Ref NoMS 1520
TitleRecords of the Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society
Date1829 - 2000
DescriptionClick on the 'Document' field to see a PDF of the catalogue for this collection.
FormatCubic metres
AccessConditionsAcc. 2009/053: Partially Closed (minutes file closed)
Acc. 2009.065: Open
Acc. 2011/148: Open
AdminHistoryThe majority of the records described in the catalogue were included in a list prepared in 1979 by Eleanor Harfield of Birmingham University Library. This list has been used as a basis of the present catalogue, and the general arrangement of the categories determined therein has been retained. Within categories, however, some renumbering has taken place to simplify the reference numbers; additional records have been added to some categories.

The history of the Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society and of its Botanical Garden in Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, has been written by Dr Phillida Ballard, as 'An oasis of delight', Duckworth, 1983 (Local Studies Dept L03.1), and the records listed below were used extensively in the composition of this work. The reader is referred to Dr. Ballard's book for an account of the history of the society.

Outline History of the Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society

17 July 1829 First Minutes
23 September 1829 General meeting of shareholders at Royal Hotel
30 July 1830 Mr Aspley offers his land
12 July 1831 David Dameron appointed Curator
May 1831 John Claudius Loudon lays out general design of Gardens
11 June 1831 Gardens opened to shareholders
1838 Public first admitted to Gardens
1846 Changes in the constitution to make membership less exclusive were initiated by Mr Goodman
1847 David Cameron resigns. Mr Catling appointed Curator
1852 Building of first Tropical House to house giant water lily given to the Society by the Duke of Devonshire
1868 W B Latham becomes Curator
1869 Joseph Chamberlain made life-member Special mention of ferns in Annual Report
1870 Rebuilding of Temperate House
1873 Bandstand built
1876 Joseph Chamberlain Mayor of Birmingham and President of BBHS
1878 Agreement with the Archery Society
1879 Beekeepers Show at the Gardens (This led to the formation of Midland Beekeepers Assoc.)
1884 Rebuilding of Terrace Glasshouses and Exhibition Hall. Initated by Walter Chamerlain and Hugh Nettlefold, it became the 'Westbourne Stuite' in 1920
1885 Latham's account of 'Dicksonia lathami' published
1886 Rose Show held at Gardens. Led to formation of British Rose Society
1888 Library and Reading Room opened. Professor Hillhouse appoointed Librarian
1895 Rock Garden built to commemorate HighNettlefold
c. 1895 Ernest Henry Wilson a member of garden staff
1902 - 1907 Neville Chamberlain treasurer of the Society
1930 Winding up of original Society and formation of a new company limited by guarantee
1962 BBHS became a private limited company and a registered educational charity
1976 The 'Kenrick Education Centre' opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham
1980 The 'Ernest Henry Wilson Garden' set up, fulfilling a suggestion of the late Mrs Sheila Langton
ArrangementThis is a collection level description. A paper catalogue is available in our research room, and as a PDF on this catalogue entry.

MS 1520 is arranged as follows:

/1 Financial records [see also 16, 20]
/2 Committee minutes and reports [see also 26]
/3 Exhibitions
/4 Presscuttings
/5 Letter books
/6 Subscriptions [see also 18]
/7 Shareholders [see also 17]
/8 Articles of Association
/9 Annual reports
/10 Rules of Regulations
/11 Catalogues
/12 Illustrated Guides [see also 40]
/13 Books
/14 Printing Blocks
/15 Bills and Receipts
/16 Accounts and papers concerning financial matters [see also 1]
/17 Shares [see also 7]
/18 Subscriptions [see also 6]
/19 Payments owing to BBHS
/20 Wages
/21 Rates and Taxes
/22 Contacts and estimates
/23 Insurance
/24 New buildings
/25 Plans
/26 General Committee papers [sees also 2]
/27 Appointment of Trustees
/28 Resolutions and proposals
/29 Agreements
/30 Counsel's opinion
/31 Other Horticultural societies
/32 Number not used
/33 Curators
/34 John Aspley
/35 Lease of the gardens
/36 Library
/37 Items concerning plants [see also 45]
/38 Exhibitions
/39 Publicity
/40 Guides [see also 12]
/41 Photographs and postcards
/42 Advertisements
/43 General correspondence
/44 Number not used
/45 Transport labels accompanying plants
/46 Newsletters
/47 History
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