Collection ANT - John Anthony collection

Identity area

Reference code



John Anthony collection


  • 1910 - 1972 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 boxes, 47cm

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in Edinburgh in 1891 to Robert and Marion Anthony, John Anthony attended George Heriot's School and Edinburgh University, reading Arts and Science. His studies were interrupted by the First World War, with him spending eight years in service in France, Italy (where he won a Military Cross in 1918[?]), Egypt and Palestine, resuming University life in 1923.
After graduating in 1924 he worked on a rubber plantation in Malaya for five years, before becoming an assistant lecturer in Botany at the University College in Dundee on his return in 1932. In 1934 he became a lecturer in Forest Botany (amongst other things) at the University of Edinburgh, and so began his career with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He was a member of the teaching staff for 24 years, retiring in 1958. In his retirement he worked on producing a guide for indentifying trees, shrubs and undershrubs by their microscopic properties, and a Flora of Sutherland - the latter being published posthumously by the Botanical Society of Edinburgh [Scotland].

Archival history

We appear to have received the transcripts of Anthony's 'The Identification of British Trees, Shrubs and Under Shrubs by means of the Microscopic Structure of their Wood', including photographs, shortly after his death - it was something he'd been working on at the time, but never published. It was all bundled together in a tied folder, and was repackaged in 2015 to make it more secure.
The photo album was presumably received at the same time (c.1972) but had become separated from the transcripts and was not known to be Anthony's. This connection was realised in 2015 and the album reunited with the rest of Anthony's collection.
In 2017, a search of a cupboard in the archives revealed what turned out to be John Anthony's original manuscript for the Flora of Sutherland, possibly dating to 1970.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presumably the Estate of John Anthony

Content and structure area

Scope and content

GB235 ANT/1 - photo album including photographs of John Anthony and his family, Edinburgh views and photos relating to World War One, including the Edinburgh University Officers Training Corps at Peebles in 1915 showing Cadets Brown, Purves, Mills, Anthony, Smith, Hatton and Wallinck; Anthony with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Oswestry and Llangollen (Anthony, Evans, Edwards, Gavin, Richards and Mitford) and Capt J Anthony M.C. and Capt J.H. Dick M.C. on the Somme in 1916.
GB235 ANT/2 - Transcripts of 'The Identification of British Trees, Shrubs and Under Shrubs by means of the Microscopic Structure of their Wood', including photographs - 2 copies, loose sheets.
GB235 ANT/3 - Original Manuscript for Flora of Sutherland, c.1970 - comparison with the published version shows the extent of J.B. Kenworthy's editing, as described in his introduction:

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

not to be copied without permission of RBGE - may be copyright issues.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

care may be needed to access the transcripts as they are currentled on loose sheets.
Photographs in album are faded.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

John Anthony wrote numerous articles, searchable on the Library catalogue (using Anthony, J. and Anthony, John), and is remembered most for his book "John Anthony's Flora of Sutherland", 1976, on the Library shelf at FIS\107.

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Dates of creation revision deletion




Archivist's note

description compiled by L.P.

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Physical storage

  • Box: A08
  • Box: A09
  • Box: A10
  • Shelf: C:3:3