Collection WSG - Watt, Sir George

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Watt, Sir George


  • 1851 - 1930 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

several boxes of correspondence; manuscripts; photographs; commercial literature, notebooks

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Born Aberdeenshire 1851; died Dumfriesshire 1930
After graduating with an MB from Glasgow University in 1872, George Watt was appointed Professor of Botany at the University of Calcutta in 1873 which in turn led to his entry into the Indian Government Service. His many appointments during 22 years in the service ranged from Secretary of the Indian Revenue and Agricultural Department 1884, Commissioner for India at the Colonial Exhibition London 1885-86, President of the Pharmacological Section, Indian Medical Congress 1894, Officer in Charge Industrial Museum, Calcutta 1894-1903, and Reporter on Economic Products to Government of India 1887-1903. He retired from the Indian Service in 1903 and returned to Britain where he continued scientific research. In 1912 he visited Portuguese West Africa to study cocoa cultivation and for 5 years lectured on Indian botany at Edinburgh University. He was a prolific author drawing on experience in his many Indian postings. After 1910 he became actively involved in county life around his home in Lockerbie, serving on the county council, the local education authority and as a JP.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists; obituary folder.

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• Two boxes of papers and correspondence
• Box of original manuscripts in English of ‘First Step in Botany’, published in Bengali (1876)
• Box containing three books of correspondence
• Box of notes on Botany in Manipur
• Box of books and correspondence on Gossypium
• Box containing his diary from 1878, a notebook of P. Neill Fraser’s and a text book with specimens inside it.
• Box containing notebooks and plant lists
• Three boxes of cotton papers and correspondence
• Box containing papers on commercial products of India
• Box containing correspondence regarding commercial products of India
• Folder containing two of the same photograph, one mounted, one not, of Abies Smithiana, Noghanda-Bagi Forrest, Sisula
• Numerous boxes of glass plate negatives

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