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BAINES, John Thomas (1822-1875)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 JTB
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: BAINES, John Thomas (1822-1875)
Date(s): 1857-1870
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: Two folders
Name of creator(s): Baines | John Thomas | 1822-1875 | artist and explorer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1820; educated at private schools in King's Lynn; apprenticed to a painter of heraldic arms on coach panels; began sketching marine subjects; sailed for Cape Town, where he practised his trade, 1842-1845; became a marine and portrait painter, 1845; official war artist to the British forces during the Cape Frontier War, 1851-1852; returned to England and worked for the Royal Geographical Society, 1853; joined Augustus Gregory's expedition to north-west Australia, 1855; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, 1857-1875; storekeeper and artist to David Livingstone's expedition to open up the Zambezi for trade, 1857; joined James Chapman on an expedition from the south-west coast of Africa to the Victoria Falls, 1861; returned to England to write and lecture before going back to southern Africa to lead an expedition which successfully secured concessions for a gold mining company; testimonial gold watch by the Royal Geographical Society, 1873; continued to travel in southern Africa, surveying, drawing, and painting; died, 1875.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of John Thomas Baines including manuscript descriptions of four lithographs of South Africa; photocopies of two letters to Thornton, one dated 1859; typed list of 288 paintings owned by the RGS; catalogue and booklet of exhibitions of 1975; topographical notes of journey west from Zambesi and diary, May 1869-April 1870, missing since 1968.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Items have been brought together from disparate sources over time and have not undergone any arrangement beyond the internal structure of the files.

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at Archivist's discretion, and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

The RGS archives: a handlist compiled by Christine Kelly. London: RGS, 1977.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Diary, 1869-1870 donated by E Stanford, 1912, now missing.

Allied Materials

Related material:

RGS Archives - Correspondence blocks 1851-1860, 1861-1870, 1871-1880 and 1911-1920, 1941-1946: Baines, J T Journal Mss; Central Africa 1854, 1859, 1866; Australia 1857, 1858, Baines, J T.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

"The Northern Goldfields Diaries of Thomas Baines", London, 1946 reprints, Baines' diaries from 1869-1872.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by an archives volunteer using existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; Obit: Geog. Jnl. Vol. 20 p389.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) ed.2.

Date(s) of descriptions:
25 September 2000; Nov 2008.

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