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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.

 

Bartram - Evening primrose NHMPL 015966.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

NHM-UK_L_360995_008_M_1.jpgNHM-UK_L_360995_041_M_1.jpg

(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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by Lisa Di Tommaso (Special Collections Librarian)

 

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There’s no doubt many of you have enjoyed exhibitions of art or artefacts from around the world on a variety of topics. But have you ever considered just how the items brought together from across the globe actually made it to the gallery, and the activity involved? The Library at the Natural History Museum lends many items from its collections to exhibitions, be it to an institution just down the road, or to far-flung places overseas. The process of lending material starts many months in advance and involves a large number of people.

 

I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia recently, to oversee the delivery and installation of some unique artworks from our First Fleet Collection.

 

 

 

(Above and below) The cases containing the artwork are packed into the bespoke crate, before it is sealed.

 

The paintings were borrowed by the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, for their exhibition entitled Artist Colony, which brings together paintings by officers, convicts and other colonists who helped establish the first European settlement in Port Jackson in the early years from 1788.

 

In order for the State Library to be Packed crate.jpgable to borrow the items, a number of negotiations took place with the NHM, confirming the items they wished to borrow, the dates and length of time they would be lent for, the temperature and lighting conditions in which they would be displayed, and any security issues. This always involves a lot of paperwork and many emails back and forth across the globe. Temporary export licences are also arranged at this time. A specialist global shipping company was engaged to assist with the transport of items door to door by road and air.

 

As the time to send the items approached, the Museum’s Paper Conservator prepared the material for transport and for display, and wrote detailed reports on the condition of each item. Having a detailed record of the state of the material before it leaves the Library allows us to check the items again after their long journey to make sure no damage occurred en-route.  The art was then wrapped very carefully in layers of tissue and then packed securely into what look like large suitcases, lined with protective material to prevent any movement on the journey. The shipping company manufactured a bespoke wooden crate, in which the cases were again packed securely, allowing no room for movement and providing maximum shock absorption.

 

Checking the conditions of the artwork in Sydney.jpgInstalling one of our paintings.jpg

 

 

My job as courier was to travel with that case to Sydney, as far as possible not allowing it out of my sight. The crate and I were collected from the Museum early one morning on a lorry and taken to the company depot where last minute checks and paperwork were completed. We were next driven to the airport, where I oversaw the loading of the crate into a pallet which would then be loaded on to the aircraft. As ‘civilians’ are not allowed on to the tarmac, a company representative oversaw the loading of the pallet onto the plane.

 

 

 

(Above) Checking the conditions of the artwork in Sydney and installiing one of our paintings.

 

After a quick petrol stop at Dubai and assurances that the crate hadn’t been off-loaded, the journey continued on to Sydney. The crates were collected from the freight cargo area, and we were back on the truck to the State Library.

 

 

 

The items were left for 48 hours to acclimatise to their new environmental conditions before the crate was opened. I worked with the Conservation staff at the State Library to check the condition of each item on arrival, and then to oversee the installation of the paintings on to walls in the display area, and books in to their special cases. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to stay for the official opening of the exhibition, but feedback from visitors so far suggests they are thrilled to be able to see artworks which have travelled all the way from London, to be displayed alongside local collections for the first time.

Exhibition installation in progress.jpgEnsuring one of the NHM’s volumes is correctly placed in its case.jpg

 

(Above) Exhibition installation in progress and ensuring one of the NHM's volumes is correctly placed in its case.

 

It takes a huge team effort and plenty of logistics to bring together items for exhibitions – so spare a thought for all the people involved next time you admire an item on loan from another institution!

 

The final installation.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final installation!

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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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The NHM Library will be providing access to a range of new journal content for 2014 (full list below).  The publications are core/relevant publications which have been identified via staff requests.

 

Details of how and where to access these publications is available via our Library catalogue (print content) and e-journal catalogue (online content).

 

Members of the public can join the Library and benefit from access to a range of these resources during their visit to our main reading room, please visit our webpages for more information. Please contact library@nhm.ac.uk if you have any requests for the Library collection to support your work.

 

In addition to these new subscriptions, we have increased our online access to archival journal content. The full backfile of published content is now available for the majority of our subscribed Wiley titles, from the first issue to the most recent.

 

Also newly available for 2014 is the complete JSTOR archival collection, comprising millions of articles and primary source materials across a range of subjects. Disciplinary coverage is broad, with strong coverage in journals across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. See here for more detailed information about the titles and coverage dates of the JSTOR collection.

 

New journal titles for 2014:

 

Online-only access

     Acta Crystallographica B*
     Caribbean Naturalist*
     Crayfish News*
     Curator*
     Earth Science History
     Environmental Science and Technology*
     Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry*
     Ethology, Ecology & Evolution

     Freshwater Crayfish
     Global Change Biology*
     Integrative Zoology*
     Journal of Environmental Quality*
     Molluscan Diversity*
     Museum ID magazine*
     Nature Climate Change
     Nature Communications
     Nature Geoscience
     Plant Biosystems
     Studies in Conservation
     Sugapa*
     Terrestrial arthropod reviews
     Water and Environment Journal*

 

Print + Online access

     Archives of Natural History (backfiles from 1936 to current issue)
     Avian Biology Research*

 

Print-only access
     Alytes
     Annual journal of the Shropshire Caving and Mining Club
     Conchylia
     Current Biology
     Entomologia Africana: Hors Serie
     Fossiles: Revue francaise de paleontologie
     Geological Review
     International Journal of Paleopathology
     Le regne mineral: revue francaise de mineralogy
     Life the excitement of biology
     Malagasy Nature (missing back issues)
     Oreina
     Proceedings / Bristol University Speleological Society
     Proceedings of the …Annual Convention, Indonesian Petroleum Association

 

Online content is purchased in accordance with the Library’s online-only policy. Continued access to this content will depend on usage figures, their continued relevance to the collection, and financial considerations.

 

* Not yet active - estimated to be up and running by the end of March 2014

 

 

by Hannah Rausa, Serials Librarian

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Sopwith.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

By Lisa Di Tommaso

(Special Collections Librarian)

 

Thomas Sopwith (1803 – 1879) was an influential figure in the world of geology throughout the 19th century. Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to a family of cabinet-makers, Sopwith learnt the trade as an apprentice to his father, winning an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition after designing a desk where all drawers could be secured using one single lock. He discovered a natural talent for drawing and planning, and developed a keen interest in mineral collecting.

 

Largely self-taught, Sopwith kept a diary and notes about his life from the age of 19 until his death, which leaves us with a great insight into his career and achievements. He became a land and mineral surveyor, and later a civil engineer - his work requiring him to determine mining boundaries, undertake mapping for land-owners, and survey for new railways in Britain and abroad. He is credited for convincing the government of the day to establish the Mining Records Office, strongly advocating the importance of preserving mining records.

 

 

 

 

Sopwith's-models-in-their-presentation-box.jpgSopwith's-dedication-to-William-Buckland.jpg

 

 

 

Sopwith published a number of papers and treatises in relation to mining, geology and isometric (3-dimensional) drawing, often using his own engravings, which he taught himself to do. Throughout his career he collaborated with, among others, William Smith, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Adam Sedgwick, Michael Faraday, Roderick Murchison, Charles Lyell and Henry De La Beche. He also worked with George and Robert Stephenson on developing railways in France and Belgium.

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Having made a number of large-scale wooden geological models designed to demonstrate the positions of veins of coals and iron-ore workings in various locations, Sopwith identified a need to create smaller versions to use for educational purposes and to aid those in the mining industry to understand common structures in the field or underground. Ranging in size from 3 inches to 4 inches square, the models were released in sets of six or twelve in a specially made case designed to resemble a book. The models were accompanied by a detailed explanatory text. The price varied from £2 to £5 depending on the number and size of the models purchased. First produced in 1841, the models were re-released in 1875. The Natural History Museum Library holds a set of twelve models which had been presented to the eminent geologist Professor William Buckland by Sopwith in gratitude for his continuing support.

 

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(Above left) Model IV - Model to Show Fallacious Appearances. This depicts the scenario where from the surface an abundance of coal appears to exist, but there is actually very little quantity below.

 

(Above right) Model VShowing Dislocations of Coal Strata. This example indicates that while very little may appear at ground level, coal seams (subject to faults and dislocations) can be found below the ground.

 

The generic models weren’t representative of specific locations; they were depicting examples of strata containing faults or dislocations and showing inclines, helping to predict locations of coal seams and lead deposits in the faults and to explain the nature of certain geological features. They represented various and potential geological phenomena in relation to mining – those aspects which were difficult to explain in words or represent in drawings. Each of the models shows the topographic surface of the ground, and then depicts layers, inclines, folds, faults and strata beneath. Some can be moved about to show different variations in a fault, and in some cases at least six different drawings would be needed to show the same scenario without a 3D model. They highlight the difficulty of seeing from ground level what may or may not be below, and they proved to be of invaluable assistance.

 

In his lifetime Sopwith belonged to no less than twenty-six learned societies and advocated many social causes such as universal suffrage and the entry of working class Members of Parliament to the House of Commons. He died in London in 1879, leaving a lasting legacy and contribution to the mining industry in Britain and geology more generally.

 

Further reading:

Sopwith, Robert. (1994) Thomas Sopwith surveyor: An exercise in self-help, Edinburgh: The Pentland Press

Richardson, Benjamin W. (1891) Thomas Sopwith, London: Longmans, Green & Co

 

(Below left) Model IX Model of Undercut Strata. Showing how strata can be inclined at a steeper angle to the horizon than the surface of the ground.

(Below right) Model VI Model Showing the Intersection of Mineral Veins. Depicting a succession of veins formed by various dislocations of the strata.

 

Sopwith-geological-models-IX.jpgSopwith-geological-models-VI.jpg

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This week we have 11 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 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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gallery set up.jpg

 

 

Dalby blog.jpgGladwell blog.jpgeverard blog.jpgFlower blog.jpg

Another year and another new theme and chance for the Library & Archives to show off and celebrate our wonderful artwork collections! Throughout the centuries women have made significant contributions to natural history art - all of whom shared a fascination and enthusiasm for the natural world. Drawn for a variety of reasons and using a rich mix of artistic techniques, the new theme of Women Artists presents another captivating cross-section of the artwork collections at the Natural History Museum.

 

Over the next 16 months, the specially designated cabinets in the Images of Nature Gallery will showcase the artworks of some of the best women natural history artists spanning the last four centuries. The work of over 60 different women artists, many on public display for the first time, will feature illustrations ranging from the delightful Tawny owls by Sarah Stone (ca. 1760-1844) through to the colourful Hawaiian fishes of E. Gertrude Norrie (active 1900s) and contemporary botanical artists such as Norma Gregory and Olga Makrushenko.

 

 

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The new theme also sees the publication of the fourth book in the Images of Nature series. Titled Women Artists, it features the artwork from over 100 women artists in the Library & Archives collections.

 

The exhibition opens on Saturday 8th March which also happens to be International Womens Day - a day which is celebrated in many different ways to recognise the achievements of women but also to raise awareness of the many social, economic, political situations worldwide affecting women.

 

Public access to the Gallery is free.

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This week we have 28 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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