Provenance - Creators and Custodians

1 James Hamlyn Willis
Jim Willis, B.Sc. (Hons, Melb. 1940), DSc. (Melb. 1974), AM (1995)
Date Range: 28 January 1910 - 10 November 1995

Born in Australia (Oakleigh, Victoria) on the 28 January 1910, James Hamlyn Willis (Jim) married Mavis Howie in October 1933 and soon after the couple took up permanent residence in Brighton. Willis was Taxanomic Botanist at the National Herbarium (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) from 1937 to 1972. The various positions filled by Willis at the Herbarium included Assistant (Herbarium), Assistant Government Botanist (from May 1961), Deputy Director, and Acting Director in his last fifteen months of service there. In his taxanomic role Willis described new plant species and plant varieties, and published many new nomenclature combinations, including the prestigious, two-volume publication A Handbook to Plants in Victoria, Vol. 1 (1962; 2nd edition 1970) and Vol. 2 (1973).

[ Series 1 - Committee Papers ] [ Series 2 - Correspondence to Individuals ] [ Series 3 - Willis Correspondence ] [ Series 4 - Biographical Information on Australian Botanists ] [ Series 5 - Notes for Talks Presented by Willis ] [ Series 6 - Conferences, Seminars and Symposiums ] [ Series 7 - Notes and Manuscripts for Publications ] [ Series 8 - Journals ] [ Series 9 - Reprints of Papers by James Hamlyn Willis ] [ Series 10 - Newspaper Cuttings ] [ Series 11 - Collecting Trips and Excursions ] [ Series 12 - Reserves Files ] [ Series 13 - Field Notes, Notebooks and Nature Diaries ] [ Series 14 - Travel ] [ Series 16 - Publications By Other Authors ] [ Series 17 - Photographs ] [ Series 18 - Flora and Plant Lists, Locality Lists ] [ Series 19 - A. C. Beauglehole Correspondence and Plant Survey Data ] [ Series 20 - Cassette Recordings of Talks and Lectures by Willis ] [ Series 21 - Natural History Specimens ] [ Series 22 - William Henry Nicholls ] [ Series 23 - Numbered Slide Collection ] [ Series 24 - Keys to Numbered Slide Collection ] [ Series 25 - Lecture and Talk Slides ] [ Series 26 - Maps, Plans and Posters ] [ Series 27 - Glass Slides ] [ Series 28 - Botanical Artworks, Prints and Reproductions ] [ Series 29 - Memorabilia, Awards, Autobiographical Material and Posthumous Papers ] [ Series 30 - Miscellaneous Correspondence and Subject Files ]
2 William Henry Nicholls
Bill Nicholls
Date Range: 23 July 1885 - 10 March 1951

Born in Australia (Ballarat, Victoria), Nicholls worked as a bookbinder until the Depression years when he joined the Footscray City Council as a propagator and plant classifier. He travelled widely in Victoria and became an expert on native orchids. Bill Nicholls claimed to have collected over 150 species of Victorian Orchidaceae which provided the basic material for his first colour delineations. He set himself the task of figuring and describing every Australian Orchid, and in 1946 donated his collection of some 5000 orchids. When Nicholls died, Orchids of Australia Part 1 was in the process of being published, and work continued posthumously on the book.

[ Series 22 - William Henry Nicholls ]
3 William Baragwanath
Date Range: 1878 - September 1966

Born in Australia (Ballarat, Victoria), William Baragwanath joined the Victorian Department of Mines in 1897 and was Director of the Geological Survey 1922-1943, and Chief Mining Surveyor in 1924. From 1932-34 he was also Secretary for Mines and remained as a geological consultant in the Department until May 1950. In the 1960's, Baragwanath served as Senior Research Officer with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV). His name is honoured in that of the fossil genus of early Devonian land plants, Baragwanathia.
Series 21 'Natural History Specimens' includes fossilised wood and related papers donated by Baragwanath to J.H. Willis.

[ Series 21 - Natural History Specimens ]
4 Alexander Clifford Beauglehole
Date Range: 26 August 1920 -

Alexander Clifford Beauglehole, or Cliff Beauglehole as he was better known, a Victorian farmer, established a private herbarium of over 37,000 specimens collected during botanical surveys of various areas of Victoria. He also collected and studied bees, birds and bone deposits in caves, and had species of bees, wasps, marine algae, orchids, trigger plants and marsh-flowers named after him.

Series 19 'A.C. Beauglehole Correspondence and Plant Survey Data' includes papers, mostly copies, relating to the activities of A.C. Beauglehole and sent to Willis for information/reference purposes.

5 Alfred James Tadgell
Date Range: 2 February 1863 - 6 September 1949

Alfred James Tadgell was born in North Melbourne, Victoria in 1863. He was accountant to the estate of the Clarke family for his professional working life, and also devoted much time to botany. He collected thousands of plant specimens and publisheded several papers. Alfred Tadgell married Eva Roberts in 1890.

[ Series 15 - A. J. Tadgell ]
7 Edward Edgar Pescott
Date Range: 1872 - 1954

Edward Edgar Pescott was the first lecturer on the subject of cultivating plants, his lectures being illustrated by a notable collection of slides photographed mainly by himself, mainly in situ. His native flower photos were frequently used as illustrations to his own and other writers' books and articles. Pescott joined the the newly formed orchard branch of the Department of Agriculture in the 1900s, and was an also active member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria amongst many other clubs and societies, where he worked mainly in preservation and botanical study of native flora. Pescott was Acting Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne for one year.

Series 17 'Photographs' includes glass negatives/slides of flowers taken by E.E. Pescott.

8 William H. Ferguson
Date Range: 1830? - 1900?, fl. 1856-1886 in Australia

One time inspector of State Forests and Superintendent of the State Nursery at Macedon, Victoria, Ferguson was born in the UK where he had a lifelong experience in the growing of timber. He was at the Royal Botanic Gardens from December 1869 until at least 1872, afterwhich time he was stationed at Macedon State Nursery, and supplied the Gardens with plants.
Series 17 'Photographs' includes mounted photographs of the Barry Mountains taken by W.H. Ferguson in 1895.

[ Series 17 - Photographs ]
9 Alexander William Jessep
B SC, Dip Ed, M Agr Sc, Patron and President Emeritus of the Australian Camellia Research Society
Date Range: 27 March 1892 - 20 March 1991

Born in Maffra, Victoria on 27 March 1892, Jessup's tertiary educated was interupted by the first world war, afterwhich time his studies resumed and he eventually graduated with a Bacholor of Science, Diploma of Education and Master of Agricultural Science (the second such degree granted in Australia). In 1926 he married Dorothy Smith. From 1941 to 1957, Jessup served as the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Government Botanist of Victoria. Jessup was widely known for his interest into camellias and roses and was one of the most sought after judges at rose and camellia shows. He authored several horticultural and botanical works, and won awards for his horticultural achievements.
Series 2 'Correspondence to Individuals' includes correspondence between Alexander Clifford Beauglehole and Alexander W. Jessup.

[ Series 2 - Correspondence to Individuals ]
10 National Herbarium of Victoria
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Date Range: 1853 -

Established in 1853 by Ferdinand von Mueller, the National Herbarium of Victoria is the scientific centre of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. The Herbarium is a repository for dried plant specimens that are used for studies of plant classification, identification, distribution and ecology, where information is stored in a biological form. The main resources of the Herbarium are the pressed and annotated plant specimens, a botanical library, and the botanists and staff that work there. The functions of the Herbarium include research and field work in the field of plant taxonomy; the collection, identification, preservation and storage of flora and fauna; to provide an advisory service the public and staff at the Herbarium and Botanic Gardens; the maintenance of the Herbarium Library; and special one off projects.

11 Alan Bell
Date Range: 1900? - 1990?, Birth and death dates unknown.

Alan Bell accompanied a party, including Russell Grimwade and James H. Willis, on the Russell Grimwade Expedition to Western Australia in August/September 1947, and wrote Two Thousand West, 'A Reminiscence Dedicated by Alan Bell to Russell Grimwade'.
Series 16 'Publications By Other Authors' includes a typescript of Two Thousand West, and a note to J.H. Willis (Jim) from Alan Bell.

[ Series 16 - Publications By Other Authors ]

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, November 2000
With support from Friends of the Botanic Gardens, Norman Wettenhall Foundation, William Buckland Foundation and The Maud Gibson Trust
Listed by Rachel Tropea with Andrea Barnes and Fay Anderson
HTML edition
Updated 15 November 2007

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