Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection

Scope and Content

Items belonging to Isobel Wylie Hutchison consisting of:

  • A sketchbook of watercolour and pencil scenes, people and flowers from Scotland (including Ben Lomond, River Almond, Carlowrie and Craigiehall Wood), Jerusalem, Nazareth and Galilee, plus loose picture of white house, c.1922-1924
  • Two herbarium specimens of historic interest, the first displaying "flowers that spent the night with me in my tent on Eggers Island", 30-31.08.1927, South Greenland, being Carex, Rhodida Rosea, Poa and Calamagrostis; the second displaying a rose from Mrs Mathieson's house, Nanortalik, October 1927; Rose from "Kirsteen", Julianehaab, Disko Island, 09/11/1927; and a carnation from Captain Pedersen's bouquet on leaving Copenhagen for Leith, December 1927.
  • Wooden plant press with leather strap and blotting paper used by Hutchison and with the name C. de Leger inscibed within.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Scottish botanist, filmmaker, author, poet, painter and arctic explorer Isobel Wylie Hutchison was born in 1889 at the family home of Carlowrie in West Lothian. As a youngster she became a self taught plant collector and naturalist enjoying solitary walks in the countryside. She longed to travel and amongst many journeys, travelled to the Holy Land by herself in 1923, before making four major expeditions north to the Arctic between 1927 and 1936, to Greenland, Alaska, Arctic Canada and the Aleutian Islands where she collected plants, took photographs and made films. She died in 1982.

Access Information


Archivist's Note

Arranged and described in October 2011 by Leonie Paterson using Ray Desmond's 'Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists', 1994; 'Flowers in the Snow' by Gwyneth Hoyle, 2001 and the website of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society:

Custodial History

Items appear to have been deposited in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Archives in May 1987 after being used in a National Library exhibition.