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ANDREWS, Charles William (1866-1924): expedition to Christmas Island

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0060 DF 5002
Held at: Natural History Museum
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Full title: ANDREWS, Charles William (1866-1924): expedition to Christmas Island
Date(s): 1897-1989
Level of description: Sub fonds
Extent: 11
Name of creator(s): Andrews | Charles William | 1866-1924 | geologist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Charles William Andrews (1866-1924), a 2nd class assistant in the Department of Geology, was given special leave by the Museum Trustees to visit Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean. The Island had been annexed by the Crown in 1888, the year after a visit by Captain Pelham Aldrich in HMS Egeria, and it was leased to the Christmas Island Phosphate Company for commercial development in 1897. Sir John Murray, one of the directors of the Company, proposed and financed an expedition to study the island in advance of its commercial exploitation. Andrews left England in May 1897, and arrived on Christmas Island on 29 July. He remained on the island for ten months, studying the geology and collecting rocks and minerals, plants and animals. He spent one month on the Cocos-Keeling atoll on his way home, and finally returned to duty at the Museum in August 1898. Andrews' collections were worked on by a number of scientists at the Museum, including R Bowdler Sharpe (birds), G A Boulenger (reptiles), A G Butler, G F Hampson and Lord Walsingham (butterflies and moths) and W F Kirby (other insect groups). The results of their work was published in 1900, along with a geological report by Andrews himself, as a Museum monograph.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence, notes and photographs from C W Andrews' expedition to Christmas Island, 1897-1898, including notes on the birds and other animals of Christmas Island, with a register of photographs; notes on the vegetation and geology of Christmas Island, with a register of plants; notes on the geology of Christmas Island, with a register of rock specimens; rough sketches and notes on the geology of Christmas Island; letters from Andrews to C D Sherborn written from Christmas Island and elsewhere; photographs taken during Captain Pelham Aldrich's visit to Christmas Island in HMS Egeria, 1897-1898 and 1908; photographs taken by Andrews on Cocos-Keeling, 1898; album of photographs taken by Andrews on Christmas Island; leaflet prepared by Graham Collins and others, reprinting a letter from C W Andrews on Christmas Island to C D Sherborn, 11 Sep 1897, with illustrations and calendar of the Christmas Island Natural History Association for 1988, containing reprints of some of C W Andrews' photographs of the island.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in 11 series.

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:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry copied from the Natural History Museum online catalogue by Sarah Drewery.
Reference: Andrews, C W, and others, 1900. A monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) British Museum (Natural History).

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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