Roy Lancaster: correspondence, papers and audiovisual material (partially catalogued)

Scope and Content

The catalogued archive to date comprises correspondence between Roy Lancaster and eminent botanists and horticulturists around the world, 1960s-2010s, and papers reflecting Roy Lancaster's plant hunting trips, his books and articles, television work, and leading of botanical tours.

Uncatalogued material comprises further correspondence folders received in Jan 2016, and audiovisual material including audio recordings of Roy Lancaster's interviews mainly with nursery owners, created in the course of research for articles in 'The Garden' journal, VHS tapes of television programmes in which he has featured, and digital photographs. It is hoped to provide access to these in due course.


Pending receipt of the entire archive, folders were allocated to broad divisions as they came in and were given temporary reference numbers. These sections will be added to with each new accrual, resulting in arbitrary arrangement within sections. Final arrangement and reference numbers will be allocated when the last of the archive has been donated.

Conditions Governing Access


Open for consultation at RHS Garden Wisley. It is essential to check opening hours and make an appointment providing a minimum of 10 days' notice.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Roy Lancaster in 2015

Other Finding Aids

The Lindley Library descriptive catalogue, available on-line via the Archives Hub, and as a paper copy in the research room.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Liz Taylor, RHS Lindley Library archivist, and Mara Uzzell, RHS Lindley Library volunteer, in Jan 2016.

Conditions Governing Use

Retained by Roy Lancaster.

Custodial History

The material was at Roy Lancaster's home prior to donation


Further accruals are expected