- 1896 - 2008 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
2 boxes, 20cm
Name of creator
Born 1872; died 1965. Plant collector
George Cave trained as a Kew gardener, graduating in 1895. In 1896 he became assistant at the Botanic Gardens, Calcutta and in 1900 was appointed Governor of the Cinchona Plantations, Mungpoo (Bengal). In 1904 he became curator of the Lloyd Botanic Garden, Darjeeling. He went on numerous plant collecting tours in Tibet, Nepal and Sikkim and some diaries from these tours are held by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Sources: Desmond; Rowena Cave, ‘George Cave’s Diary, Sikkim 1906’.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Description and arrangement by G. Simpson - August 2023.
Box 1: Contains folders, GB 235/CAV/1/1 [Correspondence][GB 235/CAV/1/1 is split into two physical folders], GB 235/CAV/1/2 [Cultivation], and GB 235/CAV/1/3 [Management]. Material relates entirely to George Cave's administration of Lloyd Botanic Garden, Darjeeling, with the exception of item GB 235/CAV/1/1/1, which is a journal entry by Cave when travelling to India in 1896.
Box 2: GB 235/CAV/2 - Contains Folders that relate to various expeditions led by Cave from Lloyd botanic garden, Darjeeling, to Sikkim. Letters, Maps, Diaries, Notes.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Prior to the recataloguing in 2023, the Cave material was arranged in 3 boxes in the following order.
Temporary listing and numbers by box and folder:
Box 1 of 3
• GB 235 CAV/1 Folder: "M/S Journal of tours and misc. notes, 1 of 2":
Ms. journal copy of voyage on S.S. Goorkha, Gravesend to Calcutta, 18 Sept.–25 Oct. 1896, 15 pp.
• GB 235 CAV/2 Folder: "Tour notes, 2 of 2":
Ms. letter to Mr Cave from (?), Botanischer Garten, Heidelberg, on seeds, 1 p., 1911; ms. plant notes, including “Duties of the Seedboy and notes on Magnolia campbelli", 3 pp.; 2 postcards depicting primula by Mary Gill.
• GB 235 CAV/3 Folder: "Corres with H.R. Fletcher":
Correspondence from H.R. Fletcher to Mr Cave, 5 pp., typescript, 1957. Subjects include Cave, Ribu, and Rhomoo collections in the Herbarium, and a map of Sikkim. Rhomoo Lepcha and Ribu Lepcha headed up a team of collectors who followed William Wright Smith and G.H. Cave’s botanical explorations in Sikkim, 1909–1910. Ms. note: “Cave’s MS. List of Collections, etc. are in the Herbarium; Cave’s Sikkim map is in the map cabinet.”
• GB 235 CAV/4 Folder: "Sikkim tour notes, etc":
Typescript, “Identification of Specimens /Collected by G.H. Cave in the Zemu and Llonakh Valleys of Sikkim, 3 pp., 1947; ms. notebook of “Identification of Specimens …”; faded photograph of G.H. Cave.
• GB 235 CAV/5 Folder: "Passes and Travel Information":
“Notice. Travellers’ bungalows in Sikkim and the Darjeeling District,” 1922; ms. letter of permission for Sikkim pass and Sikkim Pass issued to G.H. Cave, 2 pp., July 1903; hand-drawn map of Sikkim; letter authorizing Mr Watt of Aberdeen (and G.H. Cave to accompany him) to see rhododendrons, 1 p., May 1925; ms. notes of itinerary route into Sikkim, 2 pp.; ms. plant notes, including seeding of rhododendrons, 4 pp.; “Short Note on the Religion, Castes and Languages of Inhabitants of Nepal for the Guidance of Census Officers,” with ms. annotations, 2 pp., July 1900; Census Circular No. 10 of 1900,” with ms. annotations, 3 pp., Sept. 1900.
• GB 235 CAV/6 Folder: "1.Lists of Plants, 2.Notes on Orchids of Sikkim":
Notebook, ms. lists of plants (provisional checklist of plants of Sikkim, Darjeeling? damaged corner - rodents?); “Notes on the Orchids of Sikkim, etc.,” 2 copies, 1912; ms. 'Notes on Sikkim Orchids', 15 pp.; ms. notes on state of horticultural training in Bengal and scheme for future course of training, 33 pp.; ms. notes on monthly tasks in the garden; ms. financial proposals, 2 pp.
• GB 235 CAV/7 Folder: "Misc Correspondence";
includes: “Influence of Parks and Gardens and Open Spaces in Civic Developments, by A.E.P. Griessen, Agricultural Department, United Provinces, 1927; ms. letter from James Cromar Watt to G.H. Cave with photograph of Magnolia globosa in flower, July 1938; photocopy of George Sherriff photograph of primula removed and added to Sherriff photo collection.
• GB 235 CAV/8 Bound map of Sikkim showing the routes William Wright Smith and G.H. Cave took in 1909 and 1910 (published by the Surveyor General of India, May 1906).
Box 2 of 3
• GB 235 CAV/9 Folder: "Correspondence on Indigenous Plants" includes:
Ms. “The Darjeeling Forests,” by J. Sykes Gamble, 28 pp.; ms. letter from William Wright Smith to G.H. Cave, 1913; ms. letter from Dr A. Robertson [Prochowski?] to G.H. Cave listing desired plants growing in Darjeeling, July 1912; ms. notes on various plants, including daphne and juniper; ms. essay on Equisetum.
• GB 235 CAV/10 Folder: "Corres with W.W.Smith":
Correspondence from William Wright Smith to G.H. Cave on Sikkim plants, 1910–1948, ms., including typescript page of “Primula Sections Published”; 1 typescript letter from J. S. Gamble to W.W. Smith, with list of Sikkim species of genus Arundinaria, 1911; photograph of G.H. Cave.
• GB 235 CAV/11 Folder: "Garden Survey":
Ms. “Alphabetical List of Garden Survey / names followed by numbers,” 98 pp.
Box 3 of 3 - Diaries
• GB 235 CAV/12 Folder: Diary, Sikkim, 1906:
Ms. notebook of Sikkim diary; ms. diary (loose sheets, 45 pp.), July 1906;
“George Cave’s Diary: Sikkim, July 1906” (transcribed, edited and annotated by Rowena Cave, December 2008).
• GB 235 CAV/13 Ms. notebook, diary, 128 pp. [c. 1909–1910?].
• GB 235 CAV/14 Ms. reporter’s notebook, diary and plant notes, 1910–1911.
• GB 235 CAV/15 Ms. ledger, 141 pp., 1905. Lists plant names, where collected in Sikkim, date of collection of specimen and seed, and serial numbers in Herbarium and Indian Garden.
• GB 235 CAV/16 Folder: "Notebooks and Diaries on tour in Sikkim"
Ms. notes of the tour examining the flora of northwest Sikkim, 40 pp., 1909; ms. diary of tour in Sikkim, 6 pp., 2 copies; ms. notes of a “short tour in Sikkim,” with details of route and plants collected, 5 pp., July 1906.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
permission required from RBGE
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
For a Botanics Story on George Cave written using this collection by RBGE Horticulture student Dean Blake, see (right click, open link in new tab) https://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/37605
Subject access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Description prepared by M.R.
Description and catalogue updates by G. Simpson - August 2023