Series GDS - George Don [Sr.] Collection

Identity area

Reference code



George Don [Sr.] Collection


  • 1799 - 1989 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Two boxes (0.2m)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Son of John Hutton Balfour, Isaac Bayley Balfour was Regius Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh between 1888 and 1922, specialising in Rhododendrons and Primulas and making improvements to the RBGE's teaching and laboratory facilities.

Archival history

Collection consists of correspondence and papers about George Don (Sr), with some original material which appears to have been collated by then Regius Keeper Isaac Bayley Balfour between 1900 and 1910.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Collection comprises one of Isaac Bayley Balfour’s scrapbooks in which he collects together copies of information, correspondence and postcards relating to George Don and correspondence relating to this search. The rest of the collection consists of 11 folders of correspondence, papers and photographs, some seemingly associated with the scrapbook, presumably being sent to or copied by Balfour as part of his investigation, but not filed within it, presumably due to their size or bulk. There are also photographs, biographical information, and an original plant catalogue and letter by Don.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

In arranging this collection, the scrapbook was kept and numbered separately. The rest of the collection had been divided into folders, possibly by material type, possibly by originator of the material, but because the rationale for the division is not now known, an attempt was made to split the material by originator/provenance, so some material has been kept together purely because it was in the same folder, but because much of the material comprises transcriptions of articles / newspaper cuttings / original material ordered by Isaac Bayley Balfour, much of the provenance has now been lost. Now some of the items are in folders because they were generated or relate to one of Balfour’s Don correspondents; the rest have been divided by material type.

Conditions of access and use area

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Conditions governing reproduction

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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Description control area

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: D:4:4