Yarralumla Nursery Records User Guide
The early records of the Yarralumla Nursery are described in detail in ‘Nursery Tales for a Garden City: The Historical Context of the Records at Canberra’s Yarralumla Nursery’ ( PDF 5.20Mb), the report by Lenore Coltheart that accompanies the digitised records.
The records that have been digitised comprise:
- Cards: Some 15,500 system cards are housed in two sets of wooden drawers. Card Set 1 comprises 12 drawers, holding a total of some 10,000 cards. They record activity at the Nursery between 1913 and the mid 1940s. Card Set 2 comprises 6 drawers, 5 of which contain cards relating to Nursery activity from the mid 1940s to the 1960s. The last drawer is labelled 'Bulbs' and relates to the cards in Set 1. Cards are filed by genus, and then by species within genus.
- Ledgers: Three large folio volumes cover the period between 1948 to June 2011. The ledgers are identified as Ledger 1, Ledger 2 and Ledger 3.
Accessing the Cards
The digitised cards from both sets have been combined by genus and the names of the genera arranged alphabetically to improve accessibility. Within each named genus, Set 1 cards precede Set 2 cards and can be differentiated by the type of card used:
- Set 1 cards appear as large cream coloured cards with the heading 'Nursery Register' (they are in fact double sided cards and both sides are reproduced). Each genus is introduced by one or more large blue index cards containing summary information. There are also some index cards headed Miscellaneous. A few sheets of paper were interfiled and have been copied. Australian and exotic species are included.
Sample Set 1 Cards
- Set 2 cards appear smaller and are aqua coloured with the heading 'Species'. Almost no Australian species are included on these cards.
Sample Set 2 Card
Over the years the amount and nature of information entered on the cards varied a great deal.
The cards for a specific plant genus can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate letter in the navigation bar, scrolling down the listing and clicking on the link to the digitised cards for that genus.
The cards are in Adobe PDF format and a link is provided to download the free Adobe PDF Reader on each page.
These were working records and various spellings of genus (and species) names appear on the cards. In some cases common English names rather than botanical names were used. To simplify access, the digitised version displayed on the following pages has corrected mis-spellings of the genus name and transferred entries using English names to the appropriate genus. No attempt has been made to correct the names of species which as botanical knowledge has increased have now a different classification and name from that used at the time the record was made on the cards.
Although the entries for the genera are now in correct alphabetical order, cards for different botanical species within each genus may not be. To ensure all cards for a species are located, all cards within the genus group should be checked particularly if there are cards from both sets, and the notes consulted.
Some explanatory notes indicating variations of spelling, names that could not be verified and cases where cards were filed badly out of order etc have been included.
Go to the Yarralumla Nursery Cards by selecting one of the following buttons:
Two groups of cards have been presented separately from the genus cards:
Eucalyptus: Because of the large number of Eucalyptus cards (all from Set 1) we have presented these on their own page and divided them alphabetically by species. The cards for a specific eucalyptus species can be accessed by clicking on Eucalyptus in the navigation bar, scrolling down the listing to the appropriate letter for the species and clicking on the link to the digitised cards. These cards provide an excellent example of how botanical classification and nomenclature has changed, for instance many species entered here as Eucalyptus are now classified as Corymbia. As in other cases where botanical classifications have changed, all these cards have been left here as Eucalyptus with the species name originally used.
Orchards: Part of Set 1 with the heading 'Orchard Record', the orchard cards cover fruit trees, berries, nuts, grapevines and some activity at the Yarralumla Demonstration Orchard. The plants are listed under their common names, for example Apples, Fig and Peach, rather than under genus. The cards for a specific orchard plant can be accessed by clicking on Orchards in the navigation bar, scrolling down the listing to the appropriate orchard plant and clicking on the link to the digitised cards.
Sample Orchard Card
Accessing the Ledgers
Three large ledgers were used to record the receipt of seeds, plants and cuttings starting on the 1st of January 1948. As items were received they were recorded in the ledgers and given a sequential accession number. These numbers start with the two final digits for the year (e.g. 48xx for seeds etc whose acquisition was recorded in1948). Australian and exotic species are included.
Set 2 of the Cards, the aqua coloured cards, include this accession number and useful contextual information can be obtained by matching entries on the cards to Ledgers 1 and 2 and vice versa, remembering however that although Australian species are included in the ledgers, there are very few cards in Set 2 for Australian species.
Ledger 1 contains 625 pages and covers the period 1948 to early 1960
Ledger 2 contains 726 pages and covers the period 1960 to 1967. There are no entries for 1968.
Ledger 3 contains over 200 pages and covers the period 1969 to present. To conform with the requirements of the Territory Records ACT 2002 only those entries older than 20 years are displayed.
The number of entries on each page varies. Early entries are generously spaced, often contain a good deal of information and cover more than one line in the ledger. Later entries normally include limited information with an entry on each line of the ledger.
To find an entry in the ledgers for a plant with a card in Set 2, first note the accession number on the card, click on the corresponding link on the Ledgers page and scroll through the PDF until you find the accession number.
To match an entry in a ledger to a card, note the species name in the ledger and go to the relevant entry for the genus on the cards page, and scroll through until you locate the entry in the Set 2 cards. Remember that not all ledger entries have matching entries on the cards.
Note how the card entry 48126 above corresponds to the ledger entry for 48126 below
Copyright of material contained on this site is owned by the Australian Capital Territory.
You may download, display, print and copy, any material at this website, in unaltered form only, for your personal use or for non-commercial use within your organisation.
Except as permitted above you must not copy, adapt, publish, distribute or commercialise any material contained on this site without the ACT Government's permission.
Requests for further authorisation should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please refer to the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth).
Additional information and images of the plants listed in the Yarralumla Nursery Cards and Ledgers can be found on the following external websites:
- Australian National Botanic Gardens: http://www.anbg.gov.au/
- Kew Royal Botanic Gardens: http://www.kew.org/
- The Plant List: http://www.theplantlist.org/
- Territory and Municipal Services Directorate - Yarralumla Nursery: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/city-services/yarralumla_nursery/about_the_yarralumla_nursery
- Yarralumla Nursery Records Launch 28/08/2012: http://www.archives.act.gov.au/educational_resource/public_events
ArchivesACT is in the process of publishing Tenancy Registers of Government housing. These include some of the early Nursery Mangers' houses:
Thomas Charles George Weston - 4 Liversidge Street, Acton: ( PDF 777Kb)
John Peace Hobday - Weston Park Road, Yarralumla (Hobday's Cottage): ( PDF 657Kb)