About Us



The John Innes Historical Collections, housed in the institute’s on-site library, are an important resource for the history of plant science and genetics.


Among the collections are Institute and Alumni archives and records, a History of Genetics Library, a Rare Books Collection documenting 400 years of botanical literature, and an assemblage of rare and unexpected material collected throughout the history of the institute.

For more information about the Historical Collections, head to the Collections page.


Members of the public and researchers may access the collections housed in the library by appointment. Disabled access can also be arranges with prior notification.

The Rare Books room has a capacity of 25 people, so group visits can be accommodated. Larger groups can also arrange a visit, however please do inform us of numbers in advance.

To make an appointment to visit the collections, please fill in the contact form on the Contact Us page.


The library staff also undertake various outreach events throughout the year, and external talks on the Historical Collections can be booked for your event.


Work in the historical collections is always progressing, with more treasures uncovered all the time. For the latest updates, make sure to visit our blog, and follow us on Twitter @JIChistory.


We hope you enjoy the treasures of the John Innes Historical Collections.


If you have any questions about our collections, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section, or use our Get In Touch page.