A historical stratum of geological collections from Western Australia in the Natural History Museum, London

Tiffany Shellam, Alistair Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In Western Australia the collection of geological specimens as part of broader natural history collecting occurred from the earliest European visitors onwards. In the process of the 'Collecting the West' project research we have encountered various early collections from the period 1818-1860 now located in the Natural History Museum in Kensington, London. This grouping of Western Australian specimens allows us to consider the various motivations for collecting geological specimens as part of a broader practice of observation, travel, colonialism and network building. In this paper we explore these key collections that moved from WA to London to enter the Geological Society of London and the Natural History Museum to define an early phase of collecting driven by encounters with the coast (1818-c.1830) followed by collecting practices deployed by individuals and by the colonial government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Western Australian History
Volume35
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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