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Society for the History of Natural History

Press releases

From Royal Gifts to Biodiversity Conservation: The History and Development of Menageries, Zoos and Aquariums

From Royal Gifts to Biodiversity Conservation: The History and Development of Menageries, Zoos and Aquariums

This international Symposium is being held in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the History of Natural History. It is a joint collaboration between the Society for the History of Natural History, WAZA and Chester Zoo, supported by the Linnean Society of London and the Bartlett Society. The focus of the symposium is to provide a comprehensive overview of the history and development of living wild animal collections across the world. Symposium proceedings will be made available.

Invited speakers will be talking on:

  • The Foundations of Zoo Biology
  • The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
  • Living Collections in the Ancient World
  • Royal and Private Animal Menageries
  • Aquariums and Marine and Freshwater Biological Associations
  • The Development of Regional and National Zoo Associations and Outreach

Additional themes to be covered during the symposium, for which abstracts are invited, include The History and Development of:

  • Zoos and Aquariums as Charitable Organisations
  • Individual and Specialised Collections (butterflies, Insectariums / Bugworlds, Aviaries, Vivariums / Serpentariums and Dolphinariums)
  • International Zoo and Aquarium Affiliated Organisations – the importance of partnerships
  • Zoos and Aquariums as Leisure Attractions
  • Zoo and Aquarium Architecture and Masterplanning
  • Zoo and Aquarium Enclosure and Exhibit Design – the importance of animal welfare
  • Zoo Animal Welfare, Ethics and Zoo Medicine
  • The Concept of the ‘Zoological Garden’ – the Importance of Plants
  • Zoo Animal Acquisitions ‐ from Wild Collections to Sustainably Managed Conservation Breeding Programmes
  • Zoo Conservation Science and Research in the Field
  • Conservation Education in Zoos and Outreach Programmes
  • Zoo History in the Making

For further information on registering for the symposium, submitting an abstract or presenting a poster, please contact Claudine Gibson c.gibson(at)

Notes for Editors:

SHNH – The Society for the History of Natural History ( is a friendly international society for everyone who is interested in natural history in the broadest sense. This includes botany, zoology and geology as well as natural history collections, exploration, art and bibliography. Everyone with an interest in these subjects – professional or amateur – is welcome to join.

The Society has a thriving international membership and international meetings are held at regular intervals. The Society’s main publication is Archives of natural history and all volumes published since 1936 are now available online. Containing refereed, illustrated papers and book reviews, Archives is published for the Society by Edinburgh University Press. A more informal Newsletter is published three or four times a year. From time to time, the Society also publishes other works of interest. The most recent publication is Darwin in the Archives.