- Dinosaur

William Buckland Archive Acquired by Museum

Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past has accomplished the acquisition of archive materials belonging to pioneering geologist the Reverend William Buckland and his spouse Mary (née Morland).

This is a vital, historic and culturally important archive that has been acquired by the Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past (OUMNH). The fabric which paperwork the contribution to science by the nineteenth century theologian and geologist comprises over 1,000 gadgets. There are notebooks, household papers, drawings, artworks and letters. The gathering is noteworthy because it additionally highlights the contribution of Buckland’s spouse Mary (née Morland). Mary was a gifted artist and naturalist.

William Buckland surrounded by fossils.
A portrait of the Reverend William Buckland. Image credit score: Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past.

Funding the Acquisition

The acquisition has been made doable with assist from the Mates of the Nationwide Libraries, Headley Belief, the Arts Council England/V&A Buy Grant Fund and Nationwide Heritage Memorial Fund. Non-public donors additionally contributed.

Head of Earth Collections on the OUMNH, Eliza Howlett said:

“The Museum’s acquisition of a big assortment of Buckland papers from non-public palms is a game-changer for historians of science and others with an curiosity within the histories of gender, class, and colonialism. Mixed with the already massive and various Oxford collections, the brand new supplies will verify OUMNH because the epicentre for future analysis, and we’re tremendously grateful to the various trusts and foundations, and to the non-public people, who generously contributed to this buy.”

This essential assortment additionally contains correspondence between Mary Anning and William Buckland about new fossil discoveries. In a letter penned by Mary Anning the well-known Lyme Regis resident informs the Reverend William Buckland concerning the discovery of Plesiosaurus stays.

Mary Anning Letter to William Buckland.
A part of a signed letter from Mary Anning to William Buckland from December twenty first 1830, informing him of a plesiosaur skeleton she had not too long ago found. Image credit score: Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past.

William Buckland

William Buckland was a massively influential determine in academia, faith, politics and science. He successively held the positions of Reader in Mineralogy and Geology at Oxford College; Dean of Westminster and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

He’s accredited with the primary, formal scientific description of a dinosaur (Megalosaurus bucklandii). This was certainly one of three genera positioned into the Dinosauria by Richard Owen within the early 1840s.

The lower jaw of Megalosaurus.
The partial dentary with enamel related to Megalosaurus bucklandii on show on the Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past. Image credit score: The whole lot Dinosaur.

Image credit score: The whole lot Dinosaur

To view Megalosaurus fashions and replicas of different prehistoric creatures together with dinosaurs: CollectA Prehistoric Life Figures.

The reverend William Buckland additionally pioneered palaeoecology with is ground-breaking research of an historical hyena den. Buckland was additionally a notable convert to glacial concept, and confirmed how glaciation somewhat than a worldwide flood formed the British panorama.

An Perception into the Lifetime of a Pioneering Scientist

This in depth archive reveals features of Buckland’s life as a scholar at Corpus Christi School, Oxford, as effectively his work as a practising geologist, eminent member of the clergy and college lecturer. Proof from the archive offers a complete perception into the considering and establishments of the early nineteenth century. Throughout this time, the biblical interpretation of creation was being challenged. Materials within the archive paperwork correspondence with main figures resembling artwork critic John Ruskin and prime minister Robert Peel.

William Buckland inspecting a rock formation in Snowdonia, by Thomas Sopwith (October 1841).
A watercolour of the Reverend William Buckland inspecting a rock formation in Snowdonia, by Thomas Sopwith (October 1841). Image credit score: Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past.

Figuring out Iconic Artworks

The archive additionally contains authentic artworks, resembling Thomas Sopwith’s watercolour of William Buckland exploring a rock formation armed with a geological hammer. It had been thought that this paintings portrayed Mary Anning. The gathering additionally contains an exceptionally uncommon, colored model of the lithograph based mostly on Henry de la Beche’s drawing Duria Antiquior. The paintings, depicting prehistoric Dorset, is legendary for being the primary pictorial illustration of a scene of prehistoric life based mostly on fossil proof.

Mary’s Contribution is Recognised

This substantial archive additionally contains numerous illustrations created by Buckland’s spouse Mary (née Morland). Highlights embrace two of Mary’s sketchbooks. One among these, courting from earlier than her marriage to Buckland, comprises beautiful ink and watercolour drawings of pure historical past specimens, and highlights the massive inventive and scientific contribution she made to her husband’s work.

Mary Morland and an illustration of a jumping mouse.
A watercolour of Dipus canadensis, a leaping mouse from Canada, by Mary Morland circa 1817 from her pocket book of specimens. Image credit score: Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past.

Dr Simon Thurley CBE, Chair of the Nationwide Heritage Memorial Fund, commented:

“I’m delighted the Nationwide Heritage Memorial Fund is ready to assist Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past to accumulate the excellent Buckland Archive and be certain that the gathering stays collectively and is saved for the nation.”

Uniting the Collections

The Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past is already a big repository for Buckland’s work. This new archive will match with the Museum’s present assortment, serving to to supply a extra full understanding of the contribution made to science and to scientific debate.

Reuniting these collections each bodily and digitally will permit researchers and different museum audiences entry to the total spectrum of Buckland materials.

The whole lot Dinosaur acknowledges the help of a media launch from the Oxford College Museum of Pure Historical past within the compilation of this text.

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