Graphical version

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Ballard, Francis (1896-1976)


Reference code(s): GB 0068 BAL

Held at: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Title: Ballard, Francis (1896-1976)

Date(s): 1841-1972

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 4 boxes containing 31 folders

Name of creator(s): Ballard | Francis | 1896-1976 | botanist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Ballard was born in London 18th March 1896 and died Chiswick, Middlesex on 25th January 1976. He graduated with a BSc in London in 1927 before being appointed temporary assistant at the Herbarium at RBG Kew on 23/09/1929. He was later made a permanent member of staff there on 1 January 1946. During his career Ballard worked as a pteriodologist (fern specialist), travelling to work with Carl Christensen, in Copenhagen 'the greatest authority on ferns in Europe' in 1937, and to Ceylon with Irene Manton and Sledge in 1950 to look at the native flora there. Ballard finally retired from the Herbarium at Kew in 1961. Ballard was also involved with international botanical work including the Special Committee for Pteridophyta, which he worked with Pichi-Sermolli, Alston, Copeland, Holttum, Morton and Tardieu-Blot.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Francis Ballard comprising correspondence sent both to and from Ballard, as well as a small number of letters, which were sent between two completely different individuals (10 Oct 1929-18 Dec 1963). Additionally there are botanical notes relating to Ballard's work as a pteriodologist including plant lists from his expedition to Ceylon and proceedings from conferences (20th century); and material, which seems to have compiled during Ballard's time at RBG Kew. Within this compiled material there are a number 19th century letters, which Ballard appears to have arranged somewhat artificially from the papers of John G Baker.


Language/scripts of material: English, French, German, Russian

System of arrangement:

This collection consists of four series - BAL/1 - Correspondence, BAL/2 - Botanical notes and plant lists, BAL/3 - Ephemera -receipts, plans and photographs, BAL/4 - Collected papers.

Unfortunately the original order of the material within this collection is rather unclear and as a result it was decided that the papers would be arranged as stated in the aforementioned series. As the original order of the correspondence was also unclear the decision was made to arrange it chronologically within the boxes it was already packaged in. Items of correspondence that were attached together have been left together. It was decided that the correspondence should be left in the boxes that it was packed in upon its arrival into the archives in case this was in anyway representive of Ballard's original order. Botanical notes and lists, which were dispersed among the correspondence have been removed and arranged into two other series, BAL/2 and BAL/3. Ballard's papers also contain an artificially drawn together collection of papers the majority of which seem to date from the 19th century. Unfortunately it was not possible to find out the provenance of these papers or how they came to be in Ballard's possession. They have been placed together in a separate series at the end of the fonds.

Conditions governing access:

Unrestricted - surrogates to be used where available.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Please contact the Archives for further information and listings.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The material within the collection was presented to the Archives following the death of Ballard by Peter Edwards, a botanist then working in the Herbarium at RBG Kew.


Related material:

Further information can be gained about Ballard from his RBG Kew staff file, QS 32. Collecting notebooks created by Ballard can also be found in the Collector's Notebooks collection.


Archivist's note: Entry transcribed by Sarah Drewery, February 2011. Biographical information taken from Ray Desmond's DICTIONARY OF BRITISH AND IRISH BOTANISTS AND HORTICULTURISTS (NHM, London 1994).

Rules or conventions: General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2011

Botanists | Scientists | Scientific personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People

Personal names

Corporate names
Royal Botanic Gardens | Kew

Sri Lanka | South Asia