The Society produces its Newsletter three times a year. This consists of contributions from members, news of forthcoming Society and other events, details of new publications and other items of interest.

The Newsletter is a very informal publication and aims to provide members with an opportunity to communicate with others in the Society. The "Notes and Queries" section, for instance, has proved a useful forum for members to request information to help them in their researches or to inform the Society about their work.

Newsletter Contributions

The Newsletter editor is always grateful for contributions; in fact the Newsletter relies on material sent in by members and others. Any information of interest to the world of bibliography and history of natural history is welcome, including new publications, news of events and grants, and results of research. Don't forget that the Notes and Queries section is members' opportunity to share discoveries and observations, request help and generally communicate with the society.

Electronic contributions on disk or by email, preferably in Word or RTF formats are welcomed – as are scans of any images that can be used free of charge – but any format including typescripts, manuscripts, hard copy images for scanning or phone communications are equally acceptable.

All contributions to the Newsletter Editor:  Elaine Shaughnessy

SHNH - Society for the History of Natural History
SHNH Newsletter Editor
c/o Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD

Email: webmaster(at)

Recent back issues of the Newsletter are now available online.


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!).  More information.

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.


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.

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