Robert Smith BSc, Department of Botany, University College, Dundee

Scope and Content

Obituary of Robert Smith; text of paper and slides of talk given in 1997 about Smith; atlas and Ordnance Survey maps coloured and annotated by Smith. The collection also includes a map possibly compiled by Marcel Hardy, lecturer in the Department of Botany.

Administrative / Biographical History

A native of Dundee, Robert Smith graduated BSc from Dundee University College in 1896 and in the same year was appointed to the botanical department of the college under Professor Patrick Geddes. During the winter session of 1896-1897 he studied at the University of Montpellier, under Professor Flahault, one of the leading European authorities on plant distribution at the time, and it was upon returning to Scotland after this study that he began to carry out his scheme for a botanical survey of this country, based upon the new continental methods he had learned.

The Ordnance Survey maps, of which most of this collection is comprised, may be regarded as working drafts for the proposed publications of the Botanical Survey of Scotland. In one of his many articles, Smith writes 'excellent maps on which scientific observations may be recorded are furnished by Ordnance Surveys'. The botanical features depicted in the Botanical Survey of Scotland Midlothian sheet (published by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in June to August 1900, just before Smith's death) correlate closely with those detailed in Ordnance Survey maps in this collection.

After Smith's premature death in August 1900, his brother William G Smith carried on his work and two further Botanical Survey of Scotland maps were published in 1905, Robert Smith being posthumously credited with collaboration in these efforts.


Records are arranged within series.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information



This collection was previously catalogued as Recs C/4.

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Nicoll and revised by Sarah Chubb, Archives Hub Project Archivist, May 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Custodial History



None expected.

Additional Information

The material is original.