Papers of Professor Robert Brown (1908-1999)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-648
  • Dates of Creation
      20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      4 boxes, 6 volumes books, 5 volumes research degrees (1 linear metre). Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location

Scope and Content

The unsorted material is composed of: circa 90 off-prints articles from botany journals; spring-file containing The effect of the relative length of the light period on the growth of the cucumber; correspondence; off-prints; 3 volumes notebooks with notes and calculations; list of publications by M. M. Yeoman; 5 files containing unfinished manuscripts of Plant growth; miscellaneous files with drawings, notes, and photographs; and wooden box of slides and an envelope containing broken slides. The collection also includes research degrees and published works signed by authors to Brown, and include: Growth and organization in plants, F. C. Steward, (1968); The control of growth and differentiation in plants, P. F. Wareing and I. D. J. Phillipps, (1970); Plants, chemicals and growth, F. C. Steward and A. D. Krikorian, (1971); Plant physiology. A treatise, F. C. Steward, (1972); Cell division in higher plants, M. M. Yeoman, (1976); Differentiation and neoplasia, R. G. McKinnell et. al. (eds.), (1980); The effect of different culture conditions in extension growth of the root, James F. Sutcliffe (1950); Chemical factors involved in certain host-parasite systems A. G. Long (1952) St. Catherine's College; The effect of indole-acetic acid and of certain other factors [...] in sterile culture, R. C. Pecket (1954) Leeds; Growth and development during germination of the pea-seed, David J. McNair (1966); and, Cellular development in the leaf, J. A. Collier (1968).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Brown was born in Cairo, Egypt, on 29 July 1908. He was educated at the English School, Cairo, and at Skinner's School, Tunbridge Wells, and then studied at the S. E. Agricultural College, Kent, graduating with degree of B.Sc. Agric. He then studied at the Honours School of Botany at Imperial College, University of London, graduating in 1930, before going on to do his Ph.D., 1940. Brown was an Assistant Lecturer in Botany at Manchester University, 1940-1944, Lecturer in Botany at Bedford College, London, 1944-1946, and Reader in Plant Physiology, Leeds University, 1946-1942. He was then Professor of Botany at Cornell University, New York State, 1952-1953, and Director of the Agricultural Research Council Unit of Plant Cell Physiology, Oxford, 1953-1958, before his appointment as Regius Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, 1958-1977. It was Brown who had been responsible for moving the Department of Botany from the Royal Botanic Garden to King's Buildings. Professor Robert Brown who had latterly been Emeritus Professor, died on 13 July 1999.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Material had been c/o Mr. T. Brown, acquired November 1999, Accession no. E99.40.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 19. 1958-1960. pp. 145-146. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1960. (2) University of Edinburgh journal. Vol. 39. No.2. Dec. 1999. p. 129. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Graduates' Association, 1999. (3) Who's who 1987. London: A. and C. Black, 1987.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Corporate Names