Peter Collinson letters, [ca. 1740]-1770


Date: 1740-1770 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet, 200 items, photocopies


This is a small group of letters written to Johann Ambrosius Beurer, J. von Sprehelson, and Christoph Jacob Trew.

Background note

Peter Collinson (1694 – 1768) was an English merchant and botanist.

Collection Information

Physical description

Photocopies of the circa 200 items.


Presented by Edmund Berkeley, 1981; accessioned, 1982 (1982 604ms).

Location of originals:

Location of originals unknown.

Early American History Note

The APS has a number of Collinson collections on microfilm. Its primary source holdings contain approximately thirty-seven letters written to Peter Collinson, a prominent figure in the eighteenth century British scientific community. Because of his networks in trade and science, he served as an important node in the conveyance of knowledge throughout the Atlantic World.The majority of the letters involve discussions of natural history. The letters offer a range of correspondence. There is a letter written about the culture of bathing in Wales in the 1730s to extended correspondence between Collinson and Lady Petre on the botanical gardens on the Petre's estate, and a series of letters from Spanish officials in the Caribbean relaying information to Collinson. There is also a notable amount of correspondence between Collinson and various nobility discussing horticultural issues.

The collection is listed as having a lot of Collinson-Bartram correspondence, but the majority of the collection involved correspondence from people other than Bartram to Collinson. Nonetheless, the collection offers insight on Peter Collinson's influence on horticulture and botany in the eighteenth century.

Indexing Terms


  • General Correspondence
  • Scientific Correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Berkeley, Edmund
  • Berkeley, Edmund
  • Beurer, Johann Ambrosius, 1716-1754
  • Collinson, Peter, 1694-1768
  • Sprehelson, J. von
  • Trew, Christoph Jacob, 1695-1769


  • Natural history
  • Natural history.
  • Science and technology