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New Spain: Real Expedición Botánica

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 WMS/Amer.38 and 42-44
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: New Spain: Real Expedición Botánica
Date(s): 1790-1804
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 4 volumes
Name of creator(s): Lacasta | Martin | de Sessé y | 1751-1808
Cervantes | Vicente | de | 1755-1829
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Real Expedición Botánica was launched by the Spanish crown in the late 18th century to investigate the indigenous flora of New Spain. The expedition was led by until his return to Spain in 1803 and thereafter by Vicente de Cervantes.


Scope and content/abstract:

The items in this collection relate to the work of the Real Expedición Botánica during the period 1790-1804 and particularly to issues of staffing and facilities. WMS/Amer.38 and 42 focus on the removal of the botanist Jayme Senseve for incompetence, his replacement by the physician José Mariano Mociño, his reinstatement and the issue of payment to Mociño for his work. WMS/Amer.44 relates to attempts by Martin de Sessé y Lacasta to gain space in the Hospital General de San Andrés to carry out tests upon indigenous drugs discovered by the expedition. WMS/Amer.43 summarises the achievements of the expedition with particular reference to their medical side.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Described in: Robin Price, An Annotated Catalogue of Medical Americana in the Library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1983). Detailed catalogue available at

Archival Information

Archival history:

The items in this collection formed part of the Guerra Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased 1962.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
description compiled by Christopher Hilton based upon those in the Library's published finding aid by Robin Price.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with 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:
December 2000.

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