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Papers of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour

Identifier: Coll-8

Scope and Contents

The papers of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour consist of material relating to work on the flora of Socotra, 1883; letters; class tickets from 1871 and into the mid-1870s; notebook; notes; lecture notes; University of Glasgow class catalogues; material relating to the University of Edinburgh Commission of 1858, and its Reports on Botany, and Botany in the Arts Curriculum; material on the Universities Scotland Bill; and, material on botany excursions.


  • Creation: circa 1870-1920


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Isaac Bayley Balfour was born in Edinburgh on 31 March 1853. He was the son of the Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884). Balfour was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then he studied at Edinburgh University where he was awarded the degrees of B.Sc. in 1873, and D.Sc. in 1875. He also studied abroad at Strasbourg and Wurzburg. He participated in expeditions to Rodriguez in 1874, Socotra in 1880, and Japan and China in 1909-1910. Balfour was Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University between 1879 and 1884, then Sherardian Professor of Botany at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Magdalen College, from 1884 to 1888. From 1888, he was Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, and the King's Botanist in Scotland. During his Keepership of the Garden, the whole establishment underwent re-organisation, buildings and gardens. He was knighted in 1920. Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour died at Haslemere on 30 November 1922.


3 boxes

Physical Location

Gen. 70D; MSS 3091-3092

Related Materials

The Index to Manuscripts shows references to Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour's lectures on Botany, taken down by another, and an outline sketch of a course of lectures for summer 1889 at the Royal Botanic Garden, both at Gen.1904. There are Botany notes taken in 1890, at Gen. 849. In addition to individual letters by Balfour at Gen. 524 and at Gen. 1425/10-11, there is material mostly in the form of letters by others referring to Balfour at Dc.6.116., Gen. 1426/84., and Dk.2.13.

Papers of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour (1853-1922)
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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