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Rare look at rare prints

KALAHEO — Island residents and visitors still have an opportunity to view rare prints of plants collected during Capt. James Cook’s first of three Pacific voyages.

National Tropical Botanical Garden’s “Plants of the Society Islands” art exhibition displays some of the rare and fascinating botanical prints that are housed in the Rare Book Room of the nonprofit’s Botanical Research Center.

The exhibit is offered weekdays through May 22 and also on Saturday, May 16.

The room that houses NTBG’s extraordinary collection of botanical prints, voyage logs and rare books dating back as early as the 1500s, was recently dedicated as the Sam and Mary Cooke Rare Book Room.

Samuel A. Cooke, longtime NTBG supporter and widely known as an advocate of conservation who helped found The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, played a considerable role in NTBG’s acquisition of the majority of the collection in the 1990s.

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