SHNH Celebrating 75 years 1936-2011

2011 is the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the History of Natural History. Do look at the brief history of the society.  A number of meetings and events are planned so do visit the Meetings and Events pages to check on updates and more information. To celebrate the anniversary, in the Autumn we will be publishing History and mystery, an anthology of the most interesting, bizarre and entertaining notes and queries from the Society's newsletters.

The Society was founded in 1936 by a small group of librarians, bibliographers and naturalists who mostly worked in the London area either at or near the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. In the 1930s the Museum’s staff contained a number of distinguished naturalists whose experience made them authorities in their respective fields, as well as librarians and bibliographers who were international figures.  The fortunate association of bibliographers and librarians such as Charles Davis Sherborn, B.B. Woodward, and B.H. Soulsby with distinguished naturalists like John Ramsbottom, W.N. Edwards and N.D. Riley who all brought an appreciation and love of books inspired the formation of the Society as The Society for the Bibliography of Natural History.

Today SHNH - The Society for the History of Natural History is a friendly international society for everyone who is interested in natural history in the broadest sense.  This includes botany, zoology and geology as well as natural history collections, exploration, art and bibliography. Everyone with an interest in these subjects – professional or amateur – is welcome to join.

2011 is also the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Davies Sherborn, first President of this Society (when it was founded in 1936 its name was Society for the Bibliography of Natural History). The Society's Representative in North America, Leslie Overstreet, alerted us to the anniversary, and we will celebrate Sherborn's life with a one-day symposium entitled "Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond"on Friday 28 October 2011 at the Natural History Museum in London.  The Society's Publishers Edinburgh University Press have made Sherborn's articles for the journal freely available online as well as two biographical articles.

History and Mystery

History & Mystery is an anthology of notes and queries from Newsletters of the Society for the History of Natural History. Naturalists, books, collections, works of art, societies, even a mermaid, are contained here. Some of the notes are witty commentaries. Some of the topics are unexpected, even bizarre. Some of the reprinted queries are still unanswered. History & Mystery celebrates SHNH’s Diamond Jubilee.

Compiled by Charles Nelson, it is 208 pp with the cover designed by Dr Rebecca Jewell. For more information on the contents, visit the Index [PDF].  Council has fixed a retail price of £15 (including postage and packing) for UK members, and £18 for the rest of the world (ROW).  We hope that as many members (and non-members; or “soon-to-be” members?) as possible will avail themselves of this fascinating read (excellent Christmas present material!). 

Please do not be shy either about sending a donation as much in excess of the asking price as you feel able to afford!  Proceeds from the sale of this volume will help replenish the Alwynne Wheeler Bursary to support young scholars in attending SHNH conferences and meetings. 

History & Mystery is exclusively available direct from the SHNH. As this is a fund-raising project, we regret that trade or other discounts are not available. For addresses in UK £15 (post paid); elsewhere £18 (post paid). ISBN 978-0-901843-09-8 208pp.

If you would like to reserve a copy, download the order form and forward to the  Honorary Editor, Dr Charles Nelson.  His address details are given on the form.

Paypal

We have set up a facility to allow donations to be made to the Society via PayPal.  Please use the donate button below to order. Please indicate the number of copies you are requesting on the confirmation (second) page of the order form.

Events and Meetings

4th-5th April Flett Theatre, Natural History Museum, London

Geological Collectors and Collecting Conference, The Geological Society

The conference – which is timed to coincide with the Christies London Sale of Travel, Science and Natural History Artefacts on 6 April 2011 -- covers collecting of geological maps and books in addition to the collecting of fossils, rocks and minerals. This two-day event also includes workshops, posters and behind-the-scenes tours as well as talks from invited speakers.

Rare geological books and maps: an auctioneer's perspective

Auctions of books have provided an open market and public forum for bibliophiles, whether collectors, institutions or dealers, for over 400 years. Julian Wilson, Books and Manuscripts Specialist; Associate Director, Christie’s and SHNH member of Council will consider some of these historic sales in both a macro overview, as well as through a more detailed look at how some important individual geological books and maps have fared at auction through time.

12th May 2011. All day meeting.  Linnean Society of London

Visions from the Blind Seer of Ambon - A celebration of Georg Everard Rumphius (1627-1702) and his Ambonese Herbal

A joint meeting between the Linnean Society of London, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science and the Society of the History of Natural History. Supported by the Annals of Botany and Yale University Press.

Georg Everard Rumphius (1627‐1702) was probably the world’s most productive pre‐Linnaean naturalist. In the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) he spent most of his life on Ambon, one of the spice islands in the Moluccas (Indonesia), first as a soldier and a builder.

19th - 20th May 2011, Chester Zoo, UK

From Royal Gifts to Biodiversity Conservation: The History and Development of Menageries, Zoos and Aquariums

This international Symposium is being held in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the History of Natural History. It is a joint collaboration between the Society for the History of Natural History, WAZA and Chester Zoo, supported by the Linnean Society of London and the Bartlett Society. The focus of the symposium is to provide a comprehensive overview of the history and development of living wild animal collections across the world. Symposium proceedings will be made available.

28th October 2011, Natural History Museum, London

Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond

2011 is also the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Davies Sherborn, first President of SHNH (when it was founded in 1936 its name was Society for the Bibliography of Natural History). We will celebrate Sherborn's life with a one-day symposium provisionally entitled "Anchoring Biodiversity Information: From Sherborn to the 21st century and beyond".

 
 
The Society for the History of Natural History (Registered Charity No.2103555 in England and Wales)