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Society for the History of Natural History


Bon Voyage? 250 years exploring the natural world

Bon Voyage? 250 years exploring the natural world

June 14, 2018 09:00am - June 15, 2018 05:00pm

SHNH summer meeting and AGM in association with the British Ornithologists’ Club

World Museum Liverpool

Thursday 14th and Friday 15th June 2018

(Lunch and tour of Knowsley Hall, Wednesday 13th June)

Booking Form



2018 marks the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific. A pivotal moment in the history of exploration, Cook’s voyages influenced many areas of science and endeavour – from astronomy and geology to natural history and anthropology.

This international meeting, held in association with the British Ornithologists’ Club, will focus on the lives, encounters, contributions and legacies of many of those involved in the history of natural history exploration around the world, from land to sea – the risks they took, the discoveries made, their contributions to science, and the ingenuity and endeavour involved in the process.

For those interested in the life and work of Lord Stanley, the 13th Earl of Derby, a lunch and tour of Knowsley Hall has been arranged for the afternoon of Wednesday 13th June. (Further information about arrangements for pickups from Liverpool City Centre and/or Liverpool South Parkway station around 12.00/12.30 will be circulated nearer the time).

The Society’s AGM will take place at lunchtime on Thursday 14th June.

Participants are encouraged to book their own accommodation. A list of hotels close to the World Museum are available on the Society’s website below.


Thursday 14th June

9.00-9.20               Registration outside Treasure House Theatre

9.20-9.30               Welcome to World Museum Liverpool

Cook, Banks and beyond…

9.30-10.15            Keynote Speaker – Jordan Goodman, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, In the Wake of Cook? Joseph Banks and his ‘Favorite Projects’

10.15-10.40          Edwin Rose, University of Cambridge, Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander and the practice of natural history on board HMS Endeavour (1768–71)

10.40-11.05          Maureen Lazarus and Heather Pardoe, National Museum Wales, Banks’ Florilegium: the first natural history artists recording the unknown

11.05-11.25         Break for tea / coffee

11.25-11.50          Jack Ashby, University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, “Contrary to the general laws of nature”: Europe’s earliest encounters with Australian animals

11.50-12.15          Stanislav Strekopytov, Natural History Museum, Instructions for preservation of natural history specimens at the time of Cook’s voyages

12.15-12.40          Cam Sharp Jones, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Joseph Dalton Hooker’s techniques of collecting and recording the natural world

12.40-13.45         Lunch and viewing of posters          

13.00-13.45         SHNH AGM and launch of ‘Naturalists in the Field’

Avian (and other) adventures

13.45-14.10          Zoë Varley, University of Sheffield and Natural History Museum, Robert FitzRoy: Captain, Collector and Collaborator

14.10-14.35          Edward Dickinson, Alcide Dessalines D’Orbigny (1802-1857): Voyageur-Explorateur for the Paris Museum – travels in Southern South America 1826 to 1834

14.35-15.00          Robert Prys-Jones, Scientific Associate, Natural History Museum, Wallace’s Sarawak bird collection and the development of his ornithological knowledge

15.00-15.20         Break for tea/coffee

15.20-15.45          Jude Philp, Macleay Museum, Sydney University Museums, A. S. Anthony, ‘’a man of colour’’

15.45-16.10          Lee Raye, Swansea University, Urban ravens, red kites and voyages to Britain

16.10-16.25          Further questions and announcements

16.30-17.15 and 17.15-18.00  Behind-the-scenes collection tours

Sign up to a maximum of two tours from a choice of botany, entomology and vertebrate zoology on a first come, first served basis at registration.

 18.30     Join us for a complimentary drink sponsored by Brill to celebrate the launch of ‘Naturalist’s in the Field’ at The Ship and Mitre Public House.

 19.00-21.30         Conference dinner (Pre-booked diners only) in the Function Room at The Ship and Mitre Public House, 133 Dale Street, L2 2JH.

Cost £15 per person including service. Payment to be collected by Gina Douglas upon registration.

Friday 15th June

9.00-9.15               Registration outside Treasure House Theatre

9.15-9.20               Welcome and announcements

Collecting and recording

9.20-9.45               Mark Carine, Fred Rumsey, Malcolm Penn, Natural History Museum, From Peckham to Pegu: the assembly and classification of the Sloane herbarium

9.45-10.10            Jeanne Robinson and Geoff Hancock, Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, William Hunter’s museum as a paradigm for 18th century collection practices

10.10-10.35          Jacek Wajer1, D.J. Mabberley and D.T. Moore, Natural History Museum1, Piecing together a 200 year-old botanical jigsaw: the search for the specimens of the Australian plants collected by Robert Brown during the Investigator voyage (1801-1805)

10.35-11.00          Luciana Martins, Birkbeck, University of London, William Milliken and Mark Nesbitt, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, An ethnobotanist avant la lettre: Richard Spruce collecting in South America

11.00-11.20         Break for tea/coffee

11.20- 11.45         Carlo Bovolo, Fondazione Filippo Burzio, Turin, An Italian Zoologist Around the World: Filippo De Filippi and the Scientific and Diplomatic Voyage of the “Magenta”

11.45-12.10          Rosi Crane, Otago Museum, Dunedin, Steamship Natural History

12.10-12.35          Andreia Salvador, Natural History Museum, The marine mollusca collection at the Natural History Museum: an overview of the legacy of oceanographical expeditions

12.35-13.00          Geraldine Reid, National Museums Liverpool, Exploring the Oceans – Seaweed Collecting Explored

13.00-14.00         Lunch and viewing of posters

14.00-14.25          Leslie Overstreet, Smithsonian Libraries, The (most important) books on the Beagle

14.25-14.50          Peter Davidson, National Museums Scotland, What colour is that? Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours and Exploration in the First half of the Nineteenth Century

14.50-15.15          Mark Graham, Natural History Museum, The early Fossil Preparators at the British Museum of Natural History and their sons: familial contributions to the field of Earth Sciences

15.15-15.35          Break for tea/coffee

15.35-16.00          Henry McGhie, The Manchester Museum, Henry Dresser and ‘self help’

16.00-16.25          Deborah Wace, Churchill Fellow 2018, Art and History in the French Garden at Recherche Bay; Labillardiere’s collections explored in contemporary art

16.25-16.40          Further questions, thanks and close of meeting


Liverpool Accommodation

There are lots of accommodation options in the City Centre. The closest hotels to the World Museum are:

A bit further away are:

  • Easyhotel, 47 Castle Street, L2 9UA
  • The Richmond, 24 Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2AA
  • Plus plenty of options in and around the Albert Dock
  • There are lots of self-catering and apartment type places too, mostly around the Hanover Street area.
  • See or for more options.

Liverpool gets booked up really fast, so we recommend booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment (and to get the best rates!)