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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0060 DF PUB
Held at: Natural History Museum
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Date(s): 1881-1994
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 10 series
Name of creator(s): Publications Section | Natural History Museum
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Museum has been a publisher throughout its history, producing scholarly monographs and catalogues, expedition reports, periodicals, study guides, popular guidebooks, notes for collectors, posters, wallcharts and postcards. A bookshop opened for the sale of guidebooks and postcards in 1921, and was opened on Sundays after consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Principal Trustee. From the 1930s editing was the responsibility of the Keepers, permission to publish was recommended by the Trustees' Publications Sub-Committee, and arrangements for printing and the preparation of illustrations was in the hands of the Museum Accountant. When Richard J Drumm (1889-1965) retired as Accountant in 1954 he was retained as a part-time Publications Officer.

At the same time a review of publications policy led to preparation of a series of popular handbooks in addition to the Museum's scholarly output. Arthur E Baker (b 1910) was appointed the first full-time Publications Officer in 1962, and was responsible for liaison between the science departments and the Director on one hand, and printers and illustrators on the other. By 1967 there was a publications staff of ten, who included clerical officers, printers and retail sales staff. The Section was incorporated into the newly formed Department of Public Services in 1975.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Natural history Museum's publication section, 1881-1994, comrising: DF500 Publications Salesbooks; DF501 Publications Stockbooks; DF502 Booksellers Account Books; DF503 Photographic Section Negative Registers; DF507 Publications Exchanges Registers; DF508 Publications Presentation Books; DF509 Postcards and Greetings Cards; DF510 Catalogues of Publications; DF511 Calendars, Almanacs and Annuals; DF512 Diaries.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By appointment with the Archivist, by email to or by post to the Museum Archivist, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the Archivist's discretion. Photocopying service available. Digital photography (without flash) permitted for research purposes on completion of a photography permit form.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Publications (later Publishing).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry copied from the Natural History Museum online catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with 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:
Sep 2008

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