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:


Cicely Proctor has joined us for a summer internship working with the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research (CAHR).


She is in her second year of a degree at Southampton Solent University, studying 'Writing, Fashion and Culture'.








In her first 2 weeks she has already participated in behind the scenes tours for potential collaborators with CAHR, giving her an insight into the daily work of museum staff.


This has included watching the preservation of palaeontological specimens in our Conservation studio, the pressing of dried plant specimens by a herbarium technician and learning about curation of moth speciemsn undertaken by entomologist Martin Honey.







Cicely has been given the task of studying the recent Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation relating to 'Classifying and measuring the creative industries'. Next month Cicely will be meeting with individual staff members from the Library & Archives team to learn more about the types of researchers who use our collections and how many could be classed as coming from the 'creative industries'. Information collected by Cicely will go towards a longer term plan of how the museum can encourage more researchers such as fashion designers or artists to use the collections.


When you speak to Cicely, it is clear how struck she is by the size of the collections that she has already witnessed behind the scenes, and how she never realised this as a regular visitor to the Museum.


We are looking forward to her working with us over the summer and hope that she really enjoys learning more about the museum, its collections and how researchers from all different walks of life could be interested in our collections.





In March 2013 a short term funded project was started to catalogue miscellaneous Alfred Russel Wallace manuscripts. These items were recently added to the Library's larger Wallace collection, and consist of items such as printed ephemera, photographs, cuttings, maps (including constellation), notebooks and other miscellaneous items (for example, a lock of hair belonging to his friend Richard Spruce). These items are generally those collected by A. R. Wallace, rather than written or made by him




Diane Tough is the cataloguer employed to undertake this interesting project, which is funded until November 2013.





Information relating to each individual item is recorded into CALM, the Archives online catalogue, and is available immediately via our website for the use of researchers. Each item is given a individual reference number, described, measured and specific information is recorded; such as a physical description, any markings or notes that it contains etc. On average approximately 25 items are processed per day.





As a result of the work she has already completed for this project, Diane has learnt new information about Wallace, his personal life and family. This includes;



      • His artistic talent
      • William, his brother, was also a talented artist
      • Wallace was interested in phrenology


Diane is thoroughly enjoying the variety of items that she is handling and the stories they tell. The following are examples of some of her favourites:




Address presented to the Reverend W. P. Stephens

St Savour's, Johannesburg - dated 1899 (hand coloured and on vellum) (WP18/77)

[Pictured with Diane above]


Results of a Phrenological study taken of A. R. Wallace by James Quilter Rumball - dated 1845. It includes the development chart and handwritten character analysis WP18/39 [Pictured above]


Wallace is scored on a scale of 6 (very small) to 10 (very large). Some examples include:


Locality - sense of place, of space - love of travelling = Score 9

Destructiveness - impluse to destroy, by word or deed = score 8





Proofs of woodcut illustrations for Wallace's publication 'The Malay Archipelago', these are by multiple artists (WP6/1/7 1-34) [Pictured above]


Photograph of 369 Channel Street, Stockton, California (WP2/1/25) This is believed to be the house of Wallace's brother John, who Wallace visited during his tour of America and taken circa 1887. What is particularly interesting is that it depicts two youngsters in the foreground sitting on what look to be very early bicycles. [Pictured above]






Out now is the Spring edition of EVOLVE, the Natural History Museum's glossy inhouse magazine.



News and articles included, which may be of particular interest for Library & Archive lovers are:


Martin Hinton 'My mysterious career' - by Karolyn Shindler


Wallace's letters online


Wallace species seeker extraordinaire - by Richard Conniff


Remarkable collections: What's new at the Museum - by Gemma Simmons


John Gould- by Gemma Simmons


Evolve is available to purchase via the Museum website, in the shop or members receive it free.


harvard students 2013 1.jpg



Eleven Harvard students arrived from America this week to begin two weeks of work the NHM Library & Archives. The students are here as part of a eight week summer school, the first two weeks in London and then the rest of the time in Oxford.


During their time with us in the museum, they will work on transcribing Wallace letters from the collections as part of the Wallace Correspondence Project


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 next week they are attending the Harvard Summer School Programme course called "An exploration of evolutionary biology" at Oxford University.


For many of them this is their first experience of London and the UK, so thankfully the weather has finally turned summery for them!


We thank them for their hard work over the next two weeks and wish them luck for the rest of their trip.





Mark Catesby was born in Essex in 1683, the son of John Catesby, a lawyer and a gentleman farmer. Catesby developed an interest in natural history after meeting naturalist John Ray. The Catesby family were of medium wealth and the inheritance Mark received upon the death of his father allowed him to pursue his love for natural history.



Catesby spent some time studying in London before voyaging to America in 1710 to stay with his sister in Williamsburg, Virginia. During this time he collected botanical specimens and seeds and sent them back to Thomas Fairchild, a nurseryman in Hoxton. This time spent in America advanced Catesby’s knowledge of plants and animals, gained him more experience of collecting and improved his drawing skills.





Above: Cancer terrestris Land crab plate 32 from 'Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas', Vol 2 by Mark Catesby NHM Image number: 022694



Whilst away his profile amongst the science community had grown. Eminent scientists Sir Hans Sloane and Dr William Sherrard had identified Catesby’s potential as a naturalist, even purchasing specimens from him themselves. NaturalHistoryMuseum_PictureLibrary_014700_Comp.JPG




In 1722 Sloane and the Royal Society financed a trip for Catesby to Carolina. Whilst based in Charlestown, he collected plants, birds and shells, sending many back to Sloane in London. At this point Catesby would have regarded himself predominantly as a botanist. However, Sloane’s demands for other specimens increased his knowledge and interest in ornithology.


Catesby travelled from Carolina to the eastern coast of North America, taking in Florida and later moving on to the West Indies, returning to England in 1726.


Upon his return he was encouraged to publish the illustrations made during his trip. This became a labour of love for Catesby. Despite having financial backing, he still had to oversee the entire production of his book Natural History of Carolina, Florida and Bahamas Islands. He even learnt how to etch copper plates, taking lessons from Joseph Goupy a French painter and engraver who resided in London. Not only did Catesby engrave the plates, he also hand coloured them until he could afford to employ help.



Left: Title page from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama islands (1731-43) Vol. 1 by Mark Catesby. NHM Image number 014700




The Natural History of Carolina was eventually published in three parts; Volume 1 in 1731, Volume 2 in 1743 and finally a Supplement in 1746. The book covered birds, animals, fish, snakes, insects, plants, forest trees and shrubs. His book was the first to use folio-sized plates for natural history subjects. This allowed Catesby to draw many of his birds their actual size.




Throughout this tome are many wonderful and fascinating drawings. One of particular importance is that of the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). This bird once lived in huge flocks and it was reported that in 1866 one flock in southern Ontario was one mile wide and three hundred miles long, taking fourteen hours to pass over. It is estimated to have held in excess of 3.5 billion birds. They remained in such enormous numbers until the early 20th century, when hunting and habitat destruction led to the Passenger Pigeon’s eventual extinction. They were hunted for food, for their feathers to make beds and it was also believed the pigeon had medicinal properties. Martha, reportedly the last surviving Passenger Pigeon, died at the Cincinnati zoo in September 1914.


Catesby’s book was well received and remained in demand for a long period, primarily because it was the only book on North American natural history at the time. Catesby died in 1749 leaving all his works to his wife, who sold them on for £400. They were purchased by King George III and are now in the Royal Library at Windsor.


Above: Ectopistes migratorius, passenger pigeon Plate 23, hand coloured etching from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama islands (1731-43) Vol. 1 by Mark Catesby. NHM Image number 014723


by Sarah Sworder, Reader Services Information Assistant


The Library catalogue is available online at Library catalogue

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 world at the time of Messel : puzzles in palaeobiology, palaeoenvironment, and the history of early primates : 22nd International Senckenberg Conference, Frankfurt am Main, 15th-19th November 2011 / Thomas Lehmann & Stephan F.K. Schaal, eds.
Frankfurt am Main : Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, c2011.
P 12U q LEH


Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems of the Korean Cretaceous dinosaur coast : a field guide to the excursions of the 11th Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems symposium (August 19-22, 2012) / by Martin G. Lockley & Min Huh & Jeong Yul Kim ; organized by the 11th MTE Organizing Committee ; hosted by the Geological Society of Korea ; co-hosted by Korea Dinosaur Research Center, Chonnam National University
[Gwangju, Korea : Korea Dinosaur Research Center, Chonnam National University, 2012].
P 15A o SYM


Program : the 11th Symposium on Mesozoic terrestrial systems : biota and ecosystem, and their global correlation : Kimdaejung Convention Center, Gwangju City, South Korea, August 15th-18th, 2012 / organized by the 11th MTE Organizing Committee ; hosted by the Geological Society of Korea ; co-hosted by Korea Dinosaur Research Center, Chonnam National University
[Gwangju, Korea : Korea Dinosaur Research Center, Chonnam National University, 2012].
P 15A o SYM


History of life / Richard Cowen
Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell, 2013
P 15C q COW


Eurypterids illustrated : the search for prehistoric sea scorpions / Samuel J. Ciurca, Jr.
Rochester, New York : Paleo Research, 2008-2010.
P26 q CIU


Prehl'adná geologická mapa kvartéru Slovenskej Republiky = General quaternary geological map of the Slovak Republic / zostavili = compilation, Juraj Maglay, redaktor = ed.ed ; Martina Moravcová ... [et al.] ; Ministerstvo Životného Prostredia ... [et al.].
Bratislava : [s.n.], 2011.




The reindeer botanist : Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977 / Wendy Dathan.
Calgary : University of Calgary Press, 2012.
92 POR


Guide d'identification des arbres du Burkina Faso / Moctar Sacande, Lassina Sanou et Henk Beentje.
Kew : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2012.
581.9(662.5) SAC


Hardy cypripedium : species, hybrids and cultivation / Werner Frosch, Phillip Cribb.
Richmond : Kew Publishing, 2013.
582.4P4169 FRO Q


Genus Cyclamen : in science, cultivation, art and culture / edited by Brian Mathew ; watercolours by Christabel King and Pandora Sellars.
Richmond, Surrey : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2013.
582.4P99 MAT Q


The art of embroidered butterflies / Jane E. Hall
Tunbridge Wells : Search Press, 2012.
E 3A q HAL


Mariposas del Ecuador = Butterflies & moths of Ecuador / Museo de Zoologia. Vol. 14, Familia: Riodinidae / Francisco Piñas Rubio
Quito : Compañía de Jesús, 2006.


Troficheskie sviazi gusenits sovkoobraznykh cheshuekrylykhh fauny Rossii (Lepidoptera, Noctuoidea: Nolidae, Erebidae, Euteliidae, Noctuidae) = Trophic connections of the larvae of noctuoidea of Russia / A. Ju. Matov, V.S. Kononenko.
Vladivostok : Dal'nauka, 2012.


The human impact on the natural environment : past, present and future / Andrew S. Goudie
Chichester : John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
L 66A q GOU


Ghidul speciilor comune din Parcul National Muntii Rodnei = Field guide to common species from the Rodna Mountains National Park / [text Claudiu Iu?an, Alina Szabó]
Bistrita : Karuna, 2009.
L 72N o IUS


Tibet wild : a naturalist's journeys on the roof of the world / George B. Schaller.
Washington, DC : Island Press, 2012.
L 73F o SCH


Memórias do Mar : biodiversidade, conservação e cultura no litoral Brasileiro / Leopold Cavaleri Gerdhardinger, Maíra Borgonha, Áthila Andrade Bertoncicni, editores
Florianópolis : Ecomares, 2010.
L 76D q GER


Manguezais do Rio de Janeiro.
[Rio de Janeiro, Brazil] : Prefeitura da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente, [2000?]
L 76D q SEC


Il Museo regionale di scienze naturali : la regione promotrice di cultura naturalistica / a cura di Elena Giacobino e Daniele Ormezzano.
Torino : Museo regionale di scienze naturali, 2011.
L 85 o TUR


Preserving archives / Helen Forde and Jonathan Rhys-Lewis
London : Facet Publishing, 2013.



Halocyprid ostracods of the Arabian Sea region / Inna Drapun, Sharon L. Smith.
Muscat, Oman : Sultan Qaboos University, Academic Publication Board, 2011.


Calanoid copepods of the Arabian Sea region / Irina Prusova, Sharon L. Smith, Elena Popova.
Muscat, Oman : Sultan Qaboos University, Academic Publication Board, 2011.


The fishes of Zimbabwe and their biology / Brian Marshall.
Grahamstown, South Africa : South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, 2011.


Lemurs of Madagascar / Russell A. Mittermeier ... [et al.] ; illustrated by Stephen D. Nash.
Arlington, Va. : Conservation International, 2010


E l'uomo incontrò il lupo : Domesticazione del lupo e origine del rapporto tra uomo e cane / a cura di Luciana Trovato, Roberta Cavelli
Torino : Regione Piemonte Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Torino, 2011.


Biology and conservation of tropical Asian amphibians : proceedings of the conference "Biology of the Amphibians in the Sunda Region, South-east Asia" / edited by Indraneil Das, Alexander Haas and Andrew Alek Tuen.
Sarawak, Malaysia : Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, c2011.






Last week we welcomed Ana-Maria Costa, the Library & Archive's first Synthesys funded researcher. She is with us for three weeks.


Ana-Maria is here as part of her PhD with the University of Lisbon, entitled 'The Natural History in Art and the Art in Natural History 1770-1810'.


During her stay she will be using the Botanical and Zoological artwork collections from the Library and in particular those relating to:


Captain James Cook's two voyages

First Fleet

William Bartram







In particular the goal of her PhD is to compare and contrast the 'cultural' skills of Portuguese artists with those of other European artists during the period 1770-1810.





When studying the collections, she is looking at a number of different levels:


Artistic - not only interested in the colours used, but form, line and composition. Also what the artist puts behind, whether the perspectives are correct and their use of light and shadow to create a 3D effect.


Scientific/taxonomic - has the species been identified and if so correctly.



Geographic - she is recording the geographical information of the specimen depicted in order to later plot these on a map.


Ana-Maria is in her third year of four and has already researched the art collections at the Libraries of the Natural History Museum and Botanical Gardens, Lisbon, National Museum, Lisbon and Botanical Gardens, Madrid.


By the end of her research here Ana-Maria is looking to have identified approximately 40 pieces of artwork to use for her PhD, in addition to those selected from the other institutions.


The Library catalogue is available online at Library catalogue

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


Anthropology / Palaeontology



Adrar Bous : archaeology of a central Saharan granitic ring complex in Niger / J. Desmond Clark ... [et al.] ; Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, general editor.
Tervuren, Belgium : Royal Museum for Central Africa, 2008.
A 2 o CLA


Starting from scratch : site specific paintings that consider aspects of human activity from Britain's ancient past / Brian Graham
London : Hart Gallery, 2011
A 3A q GRA




Late Devonian conodonts from northwestern Thailand / Norman M. Savage
Eugene, Oregon : Bourland, 2013.
P 24 q SAV


Le Alpi Carniche : uno scrigno geologico = Die Karnischen Alpen : ein geologisches Schatzkästchen / a cura di Giuseppe Muscio e Corrado Venturini ; [testi: Giuseppe Muscio ... et al. ; Disegni: Furio Colman ... et al. ; red.: Giuseppe Muscio ... et al. ; trad. di italiano a tedesco: PuntoLingue].
Udine : Museo Friulano di storia naturale, 2012.
P 72I o MUS


Fossil mammals of Asia : Neogene biostratigraphy and chronology / edited by Xiaoming Wang, Lawrence J. Flynn, and Mikael Fortelius.
New York : Columbia University Press, c2013
P 73 q WAN


Corridors to extinction and the Australian megafauna / Steve Webb
Amsterdam : Elsevier, 2013.
P 77A o WEB


James Hutton : the founder of modern geology / Donald B. McIntyre and Alan McKirdy
Edinburgh : NMS, 2012
P 96 o HUT



Proceedings of Cycad 2008 : the 8th International Conference on Cycad Biology, 13-15 January 2008, Panama City, Panama / editors: Dennis Wm. Stevenson, Roy Osborne, and Alberto Sidney Taylor Blake.
Bronx, N.Y. : New York Botanical Garden Press, 2012.
B 582.4P166 STE


The genus betula : a taxonomic revision of birches / by Kenneth Ashburner and Hugh A. McAllister ; illustrations by Josephine Hague.
London : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2013.
B 582.4P159 ASH


The story of Kew Gardens in photographs / by Lynn Parker, Kiri Ross-Jones.
London : Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2013.
B 58.006 KEW PAR


Zhong giuo gian den zhi wu = Higher plants of China. Volume 14, [Index] / editors: Fu Xiaoping and Li Yong
[Qingdao] : Qingdao Publishing House, 2013.
B 581.9(51) HIG Q


Zhong giuo gian den zhi wu = Higher plants of China. Volume 1, [Bryophyta] / editors: Wu Pengchen [sic], Jia Yu and Zhang Li
[Qingdao] : Qingdao Publishing House, 2012.
B 581.9(51) HIG Q



Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Bd. 4, Staphylinidae (exklusive Aleocharinae, Pselaphinae und Scydmaeninae) / Heinz Freude, Karl Wilhelm Harde, Gustav Adolf Lohse
Heidelberg : Spektrum, 2012.


A manual for the identification of the dragonflies and damselflies of New Guinea, Maluku, and the Solomon Islands / John Michalski ; ill. M. A. Lieftinck
Morristown, N.J. : Kanduanum Books, 2012.


Comportements d'Abeilles Colletidae (Hymenoptera) : Les genres <Hylaeus>, <Chilicola>, <Colletes>, <Pasiphae>, <Policana>, <Cadeguala>, <Caupolicana>, <Lonchopria> et <Diphaglossa> / Hippolyte Janvier ; edited with annotations by Holger H. Dathe, Michael Kuhlmann & Claire Villemant
Ansfelden : Entomofauna, 2012.



The evolutionary strategies that shape ecosystems / J. Philip Grime, Simon Pierce.
Chichester, West Sussex, UK ; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
L 10E o GRI


Natural Skye / by Paul Yoxon and Grace M. Yoxon
Broadford, Isle of Skye : Skye Environmental Centre, 2012.
L 72Ab o YOX


Biodiversidad de Guatemala. vol. 1 / editado por Enio B. Cano.
Guatemala, Guatemala, Centroamérica : Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, 2006
L 75Eb q BIO


Wildlife photographer of the year. Portfolio 22 / edited by Rosamund Kidman Cox.
London : Natural History Museum, 2012.
L 83 q WIL


Science communication : a practical guide for scientists / Laura Bowater and Kay Yeoman.
Hoboken : Wiley, 2013.
L 98 o BOW


British Palaeozoic fossils / edited by L. Robin M. Cocks
London : Natural History Museum, 2012


British Mesozoic fossils / edited by Andrew B. Smith
London : Natural History Museum, 2012.



Ornithology (Tring)

Alexander Wilson : the Scot who founded American ornithology / Edward H. Burtt, Jr., William E. Davis, Jr.
Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013.


Analysis of Wetland Bird Survey (WEBS) data for the Wash SSSI/NNR / V.H. Ross-Smith, N.A. Calbrade & G.E. Austin
Thetford, Norfolk : British Trust for Ornithology, 2011.


Atlas of duck populations in eastern Europe / Janis Viksne ... [et al.].
Vilnius, Lithuania : OMPO Vilnius, 2010.


The illustrated guide to ducks and geese and other domestic fowl : how to choose them, how to keep them / [text and illustrations by Celia Lewis].
London ; New York : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012.


A naturalist's guide to the birds of Borneo : Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan / Wong Tsu Shi.
London : John Beaufoy Pub., 2012.


Owls of North America / Frances Backhouse.
Buffalo, N.Y. ; Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2008.


Parrots of Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands : biology, ecology and conservation / Mike Perrin ; with photographs by Cyril Laubscher.
Johannesburg : Wits University Press, 2012.


The raptor guide of Southern Africa / Ulrich Oberprieler, Burger Cillié.
Hatfield, Pretoria : Game Parks Publishing, 2009.
ORNITHOLOGY 74E OBE                    




Leech / Robert G.W. Kirk and Neil Pemberton.
London : Reaktion Books, 2013
Z 40D o KIR


Catalogue - fauna of Gammaridean Amphipoda (Crustacea, Malacostraca) of the Adriatic sea = Katalog - fauna Gammaridnih Amphipoda (Crustacea, Malacostraca) Jadranskog mora / Gordan S. Karaman ; urednik Gordon S. Karaman.
Podgorica : Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2011.


Functional morphology and diversity. Vol.1, The natural history of the Crustacea / edited by Les Watling and Martin Thiel
New York : Oxford University Press, c2013


Worcestershire's mammals : An atlas compiled from records collected between 1995 and 2007 together with historical information / G.H. Green ... [et al.]
Malvern : Aspect Design, 2012.


The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the world. Volume 1, Non-passerines / edited by Edward Dickinson and J.V. Remsen, Jr.
Eastbourne : Aves, 2013.


The most complete <Oophaga pumilio> color morphguide : 102 different colorforms / locations / [C. van der Lingen, W. van der Lingen]
[S.l.] : [Edition Chimaira], 2012.