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This week we have 29 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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This week we have 20 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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For Auld Lang Syne.jpg

 

Konstantina with her new friends.jpg

 

 

by Konstantina Konstantinidou

Paper Conservator

 

 

 

Check it, pack it, wrap it, seal it. Relax at business lounge. Ensure it's in the same plane with you, and then relax. 20 + hours later... Unwrap it, unpack it, check it, and see it safely put in place.

 

 

The Art Gallery of Ballarat (Victoria, Australia) has installed a new exhibition For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation celebrating the influence of Scotland in Australia, by uniting items from across Australia and beyond. The exhibition explores the way Scottish people and culture have influenced the development of the Australian nation.

 

The Gallery have done a great job bringing together a varied international collection to tell this part of the country's cultural history, many of which have never been seen alongside each other. The Natural History Museum Library & Archives were very happy to contribute 8 watercolours by Thomas Watling (c1767-1797), from Dumfries.  Watling arrived in Australia with the First Fleet, not as an artist however, but as a convicted forger.

 

 

 

 

 

So, finally, the Watling drawings are back in Australia, and on the opening night find themselves displayed in front of viewers dressed in tartan and all things Scottish, and suddenly they fall into place. Mission accomplished, and now the long journey home.

 

More information about the First Fleet Collection and specifically The Watling Collection.

 

 

The exhibition runs until 27th July 2014.

For more information follow The Art Gallery of Ballarat via Twitter @artgalbal

 

(Many thanks to The Art Gallery of Ballarat for the use of their images from Twitter.)

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This week we have 17 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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Sowerby-Passport-front.jpg

 

 

by Paul Henderson

(Professor at UCL and Scientific Associate, NHM)

 

This passport dated 15 June 1820 is for James De Carle Sowerby (1787-1871) to go to Paris via Dieppe. He was accompanying his sister Charlotte who was to stay in Paris for some weeks to learn French and presumably to help establish relationships between some French natural historians and the Sowerbys. James had left Paris by 16 July 1820 to return home. Charlotte returned home in October.


After an initial stay in a hotel, it was arranged for Charlotte  to lodge with an old military man, Monsieur Barzentin. His home was very close to that of Monsieur Dufresne (naturaliste-en-chef au Muséum d’histoire naturelle) who, with his family, kept a friendly eye on matters. The cost was £5 per month. She would have her own room and “will board with the family with the liberty of choosing tea or coffee”.


Soon after their arrival, James wrote to his father (James Sowerby 1757-1822) on 25 June 1820 to say “Mdme Dufresne & her daughter will lend their assistance in supplying Charlotte with fashions and making purchases for her so that she may not be imposed upon by the tradesfolk of Paris who charge the English frequently double price.”


On 1 August 1820 he wrote (now from London) to Charlotte to tell her that their father was unhappy with the cost of her stay in Paris and refuses her money to buy a watch.

 

 

 

Dates: James De Carle Sowerby was the oldest son of James Sowerby and Anne De Carle – born 5 June 1787. Charlotte Ann was the eighth and penultimate child, born 26 April 1802. 

 

 

Prof Henderson is currently writing a biography on James Sowerby to be published next year. The piece of ephemera referred to here is one small example from the Sowerby Family manuscript collection that we hold here at the Library & Archives. The collection includes a significant amount of correspondence and family papers, documents relating to specific Sowerby publications, drawings, biographical materials and portraits.

 

 

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This week we have 43  new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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On 3rd March we welcomed Rachael Gibson into our team as the Departmental Coordinator for the Library & Archives. Rachael graduated from Liverpool University in May last year with an English Degree and now, whilst working in her part time post with us, is embarking on the road to a PhD. She has a huge love of poetry and, as a result, her subject of choice is Christina Rossetti, a nineteenth century poet. It was a Victorian module during her degree that originally introduced her to Christina and, finding there wasn’t much information to hand about her, became increasingly fascinated. “Christina was single all her life, but was actually proposed to 3 times in 2 years!”. Now Rachael has set herself a personal challenge to complete her PhD.

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Rachael joins the NHM with a love of travelling, having lived in both Mexico and Barcelona. She spent just under a year in Mexico teaching English and one year teaching and tutoring in Barcelona. This city was her favourite, although after six years she admits her Spanish is a little rusty!

 

When her family moved to the South East, Rachael recalls as a seven year old the Natural History Museum was the first place visited in London. “I remember thinking how pretty the building was and how lovely it would be to live there!”.  She remembers seeing Dippy, but not going to the Whale Hall.

 

 

 

 

She also has  memories of seeing cased butterflies and being fascinated that she could get so close to them, not like the ones back in her garden at home. Rachael was therefore so excited when she came back all those years later for her interview, and now since starting work, she has redressed the balance and visited the Blue Whale and wants to try and be proactive in her lunch break visiting all the public galleries, including our art gallery Images of Nature. In particular she is very much looking forward to the May opening of the new Mammoth Exhibition.

 

Since starting, Rachael has had to learn a lot, including a new finance system that went live only a few weeks ago, so definitely a good time to have started. She has also introduced a new fortnightly internal staff newsletter, encouraging our busy department to keep up to date with everything that we are all doing.  As Departmental Coordinator Rachael is responsible for the day to day smooth running of the L&A in a role similar to a secretary. This includes; arranging meetings, taking minutes, organising paperwork and emails, and liaising with other Coordinator’s in different departments. All this involves visiting  the many different parts of the museum, and Rachael has had to learn her way around the building as quickly as possible, which is not easy with such a large site. She admits to having copious notes to help her remember where to find everyone.

 

Welcome to the team!

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This week we have 17 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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This week we have 15 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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This week we have 12 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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This week we have 10 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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Bartram - Sarracenia flava, yellow pitcher plant & Sarracenia purpurea, pitcher plant NHMPL 015930.jpg

 

By Judith Magee, Special Collections Curator

 

William Bartram (1739-1823) was the son of the Quaker farmer and nurseryman John Bartram (1699-1777), who established a botanical garden at his home in Kingsessing, some four miles from Philadelphia. For many years John traded packets of seed of American plants to customers all over Europe and was responsible for introducing up to a third of North American plants to Europe during his lifetime. William, like his father, became an excellent botanist and plant collector. He was also a very skilled artist and many of Bartram’s drawings portray the plants and animals in context, showing the inter-relationship and dependency between species and the habitat in which they lived; a depiction quite different from that of most natural history artists of the day.

 

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Between the years 1773 –1777 William travelled through the Carolinas, Georgia and East and West Florida as far as the Mississippi River. He collected plants and seed, wrote a journal and completed drawings for his patron John Fothergill (1712-1780), a London physician. On his return to Philadelphia Bartram wrote his now famous work Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, published in 1791. The importance of this work is manifold, not least the influence it had on the Romantic poets of Europe. Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth are just two of the many poets who were influenced by Bartram’s book. The poetic imagery evoked in his writings and his rhapsodic language found its way into many well-known poems. Bartram viewed the earth as an organic whole, a living unity of diverse and interdependent life forms and it was this understanding of nature that also made him so attractive to the Romantic poets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bartram was also a significant influence in shaping science in America in the post-revolutionary era. The process of nation building and eradicating American dependence on Europe was reflected in the struggle for an American cultural and scientific identity. The study of naturBartram -Eastern diamondback rattlesnake NHMPL 015960.jpgal science was seen as a patriotic act in which Americans themselves were discovering their natural products, identifying, classifying, describing and naming these species, in short stamping American control over their subject. William Bartram was very conscious of this and during his lifetime gave inspiration and encouragement to a long list of young American scientists.

 

 

Today Bartram’s Travels remains in print and continues to be read by practitioners of all disciplines of natural history and the arts. A large portion of his book is devoted to describing the lifestyle and culture of the Native Americans of the region that he travelled through. His writings are amongst the very few that give first-hand knowledge of the subject. His own experiences during his travels led him to develop a great admiration of the Creek and Cherokee Nations lifestyle and particularly their relationship with nature.

 

 

The Bartram collection is made up of 68 drawings most of which were sent to John Fothergill between 1772 and 1776. Fothergill’s library, including all his artwork, was auctioned after his death in 1780. A number of lots were purchased by Sir Joseph Banks including the Bartram material and were given the Banks Mss. number of 23.

 

Further reading:

 

Magee, Judith (2007) The art and science of William Bartram, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press in association with the Natural History Museum.

Bartram - Butorides virescens, green heron NHMPL 015917.jpgBartram - Dendroica magnolia (Wilson), magnolia warbler NHMPL 015964.jpg

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This week we have 14 new book additions, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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It is a huge privilege to work in such a beautiful and truly fascinating building. Regardless of how long you work here, there is always something new to notice built into the fabric of the building, both inside and out. I firmly believe that you can never tire of this structure, and throughout the seasons of the year, its character actually changes. We have Alfred Waterhouse to thank for this.

 

The original winner in 1864 of the competition to design the building that would house the natural history collections of the British Museum and fullfill Richard Owen's vision, had been architect Francis Fowke. However, when he died a year later, Alfred Waterhouse was asked to take over, and he chose to put forward fresh designs and drawings. Work finally began on construction in 1873.

 

 

 

(Above) Two of seven animals that stand on the balustrades and gables of the pavilion.

 

Both living and extinct creatures are depicted in the fabric of the building both inside and out. When originally designed those on the external east side were extinct and those on the west side were living and indicated the nature of the galleries inside. On the whole this remains true for today's permanent galleries, except for the Dinosaur Gallery. Since the Museum opened in 1881 there are two animals that are now recognised to be on the wrong sides. The passenger pigeon is now extinct and the coelacanth has since been rediscovered.

 

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The Library & Archives here at the Natural History Museum hold original Waterhouse detailed pencil drawings and some chalk colour wash drawings. The collection consists of 136 mounted drawings and one volume of 66 drawings.

 

The volume is a relatively recent acquisition to the collection and is described as 'Some details of the enrichments of the new Museum of Natural History (South Kensington) modelled by C. Dujardin for A. Waterhouse Esq. A.R.A. architect circa 1874-1879'.

 

 

(Above) Detail from inside the building including on the right  an Iguana  'spandrel' in the Entrance to the Central Hall.

 

It was purchased in March 2003 from a collector of architectural drawings in France. He acquired the album 28 years previously in Angers from a book dealer who discovered it in the local flea market. The whereabouts of the album between the time Monsieur Dujardin presumably returned to this native France and its appearance in Angers is unknown.

 

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Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) is well known as the architect of the Natural History Museum, built in the Romanesque style which opened to the public in 1881. Originally his Quaker family denied his chosen career as an artist, and therefore he trained as an architect, soon achieving acclaim for his support of the Gothic revival. He prepared the drawings in the album, for Monsieur Dujardin, foreman of Farmer and Brindley, the architectural modellers. Waterhouse worked up the drawings with the help of Sir Richard Owen, the Museum's first Superintendent, who loaned him actual specimens to ensure the accuracy of his designs. All of the drawings were checked by Owen before being passed to Dujardin.

 

 

By the end of his life Waterhouse had designed a significant number of public buildings, country houses, clubs and churches. After the Museum he is best known for Manchester Town Hall, the Prudential Insurance buildings in Holborn and Eaton House, Cheshire.

 

 

(Above) Detail of the 'shafts' that can be seen at the main entrance in the museum and in particular the foliage 'annulets' banded around them.

 

In this album there are 66 drawings, mostly pencil, but 10 have a colour wash applied to show the tone of the finished terracotta pieces. Over a third of the drawings are different from any of the master drawing set of 136, acquired in 1962 from Waterhouse's grandson. A further third are similar to other surviving drawings but show developments in the design process of the reliefs. Only 15 drawings exactly match those already held.

 

Examples of further reading:

 

Cunningham, C (2001) The terracotta designs of Alfred Waterhouse London: Natural History Museum

 

Cunningham, C & Waterhouse, P (1992) Alfred Waterhouse 1830-1905 : biography of a practice Oxford: Clarendon Press

 

Girouard, M (1981) Alfred Waterhouse and the Natural History Museum, London: British Museum (Natural History)

 

Holmes, J (2013) 'Building a vision of nature: Owen, Waterhouse and the design of the building', Evolve, Issue 17, Autumn pp.37-41

 

Visit the NHM Picture Library to view more examples of the terracotta designs.

 

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(Above left and right) Further examples of flora and fauna detail that can be seen around the main entrance to the museum, in the Central Hall and along Dinosaur Way.

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It is nearing the end of the financial year so only 9 new book additions this week, covering Zoology, General Natural History, Earth Sciences, Ornithology, Entomology and Botany. Download the PDF attached to the bottom of this blog to view this week's list.


If you wish to view these or any other items, please contact the library to arrange an appointment library@nhm.ac.uk or 020 7942 5460

 

The Library catalogue is available online and more information about the Library & Archives collections can be found via our website

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