From the Curator | Baron Ferdinand von Mueller

If our Living Heritage Exhibition on Baron Ferdinand von Mueller’s plant specimens whet your appetite for all things botany, we have just the news for you! 

The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria has just launched a searchable online database of Mueller’s surviving correspondence, with more than 11,500 letters currently available to peruse. 

Mueller is believed to have written over 100,000 letters, including correspondence with many major botanists of the latter half of the 19th century, such as George Bentham, known as “the premier systematic botanist of the 19th century”, and Asa Gray, known for unifying taxonomies of American plants and trying to bridge the divide between Darwinism and religion.

The correspondence even includes several letters exchanged with Charles Darwin, who writes to Mueller in 1857, “I do not know whether my name is known to you; but I have so often heard of interesting botanical facts of your discovery […] that I feel as if I had been introduced to you.”

You can explore the archive here:

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