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Bangor University
Pamplin Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0222 PAMP

Held at: Bangor University

Title: Pamplin Papers

Short Title: Pamplin Papers

Creation date(s): 1806-1886

Level of description: fonds

Extent: 219 items

Name of creator(s): William Pamplin


Administrative/Biographical history: William Pamplin (1806-1899), botanist, botanical publisher, bookseller and agent for the exchange and distribution of seeds, plants and herbarium specimens, was a central figure among nineteenth-century botanists. Born in Chelsea, the son of a nurseryman, Pamplin had a lifelong interest in plants. In 1827 he published a Catalogue of the rarer indigenous plants of Battersea and Clapham and in 1830, while still an assistant at his father's nursery he was elected a member of the Linnean Society. His acquaintance with continental botanists was largely due to his connection with John Hunnemann whose Soho bookselling business he took over and whose daughter, Caroline, became his first wife.
In 1854 Pamplin became owner of The Phytologist , having bought the title from Edward Newman, and installed his long-time field companion, Alexander Irvine, as editor.
Pamplin made botanical tours in Perthshire, 1856, and North Wales, 1854, with Alexander Irvine and again in North Wales with Thomas Shearman Ralph in 1856 and 1857. In 1862 Pamplin settled in Llandderfel, Merionethshire (now Gwynedd), where he formed a herbarium of plants of the district, part of which is now in the Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford University, and attempted to establish a Central Botanical Garden for North Wales. Pamplin died in Llandderfel in 1899.


Scope and content/abstract: The Pamplin Papers consist of letters addressed to William Pamplin and a few other individuals, along with some miscellaneous items dating from 1806-1886. There are well over 200 correspondents, nearly all of them eminent botanists of the day, British and foreign. The letters are mostly written in English with a number in French and German and a many deal only with business details. However, some are of great historical interest because they throw light on botanical activities in a period when the exploration of the flora of little known plants of the world was one of the main interests of botanists. Amongst the correspondents are Charles Darwin, Sir William Jackson Hooker and Friedrich Martin Jozef Welwitsch.
Included also are the working papers of Mr Tully, such as the queries he received and his index cards which could be of great use to the researcher. These indices contain the names of botanists and of the plants mentioned within the correspondence.


Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement: Arranged according to correspondent and then chronologically.

Conditions governing access: Open to all users.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.

Finding aids: An item level typescript catalogue is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales Bangor. The catalogue is based on the work published by Mr Ian Tully in the Archives of Natural History , 1999.


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: In the 1990's the papers were transferred to the Archives Department of the University of Wales Bangor by Mr Tully.


Publication note: Tully, Ian, A calendar of the papers of William Pamplin at the University of Wales, Bangor , Archives of Natural History , 1999


Note: Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, March 2003.

Rules or conventions: Created following ISAD(G) and Archives Hub Data Creation Guidelines

Date(s) of descriptions: Prior to 16-11-2004


Personal names
Darwin , Charles , 1809-1882
Hooker , William Jackson , 1785-1865 , Sir
Pamplin , William , 1806-1899

Corporate names


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