Coming out of the shell

We have a brand new blog to share with you – http://www.charleslyell.com.

Just over a hundred years ago the Museum acquired a collection of fossils from renowned 19th-century geologist Charles Lyell. Lyell is famous for his book Principles of Geology which provided a foundation for the modern study of the science of geology. On the new blog we will be documenting the digitisation of this collection.

Read on to find out more…

Past to Present

Drawer of Lyell’s fossil gastropods

Just over a hundred years ago there was great excitement amongst the staff at Oxford University Museum when they acquired the Charles Lyell Collection of Tertiary molluscs. In his 1903 Annual Report the Professor of Geology, W.J. Sollas, described it as one of the most noteworthy events in the Geological Department that year.

The collection contains over 16,000 fossil specimens, mostly molluscs (bivalves, gastropods and scaphopods) but also shark teeth and other vertebrate remains.  Although some of the specimens are on display in the museum, few people were aware that we had the collection. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the collection was fully catalogued, and it has never been included in the Museum’s main collections databases.

Over the next 18 months we are planning to digitize the collection and create links to our archival material and Lyell’s publications. We want to make the collection…

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