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Collection BEK - E.K. Balls Collection
Reports

Identity area

Reference code

GB235 BEK

Title

E.K. Balls Collection

Date(s)

  • 1932 - 1939 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

2 boxes, 15cm

Context area

Name of creator

Balls, Edward Kent (1892-1984)

Biographical history

Born Essex 1892; died Yorkshire 1984
Edward Balls was involved in Quaker relief work in Europe and Russia during World War I and began work in a Stevenage nursery in 1926 where he studied alpines and designed and planted a number of rock gardens, including an open air reptillary at Regents Park Zoo. During the 1930s he became a professional plant hunter, going on expeditions to Persia, Turkey, Morocco, Greece and Mexico and his collections of herbarium specimens were sent to Kew, Edinburgh and gardens abroad. His accounts of his often dangerous journeys appeared in the Gardeners Chronicle and he wrote in many other journals. The Imperial Agricultural Bureau sent him to South America in 1939 to collect plants including wild and cultivated potatoes. Balls discovered new species including Verbascum ballsii and Verbena ballsii. He was horticulturalist at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden from 1949 until his retirement in 1960, specialising the cultivation of native plants in desert and rock gardens, eventually returning to Britain in 1978.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists’; Times obituary 9/11/84
D.W.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Box 1 of 2
GB235 BEK/1/01-51: Persia 1932: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and William Wright Smith, field notes, list of specimens despatched, and list of shareholders regarding Balls’ expedition to Persia in 1932, 76 pp., typescript and ms., 1932.
GB235 BEK/2/01-78: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, list of specimens despatched, and list of shareholders regarding Balls’ expedition to Turkey in 1933, 78 pp., typescript and ms., 1933.
GB235 BEK/3/001-111: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, list of specimens despatched, and list of shareholders regarding Balls’ expedition to Turkey in 1934, 111 pp., typescript and ms., 1934.
GB235 BEK/4/01-38: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, list of specimens despatched, list of subscribers, and “A Plant Collecting Expedition into Kurdistan,” an advertisement for shareholders regarding Balls’ expedition to Turkey in 1935, 38 pp., typescript and ms., 1934–1935.
Box 2 of 2
GB235 BEK/5/01-21: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, and list of specimens despatched regarding Balls’ expedition to Morocco in 1936, 21 pp., typescript and ms., 1936.
GB235 BEK/6/01-23: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to William Wright Smith, field notes, list of subscribers, and list of seeds and specimens regarding Balls’ expedition to Greece in 1937, 24 pp., typescript 1937.
GB235 BEK/7/01-37: Correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, and list of specimens despatched regarding Balls’ expedition to Mexico in 1938, 38 pp., typescript and ms., 1938.
GB235 BEK/8/01-33: Typescript and ms., correspondence from E.K. Balls to J. MacQueen Cowan and to William Wright Smith, field notes, and list of specimens despatched regarding Balls’ expedition to the Andes, 1938–1939, 33 pp., 1938–1939.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

open

Conditions governing reproduction

permission required from RBGE

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Description control area

Description identifier

BEK

Institution identifier

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Status

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

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Sources

Archivist's note

description prepared by M.R. and L.P.

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