Scope and Contents
The archives comprise a wide range of operational records, covering the management and development of premises and grounds, garden planting, gardening advice within and without the University, visitors and Friends, accounts, bequests (including that by Reginald Cory) and staff, as well as papers concerning interaction with the Botany School and botanical research in general.
Conditions Governing Access
Among the archives of the Botanic Garden, personal records are closed to scholars for 80 years from the date of creation under data protection legislation. Restrictions are clearly indicated in catalogue entries.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of University Archives, photographs to the Head of Digital Content Unit. Both at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR.
Biographical / Historical
A formal physic garden was first established on a five acre plot of ground, purchased by Dr Richard Walker, Vice-Master of Trinity College, and given to the University in 1762 in trust 'for the purpose of a public Botanic Garden'. The site, east of Free School Lane, was then on the outskirts of Cambridge. Lecture rooms for the Professors of Botany (chair established in 1724) and Experimental Philosophy (established in 1783) were erected in the garden in subsequent decades, but with the expansion of the town it was felt increasingly cramped for plant growing of all kinds, including an arboretum, for experimentation and buildings. In 1831, largely at the encouragement of the then Professor of Botany, John Stevens Henslow, 38 acres off Trumpington Road were acquired as a larger, more open site for a Botanic Garden; its location to the present day. The first permanent Botanic Garden Syndicate was appointed in 1855. The bequest of Reginald Cory in 1934 massively aided garden development after World War II and the expansion of buildings. Further science lecture rooms and laboratories were built on the old Botanic Garden site throughout the nineteenth century, as science was brought more formally into the undergraduate curriculum, on what became known as the New Museums Site. Botany, previously only officially on the syllabus of medical students, assumed a more independent place in the undergraduate studies of the University on the inauguration of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1861. For further background information, see S.M. Walters The Shaping of Cambridge Botany (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1981).
18 linear metre(s) : paper
Language of Materials