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Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine

HUXLEY Scientific papers


Reference code(s): GB 0098 B/HUXLEY

Held at: Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine

Title: HUXLEY Scientific papers

Date(s): Created 1846-1846

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: 133 volumes

Name of creator(s): Huxley | Thomas Henry | 1825-1895 | scientist and educationalist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, Ealing, London, 1825; studied medicine; Assistant Surgeon, surveying ship HMS RATTLESNAKE around Australia, 1846-1850; Lecturer in Natural History, School of Mines, 1854; Naturalist to the Geological Survey, 1854; Hunterian professor, Royal College of Surgeons, 1863-1869; Fullerian professor, Royal Institution, 1863-1867; Professor of Biology and Dean, Normal School of Science (later Royal College of Chemistry), 1881-1895; Dean, Royal School of Mines, 1881-1895; Honorary Professor of Biology, 1885-1895; foremost advocate in England of Darwin's theory of evolution; died, 1895.
Publications: include: On the educational value of the natural history sciences (London, 1854); The Oceanic Hydrozoa; a description of the Calycophoridae and Physophoridae observed during the voyage of HMS "Rattlesnake" in the years 1846-50 (London, 1859); Lectures on the Elements of Comparative Anatomy vol 1 (London, 1864); A catalogue of the collection of Fossils in the Museum of Practical Geology, with an explanatory introduction with Robert Etheridge (London, 1865); Lessons in Elementary Physiology (London, 1866); An Introduction to the Classification of Animals (London, 1869); Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews (London, 1870); A Manual of the Anatomy of vertebrated animals (London, 1871); More Criticisms on Darwin, and Administrative Nihilism (D Appleton & Co, New York, 1872); A course of practical instruction in elementary biology assisted by H N Martin (London, Cambridge [printed], 1875); A Manual of the anatomy of Invertebrated Animals (London, 1877); Physiography: an introduction to the study of nature (London, 1877); Fish Diseases (London, 1883); Evolution and Ethics (The Romanes Lecture, 1893) (Macmillan and Co, London, 1893); Man's Place in Nature, and other essays [1906]; Collected Essays 9 vol (Macmillan and Co, London, 1894-1908); The Scientific Memoirs of T H Huxley edited by Professor Michael Foster and Professor E Ray Lankester 5 vol (Macmillan & Co, London, 1898-1903).


Scope and content/abstract:

Scientific papers of T H Huxley, 1846-1898, comprising notebooks made whilst Assistant Surgeon to HMS RATTLESNAKE, 1846-1850, containing his observations, sketches of specimens, notably oceanic hydrozoa, mollusca and crustacea, related notes;

scientific notebooks, papers and correspondence, [1855-1888], relating to botany and principally zoology, bound in volumes largely according to zoological classification, including invertebrata, crustacea, vertebrata, teleostei, amphibia, reptilia, aves, mammalia, carnivora, primates, anthropology, mycological, bacteria, hirudinea, mollusca, petromyzon, ganoidei, sturiones, dipnoi, teleostei, salmonidae, insectivora, rodentia, lepus, canidae, fossil fishes, dinosauria, ethnology, origins of biology, gentiana; correspondence concerning deep sea soundings, 1857; syllabus and notes for lectures, [1860-1886], for the Government (later Royal) School of Mines, Royal Institution, working men, London Institution, University of Edinburgh, notably on natural history, zoology, ethnology, elementary geography, physiography; correspondence, 1851-1894; notebooks, [1847-1884], concerning visits to Switzerland, Tenby, Italy, notes on anatomy and vertebrae;

drawings, [1847-1895] many illustrating laboratory work, and relating to observations in his notebooks, relating to protozoa and botany; coelenterata, brachiostomata, echinodermata, mollusca; vermes and arthropoda with peripatus; pisces with tunicata and amphioxus; mammalia; anthropological photographs, [1868-1898].


Language/scripts of material: English, French

System of arrangement:

The papers were sorted and arranged by Professor GB Howes and officers of the Science Library, and was probably begun during Huxley's lifetime. This arrangement, by subject or record form, has been generally preserved. The volumes of scientific notebooks, papers and correspondence are arranged in two series of 16 and 128 volumes. Some of this material has been recatalogued and consequently also appears in the Huxley papers, listed by W R Dawson, principally notebooks relating to HMS RATTLESNAKE, 1846-1850.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available in the reading room of the College Archives and contains an alphabetical subject and personal name index.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

T H Huxley's library and scientific papers were presented to the Department of Science and Art by Huxley from 1886, and after his death by his widow. The papers and most of the books were kept in the Huxley building as part of the library of the Zoology Department of Imperial College. In 1961 the notebooks and papers were transferred to the College Archives. Further notebooks were presented to the College Archives in 1964 by members of the Huxley family. The drawings and photographs were transferred to the Archives in 1967. The books were transferred to the Central Library.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

See collection (fonds) description for details.

Publication note:

See collection (fonds) description for details.



Archivist's note: Sources: Webster's Biographical Dictionary (G & C Merriam Co, 1961); British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives. Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2000

Animal taxonomy | Zoology
Bacteria | Microorganisms | Bacteriology | Microbiology
Fossils | Palaeontology
Insects | Animals | Zoology
Marine animals | Aquatic animals | Animals | Zoology
Marine fish | Fish | Aquatic animals | Animals | Zoology
Ocean exploration | Oceanographic research | Oceanography
Primates | Mammals | Animals | Zoology
Scientific expeditions | Field work | Research work
Shellfish | Fish | Aquatic animals | Animals | Zoology
Natural philosophy x Science philosophy
Natural history
Natural sciences

Personal names
Huxley | Thomas Henry | 1825-1895 | scientist and educationist

Corporate names
London Institution
Royal Institution of Great Britain
Royal School of Mines
University of Edinburgh x Edinburgh University

Australia | Oceania
Italy | Western Europe | Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Switzerland | Western Europe | Europe
Tenby | Pembrokeshire | Wales | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Asia and the Pacific