies
  • Many older journals, some of which are rare
  • Books on reading lists [see left] and general texts on Plant Sciences
  • Wide range of books on ecology, both as a general subject and by area or biome
  • Background data for early surveys, eg British flora [Hunnybun]; Wicken Fen [Godwin]; Rock-soil flora of Lincolnshire [Woodruffe-Peacock]
  • Correspondence and diaries, eg C C Babington; W E Nicholson; Mrs Merrifield
  • Some early teaching records, eg attendance registers; lecture notes by teachers and students

[Only books and journals are represented on the online catalogue - please contact us on library@plantsci.cam.ac.uk regarding other material]

Specialist items in the Herbarium Library:

  • The Simpson Collection of UK floras : Based on the collection of Norman Douglas Simpson [early 19th century > 1970s], but still being added to
  • Other UK floras, and floras for other countries, including rare pamphlets and reprints
  • Journals recording flora of areas, some early
  • Books related to taxonomy and systematics of plants, from the early 19th century to the present day
  • Monographs on particular plants or types of plants

In addition there is the Cory Library in the Botanic Garden, which houses items relevant to horticulture - see their website.

Many rare early books once held in the Department of Plant Sciences have been transferred for safe keeping to the University Library Rare Books Department - these items are identified on the online catalogue. Some unique items have been sent to the Manuscripts Department of the UL, but these may be difficult to find on the [separate] catalogue - please contact them directly.

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