A Guide to the Official Archives of the Natural History Museum, London

John C. Thackray

The archives of the Natural History Museum form a rich treasure house. They reveal how the Museum functioned, how it was run and how it developed and changed over the decades. This book provides a fascinating introduction to the archives deposited up until 1975 including scientific research, curation, exhibition production, education, publishing, building maintenance and internal management.

978 0 901 84308 1
September 1998
252 x 190 mm
174 pp
The Society for the History of Natural History on behalf of the Natural History Museum


Former Museum Archivist, John Thackray, describes the papers, drawings, photographs and other media generated as a result of the work of the Museum which have been selected for preservation, and which have been passed over to the care of the Archivist. 

In this one volume, he has catalogued the official archives of the Museum’s scientific departments, including reference to Trustees papers, and those associated with both the Director's Office and the Natural History Museum at Tring. Each of these sections has a brief introduction, providing an insight into the history of the section, its organisation and its key personalities. There is also an index which includes personal, institutional and ship names.

A Guide to the Official Archives of the Natural History Museum, London is available to order from our co-publisher The Society for the History of Natural History. For details of how to contact them, please visit Publishing partners.


John Thackray was Museum Archivist from 1989 to his death in 1999. After a BSc degree in geology from University College London, he was Scientific Officer in the Geological Museum, and took an MSc in the history of science at Imperial College London, with further studies in Archive Administration. He was secretary for the Society of the History of Natural History for 17 years, and had been elected as the Society's President early in 1999.

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