Collection IWH - Isobel Wylie Hutchison collection

Identity area

Reference code

GB 235 IWH


Isobel Wylie Hutchison collection


  • 2018 (Accumulation)
  • 1922-1927 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 box, 45cm

Context area

Name of creator


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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

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

Content and structure area

Scope and content

• 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.
• In 2018 a catalogue, showcasing the Isobel Wylie Hutchison Collection, inspired by Hutchison and launched at Carlowrie Castle in October 2018, along with associated tote bag, was added to the collection.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research, see (right click, open link in new tab) for opening times.

Conditions governing reproduction

Permission for reproduction would be required from RBGE.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Link to Isobel Wylie Hutchison's digitised herbarium specimens from the RBGE Herbarium catalogue: (right click, open link in new tab)

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places

Physical storage

  • Shelf: C:5:3