World Book Day

World Book Day or World Books and Copyright Day is celebrated on 23 April every year and organised by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. The 23rd of April was chosen, as the authors Cervantes, de la Vega and Shakespeare all died on this date. The day was first celebrated by the booksellers in Catalonia, Spain, in 1923. Since 1995 it is celebrated world-wide.

World Book Day is not well-known in Australia. Book Week, organised by the Children’s Book Council since 1945, is more popular and celebrated around the country in August each year.

The Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium has issued a number of publications. A full list of reference and identification books on plants, algae and fungi can be found here, many of these publications are still available for purchase. The Board also holds copyright of all botanical texts issued by the Flora and Fauna of South Australia Handbooks Committee between 1922 and 1997 (see Zeidler 2002). Out-of-print publications have been scanned and are available for download on Enviro Data SA (click on the “All Reports” tab), for example Acacias of South Australia (64.3mb PDF), Orchids of South Australia (29.9mb PDF), or the six volumes of Womersley’s Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia (also available as species fact sheets).

In addition, the State Herbarium of South Australia also publishes the new, 5th edition of the Flora of South Australia online in PDF format. The previous edition from 1986 is long in need of revision, as there are now over 1000 more plants known for the State. (Flora PDF files are also available here.)

The last volume of the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens was received from the printer this week and is now being sent to our partner institutions and libraries. All articles in Vol. 29 (2015/16) are also available online, free of charge, on the journal’s web-page ( From this year, the journal changes its name to Swainsona, but continues the volume numbering. Vol. 30 of the renamed journal will contain the Proceedings of the Botany Symposium at the 2016 NRM Science Conference. Regular papers will be published in Vol. 31 (2017).

More information by the UN, UNESCO and Wikipedia on World Book Day. An order form for books published by the Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium is available here (270kb PDF). Orders can be placed by phone (08 8222 9311) or fax (08 8222 9399), or you email a scanned copy of this form to us (