Skip navigation

The NaturePlus Forums will be offline from mid August 2018. The content has been saved and it will always be possible to see and refer to archived posts, but not to post new items. This decision has been made in light of technical problems with the forum, which cannot be fixed or upgraded.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the very great success of the forums and to the community spirit there. We plan to create new community features and services in the future so please watch this space for developments in this area. In the meantime if you have any questions then please email:

Fossil enquiries:
Life Sciences & Mineralogy enquiries:
Commercial enquiries:


A copy based on the Vienna Dioscorides - the earliest surviving illustrated herbal, held in the Austrian National Library, Vienna.


The earliest known herbals date back to early Greece and they have been in permanent use throughout the centuries into the medieval era and beyond. Herbals have predominately been used as texts to assist physicians and botanists in the use and application of remedial ointments and medicines and attempt to describe the medicinal properties of plants and their appearance.



Pedanius Dioscorides (circa 40CE-90CE)


Pedanius Dioscorides was born in Anazarbos (modern day Turkey) and lived in the time of the Emperor Nero in the 1st  Century CE. He was a military man and physician. Painstakingly compiling  information relating to 600 plants, 35 animal products and 90 minerals, he developed his medical treatise which was to become a cornerstone of European botany for two millennia.



Picture 005.jpg


Materia Medica


One bound manuscript  volume of 418 hand-painted watercolour illustrations of Pedanius Dioscorides' Materia  Medica. This volume belonged to Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), President  of the Royal Society, and is now housed in the NHM Library. This item is a copy of the great Vienna Dioscorides – an elaborately illustrated herbal designed as a gift to the Byzantine Princess Juliana Anicia in  the 6th Century CE, and sometimes known as the Juliana Anicia Codex. The Juliana Anicia Codex was based on the original ancient Greek text.


Picture 004.jpg


The Banks copy’s watermark dates the papers at 1458-1477. The drawings are arranged as in the Vienna Codex, in alphabetical order and are copies of the Vienna Dioscorides, which is vastly more ornate and luxuriously designed. Nevertheless, the Banks copy is an extremely important and rare volume of intrinsic value. The plant drawings are annotated with their Greek name at the top and in a later hand with their Latin name at the bottom of the page.


Bound at the back of the book are a number of sketches of animals and unfinished sketches of people. One unfinished sketch depicts the Princess Juliana Anicia.

Picture 033.jpg



Another sketch denotes seven men – renowned medical men of the time, seated in the Hellenistic tradition of philosophers in discussion. The men depicted are (clockwise); Galen, Dioscorides, Nicander, Rufus, Andreas, Apollonius and Crateuas.


Picture 012.jpg


Picture 029.jpg


There are a number of sketches of the mandrake root - being held up by a woman as a small grey figure. The mandrake plant had mystical significance for the ancient Greeks. Folklore describes how once dug up the mandrake root releases a terrible cry which will kill those who listen. However the mandrake also possesses mythical powers. One legend tells how a starved dog is tied to the partially dug up root and then when fully dug the shriek will kill the dog but spare the human, therefore leaving the human to capture the magical qualities of the plant.


These illustrations are a useful reminder of the transition from superstition and folklore to a more reasoned view of the world and are also symbolic of the development of a growing proto-scientific intelligence in relation to the natural world.


The library also holds other wonderful versions and editions of the Materia Medica.




Collins, M. (2000) Medieval herbals: The illustrative traditions, London: The British Library and University of Toronto Press.

Osbaldeston, T. A.  and Wood, R. P.A. (2000) Dioscorides, de materia medica : a new indexed version in modern English, Johannesberg: Ibidis Press.


By Natalie Bevan - Assistant Librarian


The Library catalogue is available online at

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



Anthropology & Palaeontology

The origin of our species / Chris Stringer

London : Allen Lane (Penguin), 2011.

A 6 o STR


Building memories : the Neolithic Cotswold long barrow at Ascott-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire / edited by Don Benson and Alasdair Whittle ; with contributions by Alistair Barclay ... [et al.] ; and illustrations by Ian Dennis.

Oxford : Oxbow ; Oakville, CT : [Distributed by] D. Brown Book Co., c2007

A 3 q BUI


Dinosaur highway : a history of Dinosaur Valley State Park / Laurie E. Jasinski.

Fort Worth, Tex. : TCU Press, c2008

P 75C/43 o JAS




Gifts from the gardens of China : the introduction of traditional Chinese garden plants to Britain 1698-1862 / Jane Kilpatrick ; [commissioned and edited by Jane Crawley].

London : Frances Lincoln, 2007.

93(51) KIL Q


Guide alla flora - I, Grado (GO), Magredi di Vivaro (PN), Ampezzo-Sauris (UD), M. Coglians (UD) / Pier Luigi Nimis & Stefano Martellos.

Trieste : Goliardiche, 2005.



Atlas de la flore sauvage du département du Loiret / Damien Pujol, Jordane Cordier, et Jacques Moret

Mèze : Biotope ; Paris : Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 2007.



British oaks : a concise guide / Michael Tyler ; with illustrations by Bob Farley.

Ramsbury : Crowood, 2008.



Phlox : a natural history and gardener's guide / James H. Locklear.

Portland : Timber Press, 2011.

582.4P110 LOC


Fruticose Roccellaceae : an anatomical-microscopical atlas and guide with a worldwide key and further notes on some crustose Roccellaceae or similar lichens / A. Aptroot & F. Schumm.

Soest, The Netherlands ; Wangen, Germany : The authors, 2011.



Nonnative invasive plants of Pacific Coast forests : a field guide for identification / Andrew N. Gray, Katie Barndt, and Sarah H. Reichard.

[Portland, OR] : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, [2011]

581.9(79) GRA Q




Buoc'haned Breizh :  Les coccinelles de Bretagne / Cherel, Jean

Rennes : Groupe d'étude des invertébrés armoricains, 2010



Beetles in conservation / New, T. R.

Chichester : Wiley-Blackwell, 2010



Honeybee democracy / Seeley, Thomas D

Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2010



Gelechiidae II (Gelechiinae: Gnorimoschemini) / Huemer, Peter

Strenstrup : Apollo Books, 2010



Dagsommerfugle i Danmark [The butterflies of Denmark] / Hermansen, Klaus

Stenstrup : Apollo Books, 2010



The Hemiptera-Sternorrhyncha (Insecta) of Hong Kong, China :  an annotated inventory citing voucher specimens and published records / Martin, Jon H

Auckland : Magnolia Press ; 2011



General Natural History


The What on Earth? Wallbook : from the Big Bang to the present day / concept and text Christopher Lloyd ; illustrations Andy Forshaw ; design Will Webb

London : What on Earth Pub. , c2010

L 2 f WHA


Darwin's pictures : views of evolutionary theory, 1837-1874 / Julia Voss ; translated by Lori Lantz.

New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010.

L 9E o VOS


Proceedings of the International Conference "Marine Biodiversity of East Asian Seas - Status, Challenges and Sustainable Development", Nha Trang, Vietnam, December 6-7, 2010

Nha Trang, Vietnam : APN, 2010.

L 73G q INT


Okavango Delta : floods of life / John Mendelsohn ... [et al.].

Windhoek, Namibia : Published by RAISON for IUCN and HOORC, 2010.

L 74G q OKA


Coleção síntese do conhecimento sobre a Margem Equatorial Amazônica [Electronic resource] / projeto Piatam Oceano.

Niterói : Universidade Federal Fluminense, 2008.

L 76D o PRO


Museum collections management : a handbook / Freda Matassa.

London : Facet Publishing, 2011.

L 81 o MAT


Eighteenth-century voyages & travels [sale catalogue] / Hordern House Rare Books.

Potts Point, N.S.W. : Hordern House Rare Books, 2011.

L 95E q HOR


11th International Coral Reef Symposium [electronic resource] : Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, July 7-11, 2008.

[Dania Beach, Fla.] : National Coral Reef Institute, c2008.




Soil atlas of the northern circumpolar region / I[nstitute for Environment and Sustainability ; A. V. Jones ... [et al.] , eds.]

Luxembourg : Publications Office of the European Union, 2010.

624.131.1(211-17) SOI (OUTSIZE)


Ornithology (Tring)

The African Naturalist : the life and times of Rodney Carrington Wood 1889-1962 / David Happold

Brighton, Sussex : Book Guild, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 96A WOO                    


Community ecology of tropical birds / E.A. Jayson and C. Sivaperuman.

New Delhi : New India Publishing Agency, 2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 73F JAY                    


Do hummingbirds hum? : fascinating answers to questions about hummingbirds / George C. West and Carol A. Butler.

New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(5) WES                  


How fast can a falcon dive? : fascinating answers to questions about birds of prey / Peter Capainolo and Carol A. Butler.

New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(1F) CAP                 


Oiseaux des forêts sèches de Nouvelle-Calédonie : guide d'identification : convention n° 24-2005, IAC-Programme Forêt sèche / Frédéric Desmoulins, Nicolas Barré,

Pouembout [Nouvelle-Calédonie] : Programme Forêt sèche ; Nouméa : Société calédonienne d'ornithologie, 2005

ORNITHOLOGY 77B DES                    


The simple science of flight : from insects to jumbo jets / Henk Tennekes.

Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c2009.

ORNITHOLOGY 11A TEN                    




Lobster / Richard J. King.

London : Reaktion Books, 2011.

Z 3A o KIN


Animal tool behavior : the use and manufacture of tools by animals ; Robert W. Shumaker, Kristina R. Walkup, and Benjamin B. Beck ; foreword by Gordon M. Burghardt..

Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Z 10 q SHU


Crustacea, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Nemertea, Annelida, Rotifera and Tardigrada of the Seychelles islands / edited by Justin Gerlach.

Manchester : Siri Scientific Press, 2011.

Z 79 o CRU


The great sperm whale : a natural history of the ocean's most magnificent and mysterious creature / Richard Ellis.

Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, 2011.



Kraken : the curious, exciting, and slightly disturbing science of squid / by Wendy Williams.

New York : Abrams Image, 2011.



The freshwater mussels of Ohio / G. Thomas Watters, Michael A. Hoggarth, [and] David H. Stansbery.

Columbus : Ohio State University Press, 2009.



New Zealand seashells visual guide / Jenny Raven, Selwyn Bracegirdle.

Wellington, N.Z. : Creatus Design, 2010.



The Library catalogue is available online at

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



Anthropology & Palaeontology

Outline of the geology of the Bohemian Massif : the basement rocks and their Carboniferous and Permian cover / Jan Cháb ... [et al.].

Prague : Czech Geological Survey Publishing House, 2010

P 72S o OUT

A geologist's guide to the Greveniotiki Pindos, Greece / by Anne Ewing Rassios. Athens : Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, c2011.

P 72X o RAS

Fossil spiders : the evolutionary history of a mega-diverse order / David Penney & Paul A. Selden.

Manchester : Siri Scientific Press, c2011.

P 29 o PEN

Geological landscapes of Britain / Julian Ashbourn

Dordrecht ; London ; New York : Springer, c2011

P 72A q ASH

Exploring variability in early Holocene hunter-gatherer lifeways / edited by Stance Hurst and Jack L. Hofman.

Lawrence, Kan. : [Dept. of Anthropology, University of Kansas], 2010.

A 3 q EXP




The British arboretum : trees, science and culture in the nineteenth century / by Paul A. Elliott, Charles Watkins and Stephen Daniels.

London : Pickering & Chatto 2011.

635.97 ELL

Atlas of plants distributions and related climate in China / Kangyou Huang, Zhuo Zheng, Rachid Cheddadi.

Hong Kong : China Review Academic Publishers, 2008.

581.54 HUA Q

Orra White Hitchcock, 1796-1863 : an Amherst woman of art and science / catalogue by Robert L. Herbert and Daria D'Arienzo ; with contributions from Elizabeth Farnsworth and Tekla A. Harms.

Amherst, Mass. : Mead Art Museum, Amherst College ; Lebanon, N.H. : Distributed by University Press of New England, 2011.

7.043 HIT Q

The encyclopedia of herbs : a comprehensive reference to herbs of flavor and fragrance / Arthur O. Tucker and Thomas DeBaggio ; edited by Francesco DeBaggio.

Portland : Timber Press, 2009.

615.10 TUC

Flora of the Erie islands : its origin, history and change / Ronald L. Stuckey and Thomas Duncan.

Raleigh, N.C. : LuLu Press, 2010.

581.9(71) STU

Tasmanian plant names unravelled / Mark Wapstra, Annie Wapstra and Hans Wapstra..

Launceston, Tas. : Fullers Bookshop, 2010.

581.9(946) WAP




The African Dung Beetle genera / Adrian L. V. Davis,  Andrey V. Frolov and Clarke H. Scholtz Pretoria : Protea Book House; 2008


Macrolepidoptera of Hungary / Zoltán, V.

Heterocera Press, 2009


Psyllidomorpha of China (Insecta: Hemiptera) [Vol 1] / Li Fasheng

Beijing : Science Press ; 2010


Psyllidomorpha of China (Insecta: Hemiptera) [Vol 2] / Li Fasheng

Beijing : Science Press ; 2010


[Psylloidea of Taiwan (Volume 1) : Families Calophyidae, Carsidaridae, Homotomidae and Phacopteronidae, with overview and keys to families and genera of Taiwanese Psylloidea (Insecta: Hemiptera) / Yang, Man-Miao

Taiwan : National Chung Hsing University ; 2009




General  Natural History


An imperfect balance : landscape transformations in the Precolumbian Americas / David L. Lentz, editor.

New York : Columbia University Press, 2000.

L 76 o IMP

Health & safety for museum professionals / edited by Catharine Hawks ... [et al.] ; managing editor, Susan H. Butts.

New York : Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 2011.

L 84 q HEA

Practical research : planning and design / Paul D. Leedy, Jeanne Ellis Ormrod.

Upper Saddle River, NJ : Merrill, c2010.

L 98 q LEE

Providing effective library services for research / Jo Webb, Pat Gannon-Leary and Moira Bent.

London : Facet, 2007.

L L.C. 027.021 WEB

E-books in libraries : a practical guide / edited by Kate Price and Virginia Havergal.

London : Facet Publishing, c2011.

L L.C. 655.4 EBO

Museumwise : workplace words defined / compiled and edited by Paisley S. Cato, Julia Golden, Suzanne B. McLaren.

Washington, DC : Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, c2003.


Goode's world atlas / editor, Howard Veregin ; editorial advisory board, Robert W. Christopherson ... [et al.].

[Skokie, Ill.] Rand McNally, [c2010]





Minerals & precious stones of Brazil / Carlos Caornejo, Andrea Bartorelli.

São Paulo : Solaris Cultural Productions, 2010

(81) COR

Molecular environmental soil science at the interfaces of the earth's critical zone / Jianming Xu, Pan Ming Huang.

Heidelberg ; New York : Springer, 2010.

624.131.1 MOL

Diamonds in nature : a guide to rough diamonds / Ralf Tappert, Michelle C. Tappert.

Berlin ; New York : Springer, c2011

553.81 TAP

Volcanoes of the world / Lee Siebert, Tom Simkin, and Paul Kimberly

Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution ; Berkeley ; University of California Press, c2010

551.21 VOL




L'extinction d'espèce : histoire d'un concept et enjeux éthiques / Julien Delord.

Paris : Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, [2010].

Z 10J o DEL

Cephalopods of the world : an annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Vol. 2, Myopsid and oegopsid squids / edited by P. Jereb and C.F.E. Roper.

Rome : FAO, 2010.

Z 35A q CEP

Great British marine animals / Paul Naylor.

Cornwall : Sound Diving Publications, 2011.

Z 72A o NAY

Deep-sea fauna and pollutants off Pacific Coast of Northern Japan / edited by Toshihiko Fujita

Tokyo : National Museum of Nature and Science, 2009

Z 73I o DEE

Glossary of plant nematology and related terms [electronic resource] / [compiled by] Jonathan D. Eisenback.

Wallingford: CAB International, 1998.


Reproductive biology and phylogeny of snakes / volume edited by Robert D. Aldridge, David M. Sever.

Enfield : Science Publishers, 2011.


Conservation of Caribbean island herpetofaunas. Vol. 1, Conservation biology and the wider Caribbean / edited by Adrian Hailey, Byron S. Wilson, Julia A. Horrocks

Leiden : Brill, 2011




Documented provenance (the history of the ownership of a book or object) can add a great deal to our knowledge and understanding of the item, and a Sloane provenance is particularly fascinating.  Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) - physician, entrepreneur, naturalist - formed a huge and diverse collection of natural and man-made objects and, after his death, this became the foundation collection of the British Museum in Bloomsbury, London.



About a year ago, I was intrigued to notice the following inscription in volume 2 of Albertus Seba's (1665-1736) "Thesaurus" (or encyclopaedia), dated 1735 - "Bibliotheca Sloanianae Min. 62".



The inscription had apparently been overlooked since the book was added to the Natural History Museum Library in the late 19th century.  It indicates that the volume was part of Sloane's collection of "Miniatura", the name he gave to the category of highly illustrated works in his collection (including books, engravings, and oil or watercolour paintings), whether small or large in format.



A further point of interest connected to this volume was drawn to my attention by a colleague at the British Library.  In 1748, the Swedish naturalist Pehr Kalm (1716 - 1779) visited Sloane at his house in Chelsea, and subsequently wrote an account of this visit.


He refers to the "Thesaurus" as one of Sloane's most prized possessions, with which he delighted in showing his visitors. We have also found evidence to suggest that the "Thesaurus" was a gift to Sloane from its author Seba.


The volume merits further research, but it is undoubtedly a great treasure in our collection.


Paul Cooper - Assistant Librarian




On this day: 16th July 1861 Frederick William Frohawk was born.


Frederick William Frohawk was born on 16th July 1861 in Norfolk and, following a private school education, worked as a natural history artist.


Today, he is best known for his illustrations of birds and insects, although he also drew many other natural history subjects. Frohawk worked in a variety of mediums including oils, watercolours and pencils. He was also an accomplished lithographer and wood engraver. He was a popular artist for such magazines as The Field as he could easily turn his hand to illustrate a range of subjects.



Argynnis paphia, silver-washed fritillary (NHM ref: 005489)

Plate 31. A Watercolour depicting a caterpillar, chyrsalis and adult silver-washed fritillary butterfly.


For over twenty years he bred every species of British butterfly, and published his observations and illustrations in the classic work The natural history of the British butterflies, 1924. In 1934 he published The complete book of British butterflies and was followed in 1938 by The varieties of British butterflies. He was a Fellow of the Entomological Society of London and became a Special Life Fellow in 1926.



Arygynnis adippe, high brown fritillary (NHM ref: 013782)

Original drawing for Fig. 14, part of plate 13 for 'Natural History of British Butterflies'

Frohawk was employed by Lord Rothschild and the Natural History Museum to illustrate the life histories of British butterflies. These watercolour images were issued as a series of postcards and small booklets.

He died in Surrey on 10th December 1946.


The Library holds collections of his zoological, entomological and ornithological artwork. To see more examples please visit the NHM Picture Library webpage.


For more information on this or other collections held in the Library or to arrange an appointment please contact us on or 020 7942 5460


A well-earned reward for the 7 undergraduate Harvard students working on the Wallace Correspondence Project in the Library.


They had the chance to meet Sir David Attenborough who was visiting the Museum. He is also the patron of the Wallace Correspondence Project.




During the past two weeks, a seven strong group of Harvard undergraduate students have had their heads down in the Library working hard to transcribe letters as part of the Wallace Correspondence Project.



Back row L to R (from the viewer's perspective): Eric Chen, Michael Truong, Antone Martinho, Will Murphy

Front row L to R (viewer's perspective): Mary Griffin, Alyssa Botelho, Alex Bradbury


The students are in the UK for a total of eight weeks and are funded by the David Rockefeller International Experience Grants Program (DRIEG). After they finish at the NHM this week they are attending the Harvard Summer Program course called "An exploration of evolutionary biology" at Oxford University.




The students learning first hand about Wallace from Dr George Beccaloni Curator of orthopteroid insects
at the Natural History Museum & Director of the A. R. Wallace Correspondence Project


The Wallace Correspondence Project commenced in October 2010 and aims to finish in October 2013.  For more information about this exciting project visit the Wallace Correspondence Project official website.


Below is an example of one of the letters that Antone had to tackle; it is a good example of some of the problems encountered when transcribing old documents. Not only do you need to get to get to know an individual's handwriting, but you also have to contend with the condition a document may be in. In this case, the letter has been partially burned at some point.



WCP700_L872_1small.jpg WCP700_L872_4small.jpg 

Letter from Alfred Russel Wallace to Fred Birch October 9th (WCP700 /L872) page one and page four.




[[p. 1]]      
Brow[MS burned]

Oct. 9th [MS burned]

My dear Fred

I was very plea<sed> to receive yesterday the enclosed letter from the Controller of Customs, in reply to mine of Aug. 17th.  The “conditions specified” were, that about half your time would be free for collecting and I mentioned your el[MS burned] qualifications & that I woul<d> guarantee your integrity, sobriety &c. in any position <of> trust.  His mail goes n[MS burned] [[p. 2]] [MS burned]s [1 word illeg.] next Wednesday so you had perhaps better write to Mr. De Jouge yourself asking him to be so kind as to let you know what the work would be &c.

But as I wrote to the Commissioner of Mines about the Post of Sun-warden, by the next mail (Sept. 2nd.)  I may have a reply from him in a fortnight, & you can very well wait for that, as he [following parenthetical note added above line] (Mr. De Jouge) suggests your  waiting two months, which I suppose [[p. 3]] will suit you very we<ll as> it will give you more time to prepare.  The salary Mr. De Jouge offers is small, but having your board is a great thing, & I presume it includes lodging.

I have just written to the Controller of Customs thanking him for the trouble he has taken, & saying you will write to Mr. [name inserted above line] De Jouge.

I think now, your chance of going out looks very promising and I think you may tell any persons to whom you writ[e] for information, that you rea[MS burned] [[p. 4]] [MS burned] decided to go in a month or two.

Let me know the result of your interview with Mr. Schill as soon as it has taken place.

[1 word illeg.] is up the Esseguibo a little below the Potaro river, & seems to be in a hilly country. I long for you to be there almost as much as if I were going myself!

Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


The Library catalogue is available online at

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



Anthropology & Palaeontology


"Hud" : the life and work of Robert George Spencer Hudson, FRS / by William Hudson

San Antonio, Texas : [privately published], 2008

P 96A o HUD


Beiträge zur Geologie und Archäologie des Niederrheins : Festschrift für Prof. Dr. Josef Klostermann zum 60. Geburtstag / Stefan Kronsbein ... [et al.], (Hrsg.)

Hannover : Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften ; Krefeld : Natur am Niederrhein, 2010

P 72L q BEI


Geotop 2011 - Quo vadis Geotopentwicklung? : 15. Internationale Jahrestagung der Fachsektion GeoTop der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 1.-4. Juni 2011, Nördlingen im GeoPark Ries / Heike Burkhardt ...{et al.](Hrsg.)

Hannover : Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften, 2011

P 72L q GEO


Elwyn Simons : a search for origins / John G. Fleagle, Christopher C. Gilbert, editors.

New York : Springer, c2008

A 96 o SIM





Flore de Dordogne : clé des genres et epèces des plantes vasculaires / Bernard Bédé.

Périgueux [France] : Societé Botanique du Pérígord, 2010.



Crassulaceae of India / N. B. Singh, U. C. Bhattacharyya & B. P. Uniyal.

Dehra Dun, India : Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, 2011.

582.4P60 SIN


La biodiversità vegetale in Italia : aggiornamenti sui gruppi critici della flora vascolare : comunicazioni : dipartimento di biologia ambientale, La Sapienza Università di Roma, 22-23 ottobre 2010 / Società botanica italiana, gruppi per la floristica e la biosistematica vegetale ; [editori, Simonetta Peccenini, Gianniantonio Domina, Cristina Salmeri].

Firenze : Società botanica italiana, 2010.



Encyclopaedia of Australian plants suitable for cultivation. Volume 9, Sp - Z / W. Rodger Elliot, David L. Jones ; line drawings by Trevor L. Blake.

Melbourne ; Sydney [etc.] : Lothian, 2010.



A brilliant touch : Adam Forster's wildflower paintings / Christobel Mattingley.

Canberra, A.C.T. : National Library of Australia, 2011.

7.043 FOR


Lithops : treasures of the veld (observations on the genus Lithops N.E.Br.) / Steven A. Hammer ; photographs by Christopher Barnhill.

2nd edition

[England] : British Cactus and Succulent Society, 2010.

582.4P79 HAM


Mistletoes of Southern Australia / by David M Watson ; illustrations by Robyn Hulley.

Collingwood, Vic. : CSIRO Publishing, 2011.

582.4P148 WAT





[Symbiosis between butterfly and ant] / Hirukawa, Norio

Hoozuki Shoseki ; 2008

13 o HIR


Network construction for the establishment of insect inventory in Tropic Asia (TAIIV) / Yata, Osamu

[Fukuoka] : [Kyushu University] ; 2005

73G o NET


The second report on Insect Inventory Project in Tropical Asia (TAIIV) : The development of Insect Inventory Project in Tropical Asia (TAIIV) / Yata, Osamu

[Fukuoka] : [Kyushu University] ; 2008

73G o NET


The first instar of European Miltogramminae (Diptera : Sarcophagidae) / Szpila, K Toruń : Nicolaus Copernicus University Press, 2010



Phylogeography of the Old World Screwworm Fly, <Chrysomya bezziana>, and its implications for myiasis control / Wardhana, A.H.

London : London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2010




General Natural History


Área de Proteção Ambiental Lagoa de Iriry / [Olga Maria Esteves Campista, Maria Helena Rohe Salomon, editors]

Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro : Prefeitura de Rio das Ostras, 2002

L 76D o ARE


Remote sensing and global environmental change / Samuel Purkis and Victor Klemas.

Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

L 90 o PUR


Survey of library & museum digitization projects.

New York : Primary Research Group, c2010.

L 93B q INT


Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials / Norman K. Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln [editors].

Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, c2008.

L 98 o COL


Doing a literature review : releasing the social science research imagination / Chris Hart.

London : Sage Publications, 1998.

L 98 o HAR


European atlas of soil biodiversity, 2010 / [principal editors, Simon Jeffery ... et al.].

Luxembourg : European Commission, Publications Office of the European Union, c2010.






ÄŒeské stÅ™edohoÅ™í Mts and ambient young alkaline volcanic complexes in the OhÅ™e Rift, Czech Republic : volcanology, petrology and rift evolution / Lubomír Kopecký.

Prague : Czech Geological Survey Publishing House, 2010

552.333 KOP


The Koh-i-noor diamond / Iradj Amini.

New Delhi : Roli Books, 2001.

553.81 KOH


Topaz : perfect cleavage / Dudley Blauwet ... [et al.] ; editors Janet Clifford ... [et al.] ; translators Mariya Alferova and Günther Neumeier ; illustrators Dan Behnke ... [et al.].

Denver, CO : Lithographie, c2011.

553.84 TOP



Ornithology (Tring)


The owls of Bulgaria : our companions in the night / Konstantin Nyagolov ; illustrated by Assen Ignatov, [English translation by Vladimir Pomakov].

Sofia, Bulgaria : Borina, 2003






Cetáceos / Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto, Salvatore Siciliano, Renata Maria Arruda Ramos

Rio de Janeiro: Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, 2010.



The IZES guide to British zoos & aquariums / Tim Brown

Todmorden : AAOS for IZES, 2009.



Atlas dos anfíbios e répteis de Portugal / Armando Loureiro ... [et al.] (eds)

[S.l.] : Instituto da Conservacao da Natureza e da Biodiversidade, 2008.



Claudia Cardillo has been volunteering in the Library for one day a week since February 2011. During the rest of the week she works as a member of the  Museum's Visitor Services team and she has worked here for the past two years.


                       Picture 008.jpgPicture 006.jpg


Claudia is working on the Hodgson collection, which consists of about 1,400 pieces of art. She is unlocking the collection by examining each of the individual items and recording all the information about the specimen (if given). She also notes down any issues with its condition (tears, etc.) and any other useful information, such as the artistic techniques used.


"I have a degree in the History of Art, from the University of Naples, Italy, where I am originally from. I love art, and the collection that I am working on is wonderful! I wanted to develop my cataloguing and research skills, as I thought these would be particularly good skills for the future. The Hodgson collection is amazing, and I am really enjoying working in the Library."


Who was Brian Houghton Hodgson (c.1800-1894)


Born in Cheshire in about 1800, Brian Houghton Hodgson studied at the East India Company’s Haileybury College from 1816 –17, before sailing to Calcutta to take up an administrative position with the Company. Unfortunately he suffered from ill-health, and was transferred to Kumaon in the foothills of the western Himalayas to recover. In 1820, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Resident to the Court of Nepal, but finding little to do in Kathmandu, he returned to the bustle of Calcutta. There he was again taken ill, and moved back to Kathmandu, becoming acting Resident and finally Resident of Nepal in 1829 and 1833 respectively. After 23 years of service in Nepal, Hodgson resigned in 1843. Following a short sojourn in England, he returned to India in 1844 and lived in Darjeeling, a town close to the Nepalese border, until 1858 when he returned to England.


hodgsonportrait small.jpg

Brian Houghton Hodgson

(NHM image reference 037022)


Hodgson’s role as Resident of Nepal was not a demanding one, and so he had plenty of time and the financial resources to undertake a thorough study of the natural history of Nepal. He became fascinated with the culture of Nepal, Himalayan Buddhism, architecture, ethnography and linguistics. He is also considered responsible for the introduction of the Gurkhas into the British Indian Army.


Hodgson had a special interest in the birds and mammals of Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region. He discovered many new species and wrote more than 140 scientific papers. Hodgson’s zoological papers are particularly interesting as he described the animals’ habits and habitat in great detail. As he was unable to travel freely around Nepal, he relied heavily on the knowledge of local people to provide him with these observations. He also kept a number of wild animals in captivity. Hodgson made vast collections of specimens; over 10,500 specimens were donated to the British Museum.



   Ketupa flavipes (tawny fish owl)

(NHM image reference 037033)

What is the Hodgson Drawings Collection?


Hodgson commissioned thousands of drawings of birds and mammals from Nepalese artists. These artists were trained by Hodgson to paint in the style required for scientific illustration. The drawings accurately depict the natural colours and external anatomy required for scientific identification. Hodgson frequently dissected his specimens to show the skeletal and other anatomical features, and encouraged artists to sketch these extra details on the drawings. He would also frequently add his own detailed comments on the side. Unusually, the names of some of Hodgson’s Nepalese artists are known. Rajman Singh was a Nepalese draughtsman who worked for Hodgson for many years. Some of his drawings were published in articles written by Hodgson in the Calcutta Journal of Natural History and Asiatic Researches. There is one signed bird painting by him in the collection. Another artist who worked for Hodgson was Tursmoney Chitterkar of Nepal, but currently nothing is known about his life.


hodgsonbirds small.jpg

          Leiothrix argentauris (silver-eared mesia)

(NHM image reference 037039)


Hodgson intended to publish a lavish book on the mammals and birds of Nepal, illustrated with hand-coloured plates. As part of this project he arranged for his collection of drawings to be duplicated, to produce a set suitable for reproduction. Despite Hodgson’s strenuous efforts, the book was never published. A deeply disappointed man, Hodgson disposed of his drawings and specimens to several institutions in England, including the British Museum. In recognition of the size and importance of Hodgson’s collections, the Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum, J. E. Gray, published catalogues of Hodgson’s collections in 1846 and 1863. The British Museum was also the recipient of over 1,400 paintings of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish. These were later transferred to the Natural History Museum.


Petaurista magnificus (Hodgson's giant flying squirrel)

(NHM image reference: 025019)

References and further reading

Cocker, M. & Inskipp, C. (1988) A Himalayan ornithologist: the life and work of Brian Houghton Hodgson. Oxford University Press: Oxford. 89pp.


Hunter, W.W. (1896) Life of Brian Houghton Hodgson. John Murray: London. 390pp.


Gray, J.E. (1846) Catalogue of the specimens and drawings of Mammalia and birds of Nepal and Thibet presented by B.H. Hodgson Esq. to the British Museum. British Museum: London. 156pp.


Gray, J.E. (1863) Catalogue of the specimens and drawings of Mammalia and birds of Nepal and Tibet presented by B.H. Hodgson Esq. to the British Museum. 2nd ed. London. 90pp.


Waterhouse, D. (2004) The origins of Himalayan studies: Brian Houghton Hodgson in Nepal and Darjeeling. RoutledgeCurzon: London.


These books can be found on the Library catalogue.



Want to learn more about volunteering at the Natural History Museum, London?


We’re evolving….please bear with us!


We’ve just revamped our Volunteering and Internship web pages and changed to a new e-recruitment system. Please click here to find out more about our volunteer offer and how to go about searching and applying for current vacancies:




New and existing users

Currently our vacancy e-alerts are unavailable due to the e-recruitment system change over; please bear with us and this will be sorted as soon as possible in the forthcoming weeks.

Equally if you have already signed up for our e-alerts with us then you will need to sign up again when the new alerts are available. We will let you know via the web pages as soon as this happens.


To monitor current job, volunteer and internship vacancies please search as normal using the drop down menus as part of the Vacancy Search.



We will next recruit for interns in the summer (July) for internships to be carried out in autumn and winter. We offer internships in four areas: Marketing, Press Office, Fundraising and Interpretation & Design.


The Library catalogue is available online at

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



Anthropology / Palaeontology


Dinosaurs in Asia / Dong Zhiming

Kunming, Yunnan : Yunnan Publishing Group Corporation, 2009

P 20e q DON




The drawings of Antoine Nicolas Duchesne for his Natural history of the gourds = Les dessins d'Antoine Nicolas Duchesne pour son Histoire naturelle des courges / Harry S. Paris ; [Christian Érard, Antoine Jacobsohn and Michel Chauvet translated text into French].

Paris : MNHN, 2007.

7.043 DUC F


Carnivorous plants and their habitats / Stewart McPherson ; edited by Andreas Fleischmann, Alastair Robinson.

Dorset : Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd., 2010.

581.137 MCP


Plant galls / by Margaret Redfern.

London : Collins, 2011.

632.2 RED


Systematics and phylogeny of Siphanthera (Melastomataceae) / Frank Almeda, Orbélia R. Robinson.

Ann Arbor, MI : American Society of Plant Taxonomists, 2011.

582.4P68 ALM


Evolution of succulent plant families = Evolution sukkulenter Pflanzenfamilien / edited by/herausgegeben von Detlev Metzing & Norbert Jürgens.

[Oldenburg] : Isensee, 2010.

582.4PS MET Q


Las orquídeas de Extremadura / Francisco María Vázquez Pardo.

Mérida : Editora regional de Extremadura, 2010.

582.4P169 VAZ Q


August Rudolf Henry Grisebach and 170 years of discovering Macedonian Pine - Molika (Pinus peuce Grisebach, 1844) on Pellister / Nikola Hristovski ... et [al.]

Bitola : Fakultet na Biotehni*ckli Nauki, 2011.

92 GRI



General History


What on Earth happened? : the complete story of the planet, life and people from the Big Bang to the present day / Christopher Lloyd.

London : Bloomsbury, 2008.

L 3 o LLO


What on Earth evolved? : 100 species that changed the world / Christopher Lloyd.

London : Bloomsbury, 2009.

L 9A o LLO


Nucleic acids isolation methods / edited by Botho Bowien, Peter Durre.

Stevenson Ranch, Calif. : American Scientific Publishers, c2003.

L 10C q NUC



Ornithology (Tring)


Field guide to the birds of Macaronesia : Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde / Eduardo Garcia del Rey

Barcelona : Lynx, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 78 GAR                        


Lady of the Loch: the incredible story of Britain's oldest osprey / Helen Armitage

London : Constable, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 72Ab ARM                      


Mid-Winter numbers of waterbirds in Bulgaria (1977-2001) : results from 25 years of mid-winter counts carried out at the most important Bulgarian wetlands / Tanyo Michev & Lyubomir Profirov

Sofia : Pensoft, 2003.

ORNITHOLOGY 72N MIC            


Proceedings of the Fifth International Hornbill Conference, Singapore, 22-25 March 2009 / editor: Geoffrey W. H. Davison, assistant editor: Cheryl S. W. Chia

Singapore : Department of Biological Sciences, National Univerisity of Singapore, 2011.

ORNITHOLOGY 18(5) DAV                     


Spravochnyi katalog zoologicheskikh kollektsii Uzbekistana : Ptits. Mlekopitaiushchie / sostavitel' = compiler R. D. Kashkarov (Reference catalogue of zoological collections of Uzbekistan : Birds. Mammalians)

Tashkent : Izd-vo FAN Akademii Nauk Respubliki Uzbekistan, 2009.





On the nature of limbs : a discourse / Richard Owen ; with a preface by Brian K. Hall ; with introductory essays by Ron Amundson ... [et al.].

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Z 11 o OWE


The blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) of Brazil / by Anthony J. Shelley ... [et al.] ; series editors: Jorge Arias ... [et al.]

Sofia : Pensoft, 2010.

Z 76 o AQU


Mamíferos de restingas e manguezais do Brasil / organizadores Leila Maria Pessôa, William Corrêa Tavares, Salvatore Siciliano.

Rio de Janeiro : Sociedade Brasileira de Mastozoologia, 2010.



Os golfinhos : origem, classificação, captura acidental, hábito alimentar / Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto, Renata Maria Arruda Ramos, Neusa Rejane Wille Lima.

Porto Alegre : Cinco Continentes, 2001.



Plano de acao nacional para a conservacao do pequeno cetáceo toninha <Pontoporia blainvillei>

Brasília : ICMBio, 2010