Original source material

Many of our manuscript collections relate to key figures in the founding and history of the Museum.

Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753)

Sloaneā€™s collections formed the cornerstone of the British Museum, and the Museum Library now preserves his 17 manuscript catalogues on natural history.

Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)

Banks was a great patron of British science in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Library holds journals of his correspondence with William Bartram and Dawson Turner.

Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892)

The Library houses the archive of this anatomist and founding Superintendent of the Museum in South Kensington. It includes his scientific correspondence and notes relating to scientific papers and lectures.

More about Richard Owen Library materials