(Travel Fellow, 2017-18)
From Sir Hans Sloane to Sir Joseph Banks: The Creation and Use of Private Libraries in Relation to the Practice of Natural History
Edwin Rose is currently a PhD. researcher in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at the University of Cambridge (UK) with an affiliation to the Natural History Museum, London. His current research is on libraries of natural history from 1740-1830, examining the relationship between printed books, book collecting and specimen collections. This involves the examination of how books were used in the field and in the library, particularly in relation to their associated specimen collections and publication. The libraries and collections he is concentrating on are those of Hans Sloane (1660-1753), Thomas Pennant (1726-98), Gilbert White (1720-93) and Joseph Banks (1743-1820).
The Linda Hall Library holds extensive materials relating to the collection of the Welsh naturalist, Thomas Pennant, one of the most widely published natural history authors of the late eighteenth century. His most famous works included British Zoology (1768-70) and A History of Quadrupeds (1771), which reached multiple editions and contained numerous copper plate images by his artists Peter Mazell (f. 1761-97), Peter Palliou (1720-90) and Moses Griffith (1749-1819). Pennant’s surviving natural history collection, on which many of the illustrations in his published works were based, is currently held by the Natural History Museum, London. The Linda Hall Library holds a large collection of original drawings, often drawn from these specimens, on which many of the copper plate images in Pennant’s publications were based, providing the essential missing link in my research between the specimens and Pennant’s printed works. This gives a unique insight into how these zoological specimens formed a vital part in some of the most prominent works of eighteenth-century natural history.