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Introduction to the history of the Oxford University Museum (of Natural History) as written for the Oxford University Archives.

OUMNHOxford University MuseumTRANSCRIPTIONS of some of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History's MANUSCRIPTS

1. Transcriptions made during the Relational Museum project of documents which relate to museum anthropology in the OUMNH manuscript collections

Oxford University Museum archive resources useful for the research of museum anthropology at Oxford.

2. 1872 Natural Science School: Notice by the Board of Studies for the Natural Science School of the University of Oxford ... Oxford 1872

3. Department of Zoology & Comparative Anatomy. Presentation Book Vol. 1 1883-1948.

This presentation book gives an insight into the items donated to the University Museum / Pitt Rivers Collection between 1883-1888. In 1888 the Pitt Rivers Collection published its own Annual Report for the first time so transcription ends then. Unfortunately there is no surviving documentation of the anthropological collections of the Oxford University Museum before 1883 though it is clear there were such collections as both Rolleston and Acland were keen collectors of such material for the University Museum.

4.Oxford University Museum display of crania [Zoological Collections, OUMNH]Oxford University Museum display of crania [Zoological Collections, OUMNH] CATALOGUE OF HOLDINGS

Ms collections of Zoological Department

OUMNH Library:

Annual Reports

History of the Museum (the Smith-Tylor period: 1874-1902)

Box 1

I. Academic matters (including proposed additions to buildings)

1. Report of the Committee on Care and Arrangement of Collections, appointed February 21, 1891. May 1, 1891 (2 p., printed)

2. Report of the Committee appointed October 21,1893, to consider the Scheme of the Hope Curators ...;

3. Report of the Committee of Delegates appointed February 15,1896, to consider ... increased lecture room and laboratory accommodation in the Department of Comparative Anatomy ... [&c.], with additional sheet annotated by Acland; Degree in Medicine and Surgery, September 1891 (printed items)

4. Letter from E.R. Lankester to the V.-C. (Nov. 6,1897), and quoting a letter from Tylor to Lankester (Oct. 16,1897), re use of a curator's (Alfred Robinson's) time;

5. Report of the Committee of Delegates, appointed Nov.28,1896 to consider a place in the Museum for the bust of Sir Henry Acland and for the proposed statue of Darwin (Feb.2,1897

6.Report of the Committee of Delegates on Access to the proposed new Library, reappointed December 11,1897 (printed, 4 p.)

7. The Human crania in the University Museum, by W.F.R. Weldon (May 25,1899) (printed, 3 p.) (annotated by Weldon)

8. Medical Department in the Court of the Museum, HWA [n.d.] (printed, 1 p.)

9. Names and addresses of the Delegates of the University Museum [n.d., before end of 1902 and the resignation of Tylor as Keeper]

10. Letter from Jervis (of the Regio Museo Industriale Italiano, Torino) to Tylor, re carriage payment for the collections of rocks he had recently despatched to Prestwich (the latter having retired in the interim) and other matters connected with the collection. (Copy of this letter with the Prestwich letters.) (17 October 1887)

II. Administrative and financial matters, maintenance of buildings

1. A sheet of administrative matters for Nov.9,1880;

2. Maintenance grant and Administration Fund, 1898-1907 (mainly 1902-1903)

3. 3 small OUM account books covering the 1870's and 1880's (entries commence 1869) concerning mainly petty expenditure;

4. Dimensions and uses of rooms shown on the General plan of the Museum (1893] (printed plan and 4 p., typescript)

5. Dimensions and uses of rooms shown on the general plan of the Museum (n.d., 1890's, annotated A W.H. Acland @)

6. Plans of the proposed new Pathological Laboratory ... ca. 1898 (2 printed sheets)

7. Military service in South Africa. Resolution of the Hebdomadal Council. [n.d., 1899-1902] (1 printed sheet)

8. Letter from Chas. Harris (a police sergeant) to Alfred Robinson (Jan.18,1896)

9. Letter from Alfred Robinson [to Tylor?] re routine Museum administration (July 21,1902).

10. Statement of accounts for the Museum 16 July 1880-15 July 1881.

III. Miscellaneous items

1. Printed booklet of the funeral service for Prof. H.J.S. Smith (Keeper 1874-1883) (1883

2. The gas explosion, June 3,1893 (3 l. of typescript)

3. Notebook entitled: Leipzig professors (presumably relating to Victor Carus, HW Acland's friend, and Oxford bacteriology)

4. Review of the reissue of The Oxford Museum by Acland and Ruskin, 1893, in The Hospital, Mar.31,1894, p.493;

5.The fire piston by Henry Balfour [n.d.]

6. A University Museum, Oxford, 1898" : trial sheet of printing in different size fonts;

7. Historic label (1880)

8. Accounts and Annual Reports of Cambridge University, Museums and Lecture Rooms Syndicate, for ... 1901.

9. Labradorite table (1890): a printed notice; a leatherbound notebook describing the table (ms.)

Box 2

Acland correspondence

letters to (and some draft letters by) Henry Acland, for the years 1849-1902, concerning various matters, especially: the expansion and increasing specialization of Oxford science departments (the establishing of the Oxford Bacteriology Laboratory); the future of the natural history collections and whether they should be kept together or divided between departments, for example, the human anatomy collection; the place of anthropology in Oxford science; the subjects to be covered in the displays in the Museum, etc.

(They are listed individually on the Access database.)


Scrapbook of printed items:

concerning the Museum 1859-1900, mainly abstracts of accounts and annual reports for the 1880s and 1890s and plans of ground and upper floors, also including the Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) and the Clarendon Building, 1893.

Box 4

Newspaper cuttings:

featuring the Museum from the laying of the foundation stone (June 20,1855) to the early 1900s and, for example, the carvings of Mills, Holt and Swain of the London firm of Farmer and Brindley, 1906-1912, in the upper gallery (funded by the Rev. H.T. Morgan) : engravings and articles from: The BuilderThe Building newsThe Illustrated London news and Illustrated times, etc.

Also some complete issues of A The Oxford chronicle, for dates in 1888, 1892, 1906, etc., some having items of relevance to the OUM.

A letter from an 'M.A. Harris' (evidently female) to the Keeper of the Museum asking for a small donation for the newspaper cuttings she is presenting; the envelope is annotated [by Tylor? in pencil: 'Begging letter']

History of the Museum (the Miers period and beyond) (1902-1914)

Box 1

I. Academic matters (including proposed additions to buildings)

1. General and Departmental reports, 1903-1906;

2. Memos, n.d., early 1900's; matters for consideration by the Delegates; copy of Mr. Godley's inscription for tablet in the Pitt Rivers Museum;

3. A notable Great Auk collection (July 1902) (1 leaf of typescript)

4. Professor J.S. Townsend's Electrical Laboratory (Oct. 19,1904)(printed and typewritten copies);

5. Minutes of meetings of the Committee for Engineering and Mining Subjects (Oct.14,1904 - Oct.17,1907)

6. Professor Poulton's submission to Miers re the inadequacy of his funds to provide scientific assistants;

7(i) Suggested alteration to the Museum to provide more space: an upper floor to the south end of the old Radcliffe Library, [1907] (1 leaf); Committee on Museum Extension (appointed Nov.23,1907); further handwritten notes; A Additions & extensions to the main building of the Museum (Nov. 1908. A.R) [by Alfred Robinson]

(ii) Notes relating to heating boilers, payment of labour, etc. Nov. 1910 [by Alfred Robinson]

8. Committee on the Allocation of old Radcliffe Library space. Notes by Prof. Poulton (1 l.) and other handwritten notes and typed memo;

9. Various printed notices:

The Regius Professorship of Medicine (2 items: 1904 and n.d.)

Oxford Pathology Endowment Fund, 1906;

Proposed official residence at the University Observatory (Congregation, March 12,1907)

The proposal for building a house in the Park, 1907

A Proposed official house for the Professorship of Astronomy

10. Letter to the V.-C. re extension proposals by all the professors (May 8,1907) (typewritten letter)

11. Letter, or memo, signed by Henry Miers re the provenance of the bust [the plaque, presumably?] of Benjamin Woodward

12. The Magdalen College Grant, 1904: submissions on the needs of the Departments to Miers from H. Balfour and W.J. Sollas; apportioning of grant between departments;

13. Museum delegates, October 29,1910: Notes for Secretary's report (2 typewritten sheets); Extracts from A Minute Book, 1889-1906 (a few handwritten notes);

14. Printed papers re the proposal to build an Engineering Laboratory in the Parks near the NW gate, 1912;

15. Printed letter from T.B. Strong, of Christ Church, the V.-C. To ? re a deficit in the General Fund of the University, Nov. 5,1914.

16. Anthropometric Laboratory. Department of Comparative Anatomy, University Museum, Oxford (2 p., printed)

17. The disposal of duplicate and other unnecessary specimens in the Pitt Rivers Museum, by Henry Balfour, n.d., (photocopy)

II. Administrative and financial matters, maintenance of buildings

1. Opening and closing times, 1902, 1903; Porters' duties (11 typed and handwritten sheets including some duplicates)

2. Re Court and gate keys: memo and circular by Henry Miers, 1902 (2 items, with duplicates of each)

3. Resolution of the Delegates re cost of repairs, etc. 1903; with memo and circular letter, 1902 (several copies of these)

4. Museum Delegacy meetings, meetings of heads of Museum departments, 1903 (various printed, typed and handwritten circulars with some duplicates)

5. Draft for a circular letter by Henry Balfour, acknowledging gifts made to the Museum (n.d., pre end 1908, by which time Balfour had retired as Secretary to the Delegacy)

6. Signed memoranda on duty-free alcohol (2 items, both of Jan. 1903)

7. Printed circulars for the Hebdomadal Council, containing Miers' petitions for electricity supply to the Museum and for an increase in the grant for assistance and general expenses for the collections, 1903 (2 copies)

8. Memos re insurance of staff (Nov. and Dec., 1905) (2 items)

9. Seating accommodation of the several theatres and lecture rooms in the Museum and attached departments (Nov. 1903) (2 typewritten sheets)

10. Matters relating to fire precautions and fire drills (1899-1912)

11. Notice offering a reward of 5/- for a lost key;

12. Purchase of A Minimax (18 July 1912) (possibly a typewriter or duplicating machine)

13. Printed notice re designs for the doorway by Thomas Woolner, and John Hungerford Pollen; with mention of the Pollen portrait after Legros;

14. Letter re estimate for replacing locks from G. Wyatt & Son, Ironmongers, to Prof. Miers (17 Aug. 1902)

15. Printed items: donation acknowledgement forms, OUM opening hours and admission regulations 1904, and a plan of the Science Area [ca. 1914] (shows the new Radcliffe Science Library - first phase)

III. Miscellaneous items

1. Commentario Rogeri Bacon ...

2. A sheet of handwritten notes about the life of John Kidd [possibly by Alfred Robinson]

3. An account of the OUM in the 1880's and 1890's and his own role, and of the Physiology Laboratory [by Alfred Robinson, a curatorial assistant and later Assistant Secretary, and with the Museum from the early 1880's to the 1920's] [n.d., ca. 1908]; also a list of Professors and Keepers serving in the Departments (photocopy: original missing?)

4. An account of Mr. Burden's, the Porters' and Mr. Brownlees' daily work schedule [n.d., 1880's and 1890's]

IV. Photocopies and cross-references to material in the Bodleian relating to the history of the Museum, and its departments and to the development of the Science Area.

Box 2

Matters relating to the Museum's Jubilee, 1908

1. Commentary on the letter containing a series of questions on the history of Oxford science in the 1840's and 50's, put to Buckland's daughter, Mary Bompas, by a W. Jackson (one and the same as the W.H. Jackson, one and the same as the W.H. Jackson, temporarily Head of the Hope Department, 1892-93?) and Mrs. Bompas's reply (undated, probably 1908) for the Jubilee Address enquiries;

2. Draft history Oxford science and of the Museum in its first 50 years, prepared for the Jubilee, by an unknown author;

3. Letters concerning provision of information and reminiscences for the V.-C.'s address and the possible printing of A. Vernon Harcourt's address:

from ? to Miers (June 8,1908) concerning the reminiscences of a Mr. Henry Hughes;

from Frederick Fison? to A.V.H. (Oct.12,1908)

from A.V.H. to T.H. Warren (the V.-C.)(12 Oct.1908)

from T.H. Warren (of Magdalen College) to Mr. Alfred Robinson, OUM (Oct.14,1908)

from A.V.H. to Poulton (17 Oct.1908)

from N.S.M. to Mrs. Gordon (Buckland's daughter)

4. Papers concerning the Jubilee Address on the history of the Museum in its first 50 years, 1908. Printed copy of Dr. Warren's Address;

5. Miss Sarah Acland's Bible given by Sir Thomas Deane on the occasion of the laying of the Foundation Stone, June 20 1855. She decided to return it to the Museum in the Jubilee year, on 8 Oct. 1908)

5a. Note in Miss Acland's hand on the meaning of the carving on the main doorway.

NB Plans (early 20th c.)

(in large map chest 4, drawer 3 "History of the Museum"; see also: "History of the building of the Museum" archive, o.o.s. box 1)

1. Oxford University Museum. Ground plan 1909: an original drawn by Alfred Robinson. 48 x 56.3 cm.

2. Oxford University Museum. Arrangement of water mains, hydrants, &c. [n.d.] 24.6 x 31.4 cm. (This predates no. 1 above)

3. Plan of Court 1913. Pen and ink and watercolour; original scale drawing of arrangement of display cases (or of a projected arrangement of display cases) showing the north and central area and omitting part of the south side. 48 x 57 cm.

Two, engraved copper plates, mounted on wood, one showing the front of the Museum, the other a plan of the Science Area immediately round the Museum (n.d., late 19thc. or early 20th c.)

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