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Banks, Sir Joseph (1743-1820)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.1049, 2826, 5215-5219, 5250, 7331
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Banks, Sir Joseph (1743-1820)
Date(s): 1609-1818
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 229 Items
Name of creator(s): Banks | Sir | Joseph | 1743-1820 | Baronet | naturalist
Banks Family of Revesby Abbey Lincolnshire
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1743; educated: Harrow School, 1752-1756, Eton College, 1756-1760; Christ Church Oxford, 1760-1764; devoted himself to the pursuit of natural history; fellow of the Royal Society, 1766; fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, 1766; trained as a Linnaean naturalist on an expedition to Labrador and Newfoundland, 1766; expedition on the Endeavour, principally to observe the transit of Venus at Tahiti, 1768-1771; expedition to explore the geology and natural history of Iceland, 1772; President of the Royal Society, 1778-1820; died, 1820.


Scope and content/abstract:

Personal papers and correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks, 1609-1618. His correspondence is primarily related to his interest in botany, hence the letters sent by Banks, were mainly sent to and about naturalists. In particular he was concerned with the welfare of naturalists and petitioned against the imprisonment of several naturalists as well as the provision of a salary for botanist Francis Masson (1741-1805). The papers reflect his overseas interests such as, his trip to Holland 1773, papers relating to China, and details of an expedition to India for which he provided instruction. His commitments in Lincolnshire are also represented in his papers, such as the survival of an account book for Hemingby Hospital. Family papers also survive, MS.5215: 1609-1816. In addition MS. 5250 consists of some surviving correspondence and papers, 1721-1739, of the Banks family, baronets, of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: Journal of a trip to Holland, 1773; Hemingby Hospital, 1792-1801; Correspondence and papers, 1609-1816; Banks Family papers, 1721-1739; Autograph letters, 1787-1818.

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:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:


Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry copied from Wellcome online catalogue by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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:
Aug 2008

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