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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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NHM-UK_L_360995_071_M_1.jpg

 

 

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.

 

NHM-UK_L_360995_070_M_1.jpg

 

 

 

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.

 

NHM-UK_L_360995_058_M_1.jpg

 

 

 

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)

 

Packed case.jpg

 

 

 

 

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.

Sopwith-models-spine-of-presentation-box.jpg

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.

 

Sopwith-geological-models-IV.jpgSopwith-geological-models-V.jpg

(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.

 

 

stone blog.jpgnorrie blog.jpgGregory blog.jpgmakrushenko blog.jpg

 

 

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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Access to the Ornithology and Rothschild Libraries at Tring will be restricted for the months of March and April 2014. 

 

Please give a minimum two weeks notice of your intention to visit by sending us library@nhm.ac.uk or telephoning 0207 942 5460. 

 

It will not be possible to give access to rare/original material unless circumstances are exceptional.

 

Thank you

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Gallicolumba-luzonica,-luzon-bleeding-heart-and-another-dove_011477_Comp.jpg

 

Love flows from our bookshelves........ (examples from our book collection)

 

Birds Britannia : how the British fell in love with birds

 

Darwin : for the love of science

 

For love of birds : the story of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, 1889-1988

 

For the love of animals : true stories from the famous

 

For the love of bees : the story of Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey

 

"For the love of gardens" : a biography of H.B. & L.A. Dunington-Grubb

 

 

 

Hug the bug : for love of true bugs

 

In a desert garden : love and death among the insects

 

Incoming! or, Why we should stop worrying and learn to love the meteorite

 

The infested mind : why humans fear, loathe, and love insects

 

The life and love of the Insect

 

Life, love, and reptiles : an autobiography of Sherman A. Minton, Jr., M.D

 

The lost history of the canine race : our 15,000-yearlove affair with dogs

 

A love affair with birds : the life of Thomas Sadler Roberts

 

Love among the butterflies : the travels and adventures of a Victorian Lady


Love, labour & loss : 300 years of British livestock farming in art


The love of elephants

 

The love of Nature among the Romans during the later decades of the Republic and the first century of the Empire.

 

The love of roses : from myth to modern culture

 

Love, war & circuses : the age old relationship between elephants and humans

 

My love must wait : the story of Matthew Flinders


An obsession with butterflies : our long love affair with a singular insect

 

Orchid fever : a horticultural tale of love, lust and lunacy

 

The poetical language of flowers; or, the pilgrimage of love.

 

The ten trusts : what we must do to care for the animals we love

 

Under water to get out of the rain : a love affair with the sea

 

Wild love affair : essence of Florida's native orchids

 

 

To learn more about our collections please visit the Library & Archives home page where you will find both our online Library and Archive catalogues as well as our art themed pages.

 

The image used above is a watercolour from the John Reeves Collection of Zoological Drawings from Canton, 'Gallicolumba luzonica, luzon bleeding-heart and another dove' large Series plate 32, and is available via the NHM Picture Library site.

 

Learn more about John Reeves and his collection.

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This week we have 32 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 22 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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Bird-display.-A-perspective-view-of-the-grand-saloon-and-gallery-of-the-Leverian-Museum-NHMPL-036756.jpg

 

It seems extraordinary now, but if you had entered a lottery in 1786, you might have won a whole museum. The tickets were priced at one guinea each, and the museum up for grabs was that of Sir Ashton Lever, collector of natural history and ethnographical specimens.

 

The museum was based in Leicester Square, London, and contained approximately 27,000 items. Leicester House, a large mansion, cost Lever £600 a year to lease, and when it opened in February 1775 he charged visitors half a guinea to enter, a large sum at the time. Despite the cost, the Leverian Museum proved popular. Those who visited found sixteen rooms of specimens interspersed with corridors lined with cases containing even more items. One room was separate and was billed as containing “very curious monkies and monsters”; ladies were warned that they may not have wished to enter for fear of being disgusted. As well as the specimens, there was a library containing books on natural history. Interestingly, advertisements at the time specify that good fires were to be found in the galleries – not something that one would expect to find in museums now!

 

 

 

 

As well as the general public, artists and natural historians of the time came to draw and study the exhibitions. Lever added to the collections frequently, stocking the cases with zoological and ethnographical items brought back from expeditions such as those of Captain Cook, from exotic locations such as the Americas, Africa and the Far East.

 

 

[Image above] – “Bird display. A perspective view of the grand saloon and gallery [of the Leverian Museum] from A Companion to the [British] Museum (1790) by Sir Ashton Lever.” NHM Picture Library Ref 036756

 

 

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Sarah Stone (ca.1760-1844), the daughter of a fan painter, began painting at the museum in the late 1770s. Her baptism certificate has not been found, so the precise date of her birth is unknown.  She came to the attention of Lever and was commissioned by him to formally record specimens. Her artwork is considered of great importance as it gives some idea of the species collected by explorers and of the long-since demolished museum. Some of the animals she painted are now extinct, or have endangered populations.

 

The Library at the Natural History Museum has a large collection of Stone’s watercolours. Many of the known paintings and drawings in existence (over 900 in total) are of birds, such as the image above of a mandarin duck, Aix galericulata.

 

Stone’s use of colour and shadow, delicate brushwork and faithful representation of her subjects made her work distinctive and admirable at the time. Although these qualities are still prized, some of her drawings can look ‘stiff’ to modern eyes. In particular, the sloth on the left in the picture below looks incapable of climbing its branch. However, this may also be the fault of the taxidermy techniques of the period.

 

[Image on right]   “Mandarin duck, Aix galericulata. Sarah Stone, 1788.” NHM Picture Library Ref 024290

 

 

 

 

So who did win the museum? For five weeks after the lottery, no-one knew. Finally James Parkinson, a barrister, came forward to claim his winnings. The chosen ticket had belonged to his late wife and he had only come across it when sorting through her estate.

 

He owned the museum for twenty years, though kept the ‘Leverian’ name, and oversaw a move to a different site in Albion Place, south of Blackfriars Bridge. Most of Stone’s drawings are dated to before Parkinson took over the museum. In 1806, the collections were broken up and sold at auctions lasting for sixty five days (excluding Sundays and the King’s birthday). Interestingly, two of the lots were Stone’s own watercolours of the specimens.

 

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) webpage hosts some books which contain paintings by Sarah Stone. Some examples are here:

http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/29568342

http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/29568322

 

 

You can also see more of Sarah Stone’s artwork in the forthcoming Images of Nature Gallery exhibition on women artists, which will be on display the Museum from March 2014 and is accompanied by a book by Special Collections Librarian Andrea Hart. Keep a look out for forthcoming blogs providing more information about the new exhibition next month and then throughout 2014/2015.

 

 

Bibliography:

Jackson, C.E. (1998). Sarah Stone: Natural Curiosities from the New Worlds. London: Merrell Publishers Ltd.

 

[Image below] – “Pale-throated three-toed sloth, Bradypus tridactylus. Sarah Stone, c. 1781-1785.” NHM Picture Library Ref 024334

 

Pale-throated-three-toed-Sloth-by-Sarah-Stone-NHMPL_024334.jpg

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This week we have 27 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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Another bumper EVOLVE edition (Issue 18 Winter 2014) for the Library & Archives collections and staff!

 

Women Artists

Andrea Hart (Special Collections Librarian) gives us a prelude to the forthcoming exhibition in the Images of Nature Gallery which begins in March. Over the following 16 months the work of numerous female artists will be featured, in display cases whose contents will change every 4 months. This exhibition is FREE. A book to accompany the exhibition will be published in February.

 

The Importance of Trifles: Sir William Flinders Petrie

Karolyn Shindler (L&A Associate) explores the fascinating life of this Egyptologist and archaeologist.

 

The Museum's War effort

Daisy Cunynghame (Archivist) discovers the impact that World War One had on the Museum's life and how the staff contributed to the national war effort. 

 

Hereward Chune Dollman

Hellen Pethers (Reader Services Librarian) looks at the life and work of this British Entomologist, and his collections housed in the Library & Archives and Science Departments.

 

Evolve is available to purchase via the Museum website, in the shop or members

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This week we have 32 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 32 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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Tyrannosaurus rex NHMPL 002915.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Although Neave Parker (1910-1961) had artistic ambitions from an early age, he was dissuaded from pursuing them by his father and was not allowed to attend art school. Instead, he took up employment in a bank but after just one disasterous week, he was firmly but kindly advised to seek another profession.

 

After working as a surveyor for a short while he then went on to serve in the Royal Air Force during World War II, working in the Photographic Unit. It was not until Parker was discharged that he finally was able to pursue art as a career. After making the acquaintance of Maurice Burton (1898-1992), a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum, London and also Honorary Science Editor at the Illustrated London News, he began a collaboration with Burton to produce animal illustrations for a non-technical audience. The first of his drawings of prehistoric animals appeared in the Illustrated London News on 30 September, 1950.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burton then introduced him to Dr William Elgin Swinton (1900-1994), a palaeontologist at the Museum, and it was through this collaboration that Parker completed numerous dinosaur illustrations. These featured in a range of publications including The Dinosaurs (1970) and Dinosaurs: their discovery and their world (1961). He was also commissioned by the Museum to produce a series of reconstructions which were sold as postcards.

 

Pterodactyl NHMPL 0029147.jpgHypsilophodon NHMPL 004087.jpg

 

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Parker pioneered the art of restoring entire palaeo-environments of dinosaurs and was highly regarded by his scientific associates at the Museum. His drawings in monochrome gouache and wash drawings became trademarks of his distinctive style, which vividly represented the formerly held opinions of how such creatures appeared.

 

Parker's other passions in life was food, beer, pistol shooting (he was a British Open Champion), photography and films. It was in a cinema that he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1961.

 

Learn more about our art collections and see some great examples via our Library & Archives pages.

 

Further reading:

 

Debus, Allen A. (1987) 'Neave Parker: vertebrate palaeontology's masterful necromancer', The Earth Science News, vol. 38, No. 11 pp.21-24

Debus, Allen A. and Debus, Diane E. (2002) Paleoimagery: the evolution of dinosaurs in art, Jefferson N. C.:McFarland & Co., Publishers

 

Paracyclotosaurus NHMPL 004091.jpgCetiosaurus NHMPL 002917.jpg

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This week we have 25 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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New Years Eve Invitation & Menu NHMPL 056867.jpg

 

 

One of the gems of London's history that you can still visit today (and for free), has to be amongst the trees and bushes of the small islands at the southern end of Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham, London.

 

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807-1894) was the natural history artist and sculptor, whose partnership with Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892) produced the dinosaur reconstructions that you can see today in the park.

 

Hawkins was born in London and was an established artist displaying his work between 1832-1849 in prominent institutions such as the Royal Academy. His skill was demonstrated in the plates for publications such as 'Illustrations of Indian Zoology' (1830-35) and 'The Zoology of the voyage of HMS Beagle' (parts 4/5, 1838-43).

 

 

 

 

 

Pre historic creatures NHMPL 046678.jpg

It was his collaboration with Richard Owen, first Director of the Natural History Museum, London and distinguished vertebrate palaeontologist, that is arguably his best known legacy. He was appointed by the Crystal Palace Company to create thirty three life sized concrete models of extinct animals and dinosaurs (funding cuts meant only around half were produced). These were to be part of a geological time zone in part of the park, which housed the relocated great glass exhibition hall.

 

Owen estimated the size and overall shape of the animals, but left Hawkins to sculpt the models, under his direct supervision. Together they produced the first public display of life sized reconstructions of prehistoric life. They are a representation of the scientific knowledge of that time, unveiled to the world in 1854, five years before Charles Darwin published 'On the origin of species'.

 

To celebrate the near completion of the project Hawkins held a dinner party for Richard Owen and twenty distinguished scientists of the time. Dinner was held in the partially finished mould of the largest sculpture, the Iguanodon.

 

Icthyosaurus & Plesiosaurus NHMPL 011937.jpgPlesiosaurus NHMPL 046677.jpg

 

The NHM Library & Archives hold a collection of original Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins material, including watercolour and pen and ink sketches, showing his thoughts and designs for his geological creations. Also included is an invitation and menu from the unique New Years Eve party. In the Museum's scientific collections are a handful of surviving minature versions of the models that Hawkins produced prior to embarking on the final full sized ones.

 

Hawkins went on to live a life of many highs and lows, including a number of years working and lecturing in America. He returned to England in 1879 where he remained until his death in Putney on 27th January 1894.

 

Crystal Palace itself was destroyed by fire in 1936 and the models are his unique (and slightly haunting) legacy to London and a must see for all!

 

Further reading:

 

Bramwell, Valerie (2008) All in the bones: a biography of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, Philadelphia: Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

Iguanodon Model NHMPL 004699.jpgCrystal Palace Dinosaurs NHMPL 043503.jpg

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This week we have 36 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

0

This week we have 36 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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Written by Lisa Di Tommaso (Special Collections Librarian)

 

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In usual circumstances, most people would be reluctant to describe a blood-sucking fly as beautiful, but when drawn by the Italian illustrator, Amedeo John Engel Terzi, it becomes a surprisingly appropriate term.

 

Terzi was born in 1872 in Palermo in southern Italy. Both his father and brother worked as artists and Terzi soon followed in their footsteps.  In 1900, Terzi joined a field trip to Ostia in the Roman Campagna, led by two tropical disease researchers, Louis Sambon and George Carmichael Low, conducting experiments exploring the relationship between mosquitoes and malaria. Although principally engaged to be the official artist for the expedition, Terzi also joined in the actual experiments, becoming a human guinea pig. Somewhat miraculously, the three men did not contract malaria themselves but many who worked in the open in the same area did, helping to prove the theory that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes.

 

 

 

Tabanus-autumnalis-horse-fly_015342_IA.jpg

 

Terzi travelled to England not long after this field trip, and after a short stint at the London School of Tropical Medicine, he joined the staff at the Natural History Museum where he worked, apart for a short time during the Second World War, for the rest of his working life.

 

Throughout his tenure at the Museum, Terzi executed a multitude of illustrations, mostly of parasitic insects, including a variety of Diptera (insects with a single pair of wings such as flies and mosquitoes), beetles and weevils. Terzi himself estimated that he completed 37,000 drawings in the course of his career which were published in 55 books and more than 500 other publications.

 

 

 

 

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One of Terzi’s greatest artistic achievements was his depiction of British blood-sucking flies. Large-scale watercolours, these were originally intended to be displayed in the Museum galleries, but they were considered to be of such exceptional quality that they were instead used as plates in Edward E. Austen's Illustrations of British Blood-Sucking Flies (1906). The NHM Library & Archives hold 58 of these drawings in its collections, which were produced over a 30 year period. We also hold many other drawings, sketches and watercolours drawn by Terzi as well as some notes and correspondence.

 

 

 

 

He was well respected by his colleagues and students of entomology for his accurate and detailed illustrations, and remains so today. A new species Culex terzii was named for Terzi after he recognised it as being different to other similar species. He died in 1956 at the age of 84, leaving an important and lasting legacy to the science of entomology and research into the transmission of disease.Rhynchophorus-ferrugineus-coconut-palm-weevil_022735_IA.jpg

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