Catalogue description British Museum (Natural History): Department of Botany: Keeper's Correspondence and Papers

This record is held by Natural History Museum Library and Archives

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Details of DF 404
Reference: DF 404
Title: British Museum (Natural History): Department of Botany: Keeper's Correspondence and Papers

This series consists of the correspondence, research and administrative papers of William Carruthers, George Robert Milne Murray and Alfred Barton Rendle, successive keepers of botany.

Date: 1857-1930
Related material:

Further Carruthers, Murray and Rendle correspondence and papers are in DF 400

Held by: Natural History Museum Library and Archives, not available at The National Archives
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 82 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Most of the series was transferred to the archives from the Botany Library in 1989 and 1990. DF 404/52-57 were transferred from the Cryptogamic Herbarium in 1990, and DF 404/58-64 from the Keeper's Office in the same year.

Publication note:

‘George R M Murray (1858-1911)’, J Britten, Journal of Botany, 50: 73-75 (1912). ‘William Carruthers (1830-1922)’, J Britten, Journal of Botany, 60: 249-256 (1922). ‘Alfred Barton Rendle, 1865-1938’, D Prain, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 7: 511-517 (1939). ‘Friedrich Welwitsch (1807-1872), a centennial memoir’, T D V Swinicow, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 4: 269-289 (1972).

Administrative / biographical background:

William Carruthers (1830-1922) grew up and studied in Scotland before starting at the British Museum in 1859. He specialised in cryptogamic and palaeobotany, and in the application of botany to agriculture. He was Keeper from 1871 to 1895, and served as President of the Linnean Society from 1886 to 1890. In 1875 he, as an executor of the will of Frederick Welwitsch, defended a lawsuit brought by the King of Portugal for the return of Welwitsch' collection. Carruthers was responsible for the Museum's General Library from 1880 until 1883.

George Robert Milne Murray (1858-1911) was Keeper from 1895 to 1905. He came to the Museum in 1876 and worked in marine plankton. He took part in a solar eclipse expedition to the West Indies in 1886, and was involved in planning the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904. Murray suffered from mental problems and retired early in 1905.

Alfred Barton Rendle (1865-1938) came to the Museum from Cambridge in 1888 and worked on flowering plants. He was Keeper from 1906 to 1930, and served as President of the Linnean Society from 1923 to 1927.

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