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Collection ALS - Dr Charles Alston Ephemera
Reports

Identity area

Reference code

GB235 ALS

Title

Dr Charles Alston Ephemera

Date(s)

  • 1716 - 1980 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

2 boxes, 15cm

Context area

Name of creator

Balfour, Sir Isaac Bayley (1853-1922)

Biographical history

Son of John Hutton Balfour, Isaac Bayley Balfour was Regius Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh between 1888 and 1922, specialising in Rhododendrons and Primulas and making improvements to the RBGE's teaching and laboratory facilities.

Archival history

This collection comprises a series of documents copied from manuscripts and documents held elsewhere. The bulk of the papers have been compiled by Regius Keeper Isaac Bayley Balfour as he was collecting historical documents relating to RBGE and its Regius Keepers at the beginning of the 20th century, but there are some papers collected in the 1970s-1980s.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Box 1 of 2 (A04)
•GB235 ALS/1 “Botanist Royal,” biography of Charles Alston, by J.M. Alston. Typescript copy (London, February 1980) from the original(?), deposited in the National Library of Scotland.
•GB235 ALS/2 Plantarum Medicinalium Etc., with ms. annotations. Text block with spine, loose front cover, missing back cover, 120 pp.
•GB235 ALS/3 20th century copy of manuscript widow’s petition by Mrs. Alston to H.M. Treasury asking for an allowance to maintain the Physick Garden at Holyrood House, 1762.
•GB235 ALS/4 Typescript and ms. copies of papers and correspondence, including biography of Charles Alston; history of the Alstons of Thinacre-Milne; list of Alston’s works; advertisement by John Hope for the publication of Alston’s Lectures on the Materia Medica, 1770; “Catalogus sive Index Plantarum.”
•GB235 ALS/5 Typescript and ms. copies of papers and correspondence regarding the history of the RBGE, 1716–1909. Includes manuscript copies in Isaac Bayley Balfour's hand, of Alston's Royal Warrants from the Register of the Privy Seal, and Alston' typewritten entry from Allibone's Dictionary, and copies of letters from Kinnear (1890), and to D.W. Kemp (1904) and Britten (1909)
•GB235 ALS/6 Typescript and ms. papers and correspondence, including biographical sketches and notes on the life of Charles Alston; catalogue of works by Alston, c. 1908–1913. includes correspondence from Isaac Bayley Balfour to Prof. Eggeling at Edinburgh University to ask permision to copy relevant information pertaining to Alston and presumably history of RBGE from documents held at the University.
•GB235 ALS/7 Papers and correspondence, including letter from Charles Alston, 1726 (photographic copy); ms. letter to Prof Balfour from Alex. P. Stevenson regarding “the Alston M/S and the Bower,” 1907; extracts from Mackay’s Journey through Scotland (printed 1723, 1729); typescript and ms. notes on the appointment of Charles Alston as Professor at the University of Edinburgh.

Box 2 of 2 (A05) - items transcribed from Edinburgh University holdings c.1908
•GB235 ALS/8 Typescript copies of Alston correspondence, including botanical descriptions, discussions of the “sexes of plants,” and experiments with lime water, originally dating 1715-1756. "Copies of 'Alston letters' from University Ms These are not enter[?] in the Ms Life" in Isaac Bayley Balfour's hand. Correspondents include Boerhaave, Thomas Simpson, John Mitchell, J. Fothergill, Phillip Miller, John Hawkeens, Keir, John Ellis, Archibald Hamilton, Alexander Garden, William Cullen and Richard Henderson.
•GB235 ALS/9 Life of Charles Alston, including copies of correspondence (1724–1760). Correspondents include John Fothergill, John Hawkeens, Stephen Hales, Alexander Garden, and Philip Miller. Subjects discussed include experiments with lime water and its medicinal uses, herbal remedies, the making of elaterium (a plant extract used as a purgative), the properties of amber and ginseng, botanical lore, Materia Medica, and Alston’s hostility to the Linnaean system. Typescript with ms. corrections, 107 pp.; ms. notes entitled “Mr Jeffrey’s comparison of the MS. Life of Alston,” 4 pp.
•GB235 ALS/10 Life of Charles Alston. Typescript copy (see above) "Alston's Life, from an old manuscript - Isaac Bayley Balfour's hand).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

items were left in the folders they were found in, ordered, listed and numbered - June 2015 - by M.R. and L.P.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

permission may be required from the institution holding the original documents.

Language of material

  • English
  • Latin

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

University of Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Register of the Privy Seal...

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description control area

Description identifier

GB235 ALS

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

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