- 1915 - 1989 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
11 boxes, 127cm
Name of creator
Born 1915 Argyllshire; died Argyllshire 1989
Archie Kenneth, a 'fine Highland gentleman' was born on the 6th June 1915 at Shirvan, Lochgilphead, Argyll. He never knew his father as he died at Gallipoli just over a month after his birth; his mother was Katherine Louisa nee Graham-Campbell of Shirvan. After being educated in England, Archie Kenneth settled down as a country gentleman and amateur botanist on his estate at Ardrishaig in Argyllshire, where, following his mother's passion he cultivated specimens of rhododendron. During the Second World War he served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in France.
As a botanist he specialised in marsh orchids and in the hawkweeds of Wester Ross and Sutherland contributing to Cunningham’s’ ‘The Flora of Kintyre’, but his expertise and involvement ranged much wider than that. He became a member of the B.S.B.I. in 1957 and botanised and recorded extensively throughout Perthshire, Argyll, Kintyre, Westerness, Ross-shire, Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides - the bulk of the his notebooks now stored in the RBGE Archives relate to his exploration of Knapdale - VC101.
However it is as a traditional musician and composer and editor of pipe music that he is better known. In 1947 he was elected to the music committee of the Piobaireachd Society and became editor of its 15 volume published collection in 1963. His interests in traditional music ranged from Gaelic song and Scottish fiddle music through to new wave rock and he is remembered through an annual amateur piobaireachd competition for the Archie Kenneth Quaich.
He died after a brief battle with lung cancer on the 27th July 1989 at the age of 74.
Information from this biography came from: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, v.31 (2004), pp.280-1; Watsonia, v.18 (1990), pp.242-4; the B.S.B.I. Scottish Newsletter (1990), pp.4-7; R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists’; Piobaireachd Society website
D.W. and L.P.
appears as if collection has been donated in 3 batches, one from Pat Batty, the other 2 unknown (1 folder was in I-K box, 10 boxes worth arrived in 2000 from Pat Batty, and 1 box arrived in 2006 from RBGE staff)
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Estate of Archibald Kenneth
Content and structure area
Scope and content
•Box containing a notebook, papers and correspondence, moss specimens, bryophyte master cards and a checklist of the bryophytes of V.C.101
•5 boxes containing 52 notebooks mostly relating to VC101
•2 boxes of miscellaneous papers and correspondence (to be checked)
•3 boxes of correspondence (to be checked)
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Many boxes have still to be checked through and some contents may be discarded. It is planned to keep notebooks and data recorder sheets.
System of arrangement
Items still very much arranged as they were stored in the boxes they came in - the notebooks have been arranged by date where possible.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail