HUNTER, Herbert

Published: 13 September, 2023  Author: admin


CSAC 54/8/77 CONTEMPORARY SCIENTIFIC ARCHIVES CENTRE Supported by the Royal Society, the British Library and the Council of Engineering Institutions Report on the papers of Dr. Herbert Hunter (1882 - 1959) Compiled by: Jeannine Alton ~ Harriot Weiskittel Deposited in the Archives of the Institute of Agricultural History, University of Reading 1977 H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 Description of the collection 1 The papers were received from Hunter's daughter, Miss Margaret Hunter, who attempted to assemble as complete a collection as possible from the various institutions with which her father was associated during his career. She provided a biographical account of his life and work (Item 1) and much helpful information about the arrangement of the papers. Hunter graduated in 1903 from the University of Leeds where he was one of the first two students to take the B.Sc. in Agriculture (Items 12, 17). He was then appointed officer in charge of the barley investigations being conducted by the Department of Agri- culture and Technical Instruction in Ireland (Items 12-14, 18, 41). It was during his work in Ireland that Hunter developed the Spratt-Archer variety of barley, which was for many years the most widely grown malting barley in Britain (Items 13, 25, 26). In 1919 he was appointed Head of the Plant Breeding Division of the Ministry of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, and in 1923 moved to Cambridge to join Sir Rowland Biffen, T.B. Wood and F.L. (now Sir Frank) Engledow in the Plant Breeding Institute of the University School of Agri- culture (Items 5, 23). Hunter became Director of the P.B.I. in 1936, and, during the Second World War, also served as Director of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge. After his retirement from the P.B.1. in 1946, Hunter served as President of the Council of the N.1.A.B. for three years, 1951-53. With the exception of a few notebooks and files (Items 17-24) and some scientific correspondence(Items 25, 27, 29) little remains of Hunter's original working records and notes. Most of the collection is of a biographical and personal nature. Of special inter- est are Hunter's own reminiscences of colleagues and friends (Section B), the papers and correspondencerelating to his proposed visits to Russia (Items 6, 28), and his file of press cuttings which document the dramatic changesin plant breeding, crop production and the brewing industry during the first half of this century (Item 30). ltem 32 is the manuscript (unpublished) of Hunter's last book, Oats: Botany, Cultivation, Utilisation. Dr. Colin M. Kraay, Keeper of the Heberden Coin Room, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, kindly identified and described the casts of ancient coins in Item 11. All items are manuscript unless identified otherwise; titles in inverted commas are those which appear on the manuscripts. H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 Contents of the collection A. B. C. D. E. Biographical and personal Reminiscences Notebooks and working papers Correspondence Publications Items 1-11 12-16 17 - 24 25 - 29 30 - 43 Index to the correspondents 10 H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 A. Biographical and personal (Items 1-11) 1. Biographical note of Hunter's life and career by his daughter, 1959 Miss Margaret Hunter. Typescript summary of career. Obituary notices and tributes. Appreciation of Dr. Hunter by F.R. Horne as published in The Journal of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and typescript (annotated) by Horne of notice for publication in The Times. Letters of sympathy received after Hunter's death. Certificate of the M.Sc., Leeds University Certificate of the D.Sc., Leeds University 1959 1924 1925 Printed appeals published in Cambridge during the General Strike. 1926 Copy of Hunter's contract of employment as principal assistant with the P.B.1. (1934) and of his letter to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food re pensions (1956). 1934 1956 Papers connected with proposed appointment of Hunter as 1942-44 Agricultural Attaché at the British Embassy, Moscow (the appointment was not confirmed by the Soviet government): correspondence with the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, typescripts of 'Food and Farming in the USSR' and 'Points for Agricultural Attachés to USSR', data on production of crops in the UK 1936-42, summary of agricultural cooperation with the USSR before the war, copy of Soviet Monitor (see also ltem 28). National Institute of Agricultural Botany: photographs of colleagues, of judging, of Hunter's portrait; printed leaflets published by N.1.A.B. on the growing of barleys and on the varieties of spring wheats and spring barleys. List of subscribers to presentation made to Hunter on his retirement 1946 from the Plant Breeding Institute, by brewers, maltsters, and seed trade. Invitation to garden party at Buckingham Palace. Photograph of conference in Sweden, at Svalov Institute. 10. 'Hunter' Barley: letter from Guinness asking Hunter's permission to name their new barley strain in his honour. Article des- cribing Hunter's work in developing Spratt-Archer and the history of the new Hunter variety. barley. 3 photographs of Hunter 1950 n.d. 1959 11. One box of plaster casts of ancient coins depicting grains. The coins were used asillustrations by Hunter (figs. 11-14) in his book The Barley Crop, published in 1952 (see Item 40). The casts were fully listed and described by Dr. C.M. Kraay; this list is included with the casts. H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 B. Reminiscences (Items 12-16) 12. "Professor J.R. Campbell': typescript (3 pp.) character sketch of Campbell describing his unorthodox methods of lecturing and his later work as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture in Ireland. biographical account of Hunter's arrival in Ireland. The sketch also provides an auto- Letter from Campbell, 19 January 1920, written to Hunter onhis 1920 move to Northern Ireland. 13. ‘John H. Bennett': typescript (18 pp.) character sketch of Bennett who was director of the experiments in barley growing con- ducted by the Irish Department of Agriculture and the Guinness The sketch gives not only a portrait of Co. at Ballinacurra. Bennett as a supervisor and friend but also an autobiographical account of Hunter's own work in Ireland - the tours of inspection of the fields, seed selection, propagation of stock, etc. that eventually led to the development of the Spratt- Archer variety of barley. Letter from Bennett to Hunter, 23 November 1927, setting out his recollection of the development of Spratt-Archer (see also Item 26). One letter from Mrs. E. Bennett thanking Hunter for writing down his memories of her husband. Photograph of Mrs. Bennett and Hunter at Ballinacurra. 1927 1953 1957 14, "Arthur Jackson': typescript (first page only) account of Jackson's work in selecting seeds for the barley trials. Oneletter from Jackson, 20 December 1926, congratulating 1926 Hunter on his new book on barley. 15. "Redcliffe Nathan Salaman': typescript (3 pp.) of obituary notice written by Hunter. 'Howard Crosby Gregory': typescript (4 pp.) notes and draft of appreciation of Gregory (probably not written by Hunter). Printed copy of memorial appeal, of which Hunter was chairman. 1954 1953 16. Letter from Hunter to his daughter, 7 May 1956, re his memories 1956 of George Moore, Horace Plunkett, George Russell and the movement to start a national theatre in Ireland. H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 5 C. Notebooks and working papers (Items 17-24) 17 Notebook labelled inside front cover 'H. Hunter. Preston-on- 1898 Tees. Eaglescliff R.S.O. Co. Durham. Agricultural Notes'. Contains Hunter's undergraduate lecture notes on soil (see his description of his first university lecture in his sketch of Professor Campbell, Item 12),:domestic animals, drainage, seeds, fertilisation, etc. grasses which Hunter pasted in the book are still intact. Hunter was one of the first two students to take the B.Sc. in Agriculture at Leeds and the first to receive a D.Sc. in Agri- culture (see also Item 19). Specimens of various 18. Notebook, labelled on inside cover with name, containing - a 'Record of Nursery Experiments carried out at Charleston, Ballinacurra, Co. Cork in 1905'. Notes on preparation of plots, cultivation, varieties of barley sown, measurements and observations of crop, record of results. 1905 Part Il of the notebook contains notes on 'Character of Rachillae of different varieties' and on 'Bristles on vein pairs' with lists of data and descriptions of various varieties of barley. 1%. "Improvement of the Barley Crop', bound copy of thesis presented 1925 by Hunter for the D.Sc., Leeds University, 1925. Inserted at the back of the book is a photocopy (from The London Corn Circular, 1927) of the text of a lecture delivered by Hunter at the Corn Exchange Co. on improvements of the barley crop. 1927 20. Notebook (not labelled) containing records for 1926-32 of sowings, 1926-32 growths, crossings etc. of various varieties of barley. 214 File labelled 'Varieties of Barley’ containing: - notes on Montcalm Barley by R. Summerby - typescript appendix taken from Beaven's book, Barley - 1 p. misc. notes by Hunter on varieties of barley in the ancient world - lists of U.S.A. barleys - plates and drawings of barley - 3p. of misc. typescript re hybridisation, American barleys 1936 22. File labelled ‘Barley Trials' and 'Barley. Latin Square and 1945-47 qualitative figures' containing extensive data gathered from trials. 23. Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge: 'Memorandum on the programme of work and future development of the Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge', 26 pp. typescript plan of work for the next five years, annotated by Hunter on the cover ‘Submitted to V.E. Wilkins at the time he was in charge of Research |Institutes at the Min. of Ag. & Fisheries' (no other date is given). H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 24. Experimental Barley Plots: ledger (17" x 21") containing a map of Ireland showing location of plots, 1938; botanical drawings of barley varieties; summary sheets and results from 1901-15, 1919-57 large-scale plots; typescript 'notes' 1938 and 1948, to accompany and explain the data. H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 D. Correspondence (Items 25-29) 25. 26. 27. 28. 1926, 1939, 1941 1943 1947 1941 1939 1930 1937 1947 1949 1951-52 1952-53 1952 1958 2 letters from W.S. Gosset, 26 July 1909 and 10 April 1910, re Hunter's results with the Warminster, Glasnevin, Archer and Goldthorpe varieties of barley (see also obituary notice of Gosset in Item 30). 1909-10 Correspondence with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, 1927 Dublin, and carbon copies of various letters by Hunter re the credit due to Hunter for the origin of Spratt-Archer (see also Item 13). Correspondence from E.S. Beaven, 1926, 1939, 1941, discussing Hunter's new book on barley, the affairs of the Plant Breeding Institute and the National Institute for Agricultural Botany, Spratt-Archer, the chessboard system, a new cereal developed by Beaven, and other matters of mutual interest. Oneletter from Alice Beaven (daughter) re editing of her father's Typescript (14 pp.) review book on barley after his death. by Hunter of this book, Barley. Obituary notice of Beaven, written by Hunter and published in Nature. Correspondence from N.1. Vavilov re Hunter's proposedvisit (The visit was cancelled.) to Russia in September 1939. See also newspaperclipping (1948) in Item 21 reporting Sir Henry Dale's resignation from the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in protest over Vavilov's dismissal as Director of the Lenin Academy of Genetics and the subsequent appoint- ment of Lysenko (see also Items 6, 33). 29. Miscellaneous correspondence (presented in date order): Dimitriew, Alexis (2 cards) Malzew, A. Bell, G.D.H. (see also Item 22) Long, H.C. Helbaek, Hans (6 letters) Pesola, Vilho (3 letters) Multamaki, K. Horne, F.R. H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 Publications (Items 30-43) 30. 31. 32. One extensive file of newspaper cuttings, 1920-54, 1958-59, containing articles written by Hunter, reviewsof his pub- lished work and of his achievements in plant breeding. The file also contains articles of general agricultural interest which Hunter kept for his own information and 1 photograph taken at field inspection of the barley crop in Ballyreagh, Newtownards. Onefile of typescripts for lectures or published work (includes copy of a bibliography for 1939-50): ‘Bold John Barley Corn,' The British Farmer, September 1955, annotated typescript. ‘Botanical Purity in Cereals,' Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture, September 1944, duplicated typescript. 1953 1955 1944 'The Science of Malting Barley Production’, 25 pp. type- c.1955 script, with 4 p. summary. "Identification of Barley Varieties Grownin the British Isles by Examination of Threshed Grain', 2 heavily annotated typescripts. 'Seed and Rates of Seeding’, typescript for lecture. 'Visit to U.S.A. and Canada, April and May 1948': type- script report of visit; meetings, inspection of equipment and fields, lectures. n.d. 1948 Oats: Botany, Cultivation, Utilisation: manuscript and typescript of Hunter's last book (never published). Correspondence between Miss M. Hunter and Nicholas Polunin, editor of the World Crops Books series for Leonard Hill Ltd., re possible posthumous publication. 33. Offprints of Hunter's work: 'Relation of Ear Survival to the Nitrogen Content of Certain Varieties of Barley.' 'The Influence of Environment on the Yield and Quality of Certain Varieties of Malting Barley’ read at meeting of the Institute of Brewing, London, December 1947). (paper originally 1938 1948 ‘The Barley Crop' (paper originally read at Second Crop Conference, Cambridge, December 1953). 'Malting Barley', one of a series of five lectures on ‘Barley and Malt' given at Sir John Cass College, 1956-57. 1954 1956-57 '‘Malting Barley', paper on barley production in Norfolk. c.1956 H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 34, Offprints/translations of others' work: "Studies on the Origin of Cultivated Plants' by N.I. Vavilov, 1926 presented to Hunter by the author. "On the Genetic Nature of Winter and Spring Varieties of Plants' by N.I. Vavilov and E.S. Kouznetsov: carbon typescript of English translation. 35-40. Books by Hunter 35. Oats: Their Varieties and Characteristics. A Practical Hand- 1924 book for Farmers, Seedsmen and Students (Vol .II of the Practical Farming Series, ed. Sir John Russell, published by Ernest Benn Ltd.) with notes and annotations by Hunter. 36. The Barley Crop. published by Ernest Benn Ltd., London, annotated by Hunter. A Record of Some Recent Investigations, 1926 37. Crop and Stock Improvement (The Farmer and Stock-Breeder 1926 Manuals series, ed. H.C. Long, published by Ernest Benn Lid., London), with A.B. Bruce. 38. Recent Advancesin Agricultural Plant Breeding, with H. Martin 1933 Leake, published by J. and A. Churchill, London. review by John H. Parker sent to Hunter is taped into the back of the book. A 39. Crop Varieties: varieties of cereals, flax, potatoes, beans and 1951 field peas (volume in the Agricultural Series, ed. H.G. Sanders, published by E. and F.N. Spon Ltd., London). 40. The Barley Crop. _A modern comprehensive account of all aspects 1952 of barley growing, Crosby Lockwood and Son, London, annotated by Hunter. See also Item 11. 41-43. Books from Hunter's library 4l. Horace Plunkett by Margaret Digby, published by Basil Blackwell, 1949 Oxford. Chapter V (pp.84-116) is a description of the origins and work of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland, 1899-1907. 42. 43. Pioneers of Fertility by Crichton Porteous, published privately. The Bread of Our Forefathers by Sir William Ashley, Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1928 \ H. Hunter CSAC 54/8/77 Index to the correspondents Items Adams, George Baskett, R. G. Beaven, Alice C. Beaven, E. S. Bell, George Douglas Hutton Bennett, Esther Bennett, John H. Campbell, J. R. Dimitriew, Alexis Felton, B. I. Gavin, Sir William Gosset, W. Harrison, T. Ss. J. Helbaek, Hans Hinchcliff, Joseph H. Horne, Frank R. Jackson, Arthur Jackson, G. P. Jenkin, T. J. Kerslake, R. Trevor Lea, Herbert Long, H. C. Malzew, A. Multamdki, K. Manktelow, A. R. Nugent, Chester Pesola, Vilho A. Polunin, Nicholas Read, W. HH. Robertson, G. Scott Vavilov, Nicholas Ivanovitch Wilson, E. V. B. 2 2 27 27 29 13 13 12 29 28 2 25 2 29 26 2 Sie 14 10 2 2 2 29 29 29 6 29 32 2 6 28 2