IMAGES: Plants in Print

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Science  02 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5680, pp. 23
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5680.23a

London pharmacist and botany buff William Curtis (1746–99) didn't plan to make publishing history when his magazine for gardeners sprouted in 1787. Still published today, Curtis's Botanical Magazine is the longest- running plant periodical and is renowned for its gorgeous illustrations. At this site from the U.S. National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland, you can leaf through more than 1000 plates from the magazine's first 20 years. Along with profiles of European species such as the Spanish flag (Iris xiphium), the work introduced readers to many of the new plants botanists were discovering all over the British Empire.

Open this site from the University of Georgia Libraries, and you almost feel like you're browsing well-used copies of the first 20 issues. Free software lets you flip through digital images of the original pages—complete with water stains and ink blots.

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