The SHNH site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our privacy policy.


Society for the History of Natural History

Latest news

Last chance to register for meeting on #TradingNature in York on 4-5 June 2019

Last chance to register for meeting on #TradingNature in York on 4-5 June 2019

Registration for the #TradingNature meeting to be held by The Society for the History of Natural History in association with the Geological Curators’ Group is closing on the 15th May. The meeting is on  Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th June 2019 and will examine the role of agents, dealers and commercial enterprises in the history of natural history. 

A great deal has been recorded about those collecting and studying the natural world over the past 400 years. Much less is known about those who helped supply them. Often underplayed and viewed as peripheral and sometimes even shady figures, the endeavours, contributions and motivations of these ‘middle-men and women’ are often overlooked. The boundaries and realities of their everyday activities are frequently blurred and sometimes misunderstood. This meeting aims to shed new light on the lives, work and impact of these often undervalued participants and contributors in the development of collections and research in the natural sciences.

The meeting will aim to explore:

  • The lives and roles of traders and dealers in natural history collecting networks.
  • The contributions of agents, dealers and commercial enterprises to the development of, and understanding in, the natural sciences.
  • The role of sale rooms and auction houses and other types of businesses as part of the culture of collecting.
  • The supply of natural history material of all kinds to private collectors, museums and universities.
  • The historical trade in specimens (living and non-living), around the world.
  • Trade networks and routes, and the ethics of trade over the past 400 years.
  • The role of colonialism, and those involved, in the establishment and contribution to international trade.
  • The environmental and social impact of trade, be it political, economic, cultural, or environmental.


Register for Conference

The deadline for registration is Wednesday 15th May

 Download Programme

Download Abstracts


Presentations  will take place at the King’s Manor, University of York, 0n Tuesday 4th June and the morning of Wednesday 5th June. The conference dinner will take place on the evening of Tuesday 4th June. The SHNH AGM will be held after lunch on Wednesday 5th June. The afternoon tour on Wednesday 5th June will be to behind-the-scenes of the Yorkshire Museum store, approximately 20 minutes from the city centre. Alternatively, delegates can visit the displays at the Yorkshire Museum or other cultural attractions or venues in the city centre.

The meeting will be held in The King’s Manor, a complex of medieval buildings in the centre of York. Directions to King’s Manor, University of York. Download map.

Further information about the venue and accommodation in York can be found on our events page.

Any queries, please contact Jo Hatton, SHNH Meetings Secretary –

We look forward to seeing you there.