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Salisbury Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Home

Salisbury Collection

The Salisbury Collection focuses on British floras at a national and local level. Most counties are represented and there are also floras for individual towns and cities, e.g. Thomas Hall A Flora of Liverpool (1839). Listings of the ferns, mosses, algae, lichens and fungi found in Britain are included. There are also examples of national floras of Spain, Germany and Russia.

Many of the earlier publications come from the Perkins Botanical Collection and amongst these are examples of herbals, practical field guides and books of botanical instruction in the form of 'botanical dialogues', e.g. Botanical Dialogues Between Hortensia and her Four Children (1797).

Extent: Over 500 books, ranging in date from the 17th century to the 20th century.

Location and Access


The Salisbury Collection is part of Special Collections on level 4 of the Hartley Library. 

  • Modern books (call number Salisbury Coll.) are shelved in the Special Collections open access area.
  • Older (pre-1850) books (call number Rare Books Salisbury Coll.) are fetched for use in the Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room.


Special Collections Open Access Area - material in this area can be used by members of the University whenever the Hartley Library is open. Access for visitors is between 08.00-22.00 and photo ID is required when signing in at Library Reception. If you are under 18 please contact with your enquiry. 

Our computer workstations are only available to University staff and students, but you can connect your own device to the free WiFi Guest service. 

Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room - this is open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 1 working day in advance. 

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.

If you do not have a University I.D. Card, you will need to show photographic I.D. and a form of I.D. which includes your permanent residential address when you enter the Hartley Library and also when you arrive at the Search Room.


Library Search includes records for all Salisbury Collection books and journals. It enables you to search the Library's printed books, journals and electronic resources at the same time. Access to e-resources is limited to staff and students of the University.

Basic Search

Enter keywords / author surname / significant title words in the search box and then refine the Results List using the filters on the left e.g. by book / date  / subject. You can re-sort the Results List to your preferred order using the drop-down menu at the top of the list. 

To limit a search to the Salisbury Collection, enter your search terms followed by B8: Salisbury

Library Search groups print copies, e-books and different editions of the same work under one record in the Results List. To see the separate records, select the 'Show all' filter.

Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search, you can undertake a more targeted search by selecting search indexes from drop-down lists and by presetting filters for format and date.

To limit a search to the Salisbury Collection, include 'B8: Salisbury' as a keyword search.

See Salisbury Collection for a list of titles on Library Search.

Borrowing Books

Most Salisbury Collection books in the open access area are available for Standard Loan.

If you have a University I.D./Library Card you can borrow books at the Loans Desk or at the self-issue units on level 2.

Reprographics Service

The nearest copier is behind the main staircase on level 4.

Self-service photocopying facilities are available for visitors. You can create a personal photocopying account and add credit to it by visiting our MyPrint page and following the instructions.  

Bound volumes in Rare Books cannot be photocopied but you can request photographic or microfilm copies, subject to the age and condition of the item.

See Reprographics Service for a list of the types of copy available and charges.


For general enquiries about the Salisbury Collection contact: Jenny Ruthven email: or  tel. 023 80593335

Search Room Bookings: email: or tel. 023 80592721

Address: Special Collections, Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Collection History

The Salisbury Collection brings together the botanical books donated by Sir Edward Salisbury to the Biomedical Sciences Library in 1978 and those presented by the family of Walter Frank Perkins to the University College of Southampton in 1948.

Sir Edward Salisbury (1886-1978) was a founder member of the British Ecological Society, who researched and wrote on woodland ecology, and with F.E. Fritsch, compiled a number of botanical textbooks during the 1920s. His later publication, Living Garden (1935) contributed to his appointment as Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew in 1943, a position he held until his retirement in 1956.

Walter Frank Perkins (1865-1946) was born in Southampton and was educated at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. He later worked as a surveyor in Southampton and was elected as the Member of Parliament for the New Forest in 1910. From 1928 to 1933, Perkins was the Treasurer of the University College of Southampton and presented his larger collection of agricultural books to the College in 1946.

J.-J. Rousseau Recueil de Plantes Coloriées, 3rd ed. (1789)

coloured engraving of plants

Rare Books Salisbury Coll. QK 92

Related Collections (Southampton)

Printed Collections

Archive Collections

Related E-Book Collections