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Botany Department and Biology Life Science Division of Imperial College

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0098 KB
Held at: Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
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Full title: Botany Department and Biology Life Science Division of Imperial College
Date(s): Created 1894-1992 (ongoing)
Level of description: Series of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine records
View parent record
Extent: 19 boxes
Name of creator(s): Royal College of Science; Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Department of Biology had its origins in the teaching and research of biology in the Government School of Mines and Science as Applied to the Arts (later the Royal School of Mines) in 1851. The department moved to South Kensington in 1872, where T H Huxley was prominent in establishing modern teaching methods of the discipline. In 1881 the Royal College of Science was founded and took over the teaching of biology in two separate departments, Botany and Zoology. The Departments were united into a single Department of Biology in 1913 as part of Imperial College, with professors of Zoology, Plant Physiology, Woods and Fibres and Entomology.
The Department of Biochemistry opened in 1965. Before this, biochemical research and teaching at Imperial College operated within the Department of Botany.
The Division of Life Sciences was formed from the Departments of Botany, Zoology and Biochemistry in 1974. The Life Sciences Committee was established as a committee of the Board of Studies to consider all academic developments within the field and report to the Board as appropriate.
In 1981 the Department of Botany and Plant Technology was merged with the Department of Zoology and Applied Entomology to form the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, with the transfer of Microbiology from the Department of Biochemistry.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Department of Botany of Imperial College, 1894-1976, including press cuttings and reports, 1959-1972; correspondence relating to Agricultural Research Council grants, 1935-1940; correspondence of staff, including Professor Sir John Bretland Farmer, 1907-1932, Professor Vernon Herbert Blackman, 1912-1939, Professor Percy Groom, 1909-1924; correspondence concerning the Chair of Plant Physiology, 1910-1912; Plant Physiology building, 1911-1916; Biochemistry block, 1919-1923; Chair of Comparative Pathology, 1915; examination papers, 1894-1969; correspondence and papers of Sir John Bretland Farmer, 1916-1928, including rubber research, Departmental annual reports, 1921-1927, proposed field station; students' schedules for the Animal Biology Division, papers relating to mathematics for botany and biology students, 1933-1946; registers of students, 1900-1953, staff, 1945-1953; notes and logbooks relating to courses, lectures and laboratory work, 1896-1960; minutes of the Brownian Club, 1935-1939; minutes of the Imperial Botanical Conference Executive Committee, 1923-1926, 1934; papers relating to departmental appointments, including headship and chairs, 1966-1976; Rectors' correspondence with the department, 1955-1976 (KB);
papers relating to the Plant Physiology Research Institute, 1911-1964, including correspondence with the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1911-1918, Rothamsted Laboratory, 1935-1960 (KBA);
papers relating to the Division of Life Sciences, 1952-1987, including brochures and reports, 1969-1987; Department of Pure and Applied Biology research reports, annual reports, and course prospectuses, 1981-1987; Division of Life Sciences newsletter, prospectus, 1973-1978; papers of the Biology Working Party, 1966-1975; Professor Arthur Rutter, 1973-1982; Rector's papers relating to proposed division, 1979-1980; Advisory Panel on Life Sciences, 1978; Life Sciences Steering Group, 1978-1979; proposed merger of Botany and Zoology departments, 1966-1980 (KBB);
papers relating to the Department of Biochemistry, including press cuttings, 1960; research and annual reports, 1992-1999; correspondence relating to finance, 1965-1967; Rector's correspondence relating to the Rank benefaction, 1967-1978, with Professor Chain, 1969-1979, Rank chair of Biochemistry, 1973-1975 (KBC);
correspondence relating to the Centre for Biotechnology, 1980-1990 (KBT).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged in sections as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available at the College Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Accumulated by Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine during the course of business.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Department of Zoology records (KZ), Field Research Stations and Harlington Athletics Ground records (KZF), records relating to the University of London (UL), papers of T H Huxley (B/HUXLEY) and Percy Groom (B/GROOM), held at Imperial College.

Correspondence of Sir John Bretland Farmer with Frederick Orpen Bower, 1912-1926, held at Glasgow University Archives and Business Records Centre.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

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:
October 2000

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