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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Persons, Collections and Topics

Bally, Peter Rene Oscar, 1895–1980

HI Archives collection no. 5
Correspondence with Gilbert W. Reynolds (1895–1967), 1950–1967
.25 linear feet (1 box, 3 folders)

Biographical Note

Peter René Oscar Bally (1895–1980) was a taxonomist, plant collector in East Africa, author of "East African succulents, pts., 1–6" (Journal of East African Natural History, 1940–1946), botanist, botanical illustrator and head of the herbarium of Coryndon National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya, 1938–1958. Bally then moved his family to his homeland of Switzerland due to the decolonization of African countries from European rule. Once back in Europe Bally worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as well as the Conservatoire et Jardin Botanique in Geneva, Switzerland. A number of plant species are named for him, including Aloe ballyi Reynolds.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection includes letters between Peter René Oscar Bally and Gilbert W. Reynolds (1895–1967), an optician in Johannesburg, and later of Swaziland. Reynolds was a collector of and authority on the genus Aloe Linnaeus. The correspondence concerns Reynolds' Aloes of South Africa (1950), as well as the travel and collecting of Aloe specimens done by both men, including Reynolds' work for Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar (1966) and Bally's for The Genus 'Monadenium,' A Monographic Study (1961). Most of these letters are one to two pages in length and were sent from Johannesburg, Nairobi, Switzerland, Kew or Swaziland. Also included in this collection are lists of Aloe species and their localities shared between Bally and Reynolds, as well as Airway bills for the consignments of plants they would send one another. In addition, there is a letter of condolence from Bally to Reynolds' widow, Kathleen, (copy, 26 April 1967) and her reply (June 1967).

Finding Aid

A finding aid for this collection is available online.

Other Resources

For information about portraits of and biographical citations for the subject, see the Hunt Institute Archives Register of Botanical Biography and Iconography database.

For thumbnails of artwork by Bally, see the Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection at the Hunt Institute database.