John Innes Celebrates 50 Years in Norwich 2017

2017 is a landmark year for the John Innes Centre- we have now been based in Norwich for 50 years, and as a colleague recently remarked, that is the longest time the institute has been anywhere- making Norwich our true ‘spiritual home’. But when the Director of the ‘John Innes Institute’ (as it was then) […]

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Colour picture of peloric Linaria vulgaris

Norwich’s botanical secrets and surprises

Few people with a family in Norfolk will be unaware of the beauty, strangeness and interest of the natural history collections of the Castle Museum in Norwich. But how many also know that there is a Rare Books Room at the John Innes Centre in Norwich? Or that it houses an important collection covering natural […]

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Display of brassica images from our rare books, 17th to 20th century

Our Ancient and Diverse Brassica vegetables

On the 8th and 9th September we welcomed members of the public to join us for our annual Heritage Open Day event in the John Innes Historical Collections. Heritage Open Days represent England’s biggest heritage festival, and like venues all across Norwich and Norfolk we were joining in the celebration of our history and culture. […]

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Innes Lecture 2016: ‘Cunning Killer Orchids’

Every year, usually in April, we hold an annual history of science lecture called the ‘Innes Lecture’ as a free ‘Friends of John Innes’ event. The Innes Lecture celebrates our founding benefactor John Innes, and the contribution of the John Innes Foundation (formerly John Innes Charity) to the flourishing of the John Innes Centre. This […]

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Introducing our new archivist Mark Pitchforth

My name is Mark Pitchforth and I have just taken up the post of John Innes Centre Project Archivist, funded by the Welcome Trust, based in the JIC Library and working with the wonderful historical archive collections held there. My career working with archives has been quite varied to date. Before qualifying as an archivist […]

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Pisum illustrated in Bock, Kreuterbuch, 1560

Celebrating the history of peas and the International Year of the Pulse

This year (2016) has been designated the ‘International Year of Pulses’ (IYP) by the United Nations General Assembly. A quick look at the infographic on the official website tells you why: pulses are high in protein, their nutritional advantages include maintaining their quality after long storage, and they demand less water than other protein sources […]

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John Innes collection of rare botanical books helps science communication project

Guest Blog by Melanie Robb A recent graduate of the University of East Anglia, I first became interested in the historical collection of the John Innes Centre library during a Science Communication project in my final year – this involved researching plants with medicinal properties for a new garden to be opened on campus later […]

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Primula varieties, 18th century

Following the primrose path- why early botanists may have not dallied long enough to understand the secrets of heterostyly

    This week (August 10th 2015) saw the launch of Professor Phil Gilmartin’s beautifully illustrated article ‘On the origins of observations of Heterostyly in Primula’ in the journal New Phytologist. Professor Gilmartin, Visiting Professor at the John Innes Centre and Dean of Science at UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, owes his interest in the […]

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William Bateson with a bust of Gregor Mendel in the Darwin Museum, Moscow, 1925

Mendel and the culture of commemoration

Last month (February 8th) was the 150th anniversary of Gregor Mendel reading the first part of his paper ‘Experiments on plant hybrids’ to the natural history society in Brünn, now Brno in the Czech Republic. Next Sunday (March 8th) will be the anniversary of Mendel reading the concluding part of his paper, an account of […]

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John Innes rare books images now accessible through the Mary Evans Picture Library

  A set of 101 historic images from the John Innes Historical Collections is now digitised and available online in the Mary Evans Picture Library. This is the fruition of a summer project with John Innes Centre photographer Andrew Davis and our digitisation intern David Whittle  who digitised, tagged, categorised, and uploaded the images to the online […]

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