The GOTT Bequest


The Gott Bequest is a collection of 600 early English gardening books and periodicals including works published in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, originally belonging to Alderman Beryl Gott, of the local textile manufacturing family and deposited in the Central Library on her death in 1941.

Illustration of three poppies from Mrs Loudon’s British Wild Flowers (1850)
Illustration of three poppies from Mrs Loudon’s British Wild Flowers (1850)

The collection includes herbals, books on garden design, fine examples of hand coloured botanical illustrations, plus Curtis’s Botanical Magazinefrom 1787 to 1983; and a first-edition of Curtis’s own Flora Londinensis – of which only 300 were produced.

Image from Volume 1 of Curtis's Flora Londinensis
Image from Volume 1 of Curtis’s Flora Londinensis

You can read more about the Gott Bequest in a previous blog post and an excellent selection of images from the Botanical Magazine were previously highlighted. A catalogue listing the majority of pre-1900 items in the collection is available, or  read more about another item donated by Beryl Gott – the 15th-century Book of Hours.

To view items from the collection, please visit the Local and Family History department on the 2nd Floor of the Central Library. Two forms of ID (one with your name and another with your address) and at least 24-hours notice will be required to view items from the Treasures or Collections. Please call 0113 378 6982 for further details and to book an appointment.