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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Rose-Innes, Reginald (1915- )


Reference code(s): GB 0068 ROS

Held at: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Title: Rose-Innes, Reginald (1915- )

Date(s): 1923-2009

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 4 series; 10 boxes (33 volumes, 20 folders, 1 film roll, & 41 packets & 9 boxes of photographs and negatives)

Name of creator(s): Rose | Reginald | Innes- | b 1915 | botanist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Reginald Rose-Innes was born in South Africa in 1915. His interest in botany led him to complete a Masters in Ecology at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. He went on to study in Austin at the University of Texas and also spent time studying in California from 1939 under the American Ecologist, Frederick E Clements. During this time Rose-Innes travelled extensively in America and a large part of the photographs in the collection are from this period.

In the 1940s Rose-Innes briefly served in the South African Navy, before undertaking employment at the University of Witwatersrand under the directorship of Professor John F V Phillips. During this time he carried out research into plague in Namibia and the Kalahari Desert.

In 1954 Rose-Innes became a research lecturer at the University College of the Gold Coast alongside Professor Phillips who had become Professor of Agriculture at the institution. The University became known as the University of Ghana following the independence of the Gold Coast in 1957. Rose-Innes continued to work in Ghana until the late 1960s and during this time sent many grass specimens to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew also hold specimens sent from Somalia in October 1982. The South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, hold specimens sent from Ghana in October 1957, and The Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium at Florida State University hold specimen collected in Texas.

In the late 1960s Rose-Innes became employed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) under the United Nations. He remained in Ghana, and was based in Tamale, where he was able to continue his detailed research into grassland ecology.

After several years with the FAO Rose-Innes worked for the Ministry of Overseas Surveys based in Tolworth in the UK. During this time Rose-Innes carried out research assignments in Nigeria, Belize, Bangladesh and Somalia.

Professor Francis K Fianu, a former student of Rose-Innes at the University of Ghana, and later a Professor of the same department, attempted to establish a Grassland Herbarium at the University in the name of Reginald Rose-Innes in the 1980s and 1990s. Sadly there were insufficient funds to make this possible. However, Fianu remembers Rose-Innes as a remarkably thorough scientist whose 'knowledge of Ghana Grasses was beyond compare'.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Reginald Rose-Innes comprising correspondence and diary relating to his studies in America, there is also other correspondence relating to projects and work carried out later in his life. There are a large number of notebooks relating to research carried out throughout various countries in Africa. There are reports and essays by Rose-Innes while he was a student and later article off prints and reports (some of which are co-authored), and published works by other authors. A large number of photographs also compliment the collection many of which were taken during Rose-Innes' studies in America and his research in various African countries.


Language/scripts of material: English, French

System of arrangement:

The collection has been arranged in four series with ROS/1 containing Rose-Innes' correspondence and personal papers, ROS/2 consisting of Rose-Innes' field notes and notebooks, ROS/3 containing reports, pamphlets, off prints and other papers and BUR/4 his photographs.

Conditions governing access:

This collection is subject to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's standard access and reproduction conditions. Access is unrestricted and by appointment but will be subject to the conditions of the Data Protection Act. Reproduction information is available on request.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue available, contact the archives for more details.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers came into the custody of the Archives in November 2009 as a private donation from Mr Crispen Rose-Innes, Reginald's son.



Archivist's note: Entry transcribed by Sarah Drewery, March 2011.

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: March 2011

Scientific expeditions | Field work | Research work

Personal names
Rose | Reginald | Innes- | b 1915 | botanist

Corporate names
University of Texas
University of Witwatersrand, Southern Africa

Belize | Central America
Ghana | West Africa | Africa
Nigeria | West Africa | Africa
Somalia | East Africa
South Africa | Southern Africa
USA | North America