Robert MacAndrew (1802-1873) was a Liverpool fruit merchant who developed a scientific interest in mollusca and became one of the pioneers of deep sea dredging, in the pre-Challenger era (Rozwadowski 2005,MacAndrew 2008). He was encouraged by Edward Forbes, and his collecting was in part made to test Forbes' azoic theory, that there was a maximum limit to the depth at which life occurred in the deep sea.
The Robert MacAndrew Collection was acquired by the University of Cambridge in 1873. It forms a core part of the dry invertebrate collection at the Zoology Museum.
The collection dates to between 1844 and 1869. Dredging dates are available.
Locality data is sometimes rather imprecise, such as ‘off the coast of Norway’.
Dry Invertebrate Store in the Zoology Museum, University of Cambridge.
Some MacAndrew material is also in Edinburgh and in London at the Natural History Museum.
The collection often includes growth series.
Past storage methods could be a significant problem for the collection:
MacAndrew’s handwritten catalogue is in the collection. It runs to several volumes.
The collection also contains a copy of a biography of MacAndrew, written by his great-great-grandson Richard MacAndrew. This includes a list of all the research trips with dates.
Results of the dredging were published in the Reports of the British Association. The reports were made by a Dredging Committee consisting of MacAndrew and Forbes. A detailed history is given by Rehbock (1979).
J Gwyn Jefreys - who wrote the 5 volume British Conchology - worked on the MacAndrew Collection. The Jefreys collections are in the Smithsonian and include British and North Atlantic material with many type specimens.
Zoology Museum personnel interviewed:
Senior Assistant Curator in Malacology