The Society for the History of Natural History

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. For a brief history of the society, click here.

SHNH is known for its friendliness and provides a focal point for the history of all aspects of natural history.  It has a thriving international membership and regional representatives organise local meetings. An international meeting is held at regular intervals, the most recent being held in the United States in November 2012. A number of meetings and events are scheduled for 2013 so do visit the Meetings and Events pages for more information. Of especial interest will be our meeting on Alfred Russel Wallace. 

The Society's main publication is Archives of natural history, produced twice a year, and distributed free to all members. It contains refereed, illustrated papers and book reviews and is published for the Society by Edinburgh University Press. All volumes published from 1936 are now available online.

From time to time, the Society also publishes other works of interest. To celebrate SHNH's 75th anniversary in 2011, we published History and mystery, an anthology of the most interesting, bizarre and entertaining notes and queries from the Society's newsletters. Other publications include: Darwin in the Archives and A Century of Discovery.

An informal Newsletter is produced three times a year and distributed free to members. It contains details of forthcoming meetings, news of other events, a lively Notes & Queries section, members’ news and new publications. 

On this site you will find information about the Society, its activities, publications and how to join us. You will also find news and up-to-date information as well as links to useful resources and further information.

Latest News

Monday 17. of September 2012 Call for papers: two symposia on the history of geology, to be held at the ICHSTM Congress in Manchester, 22-28 July 2013.

Deadline for submission of abstracts to symposia: 15 October 2012. This has been extended from a previous deadline and is non-negotiable.

You will be informed as to whether or not your paper has been accepted by 15 November 2012...


Monday 17. of September 2012 The Art of Seventeenth-Century Science

“The Art of Seventeenth-Century Science”, is on display in the Proscholium at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford from 18 August 2012 until 30 September 2012.  On Wednesday, 19 September, Anna Marie...


Friday 20. of April 2012 The natural history of the Terra Nova expedition: Updated Programme

Saturday 19 May 2012, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, UK


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