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Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798. Manuscript of Flora Indica by Thomas Pennant, approximately 1790: A Guide.

Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: arn00006
Repository: Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798
Title: Manuscript of Flora Indica by Thomas Pennant
Date(s): approximately 1790
Quantity: 0.1 linear feet (1 volume in Herbarium Case, Stacks #5)
Language of materials: English


The Pennant manuscript was purchased by the Arnold Arboretum in June 1947.

Processing Information:

Processed by Lynn McWhood

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact botref@oeb.harvard.edu for additional information.

Preferred Citation:

Manuscript of Flora Indica by Thomas Pennant, Archives of the Arnold Arboretum (Cambridge), Harvard University.

Biographical note

Thomas Pennant was born on June 14, 1726 at his family's estate in Whitford, Flintshire, in Wales. He was educated at private school and entered Queen's College, Oxford, but never completed a degree. Pennant was interested in natural history from a young age. He corresponded with many prominent scientific figures of his day and published several books on ornithology as well as accounts of his travels in Great Britain.
A few years before his death, Pennant described a series he was preparing entitled "Outlines of the Globe." Drawing on books and travel narratives, it was an account of the human and natural history of the coastal areas between London and New Guinea. The first two volumes were published during his lifetime; the third and fourth were published posthumously. Pennant was a member of a number of European scientific societies including the Royal Societies of London and Uppsala. He died at his family home on December 16, 1798.
McAtee WL. 1963. The North American birds of Thomas Pennant. J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Hist. 4(2):100-124.
Pennant T. 1821. The Literary Life of Thomas Pennant, Esp. by Himself. Dublin: J. Christie.

Scope and Content

This collection contains a preliminary copy of the "Flora Indica" which was eventually published in the fourth volume of Pennant's "Outlines of the Globe." It was prepared by an amanuensis and is annotated in pencil in Pennant's hand. The bound manuscript is 160 pages and measures 10.5" x 15".

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