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Specimens, slips and systems: Daniel Solander and the classification of nature at the world's first public museum, 1753–1768

  • EDWIN D. ROSE (a1)

The British Museum, based in Montague House, Bloomsbury, opened its doors on 15 January 1759, as the world's first state-owned public museum. The Museum's collection mostly originated from Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose vast holdings were purchased by Parliament shortly after his death. The largest component of this collection was objects of natural history, including a herbarium made up of 265 bound volumes, many of which were classified according to the late seventeenth-century system of John Ray (1627–1705). The 1750s saw the emergence of Linnaean binomial nomenclature, following the publication of Carl Linnaeus' Species Plantarum (1753) and Systema Naturae (1758). In order to adopt this new system for their collections, the Trustees of the British Museum chose to employ the Swedish naturalist and former student of Linnaeus, Daniel Solander (1733–1782) to reclassify the collection. Solander was ordered to devise a new system for classifying and cataloguing Sloane's natural history collection, which would allow both Linnaeans and those who followed earlier systems to access it. Solander's work was essential for allowing the British Museum to realize its aim of becoming a public centre of learning, adapting the collection to reflect the diversity of classificatory practices which were existent by the 1760s. This task engaged Solander until 1768, when he received an offer from Joseph Banks (1743–1820) to accompany him on HMS Endeavour to the Pacific.

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1 Caroli Linnaeus, Species Plantarum Exhibentes Plantas Rite Cognitas, 2 vols., Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii, 1753; MacGregor, Arthur, ‘The life, character and career of Sir Hans Sloane’, in MacGregor, (ed.), Sir Hans Sloane: Collector, Scientist, Antiquary, Founding Father of the British Museum, London: British Museum Press, 1994, pp. 1144, 29–30.

2 Delbourgo, James, Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane, London: Allan Lane, 2017, pp. 303305. It must be noted that these 265 bound volumes are made up from 337 numbered Hortus Sicci.

3 Frans A. Stafleu, Linnaeus and the Linnaeans: The Spreading of Their ideas in Systematic Botany, 17351789, Utrecht: A. Oosthoek's Uitgeversmaatschappi N.V., 1971, pp. 157, 199, 274.

4 Traill, Thomas, ‘1. Annual Reports of the Trustees of the British Museum. 1822. 2. Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum. 1820. 3. Description of the Marbles, &c. deposited in the British Museum. 1821’, Edinburgh Review or Critical Journal (1823) 38, pp. 379398, 389.

5 Ibid., pp. 389–390.

6 British Museum, Central Archive, Trustees Minutes (hereafter BMCATM), vol. I, ff. 3–7; Rose, Edwin D., ‘Natural history collections and the book: Hans Sloane's A Voyage to Jamaica (1707–25) and his Jamaican plants’, Journal of the History of Collections (2018) 30(1), pp. 1533, 19.

7 See Hans Sloane, A Voyage to the Islands Madera Barbados, Nieves, St Christophers and Jamaica, with the Natural History of the Herbs and Trees, Four Footed Beasts, Fishes, Birds Insects, Reptiles, &c. of the last of those Islands, London: printed for the author, 1707–1725, Preface.

8 Hereafter this work will be referred to as A Voyage to Jamaica. Sloane, op. cit. (7); Rose, op. cit. (6), p. 23.

9 See Charmantier, Isabelle, ‘Notebooks, files and slips: Carl Linnaeus and his disciples at work’, in Hodacs, Hanna, Nyberg, Kenneth and van Damme, Stéphane (eds.), Linnaeus, Natural History and the Circulation of Knowledge, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2018, pp. 2556, 25.

10 MacGregor, Arthur, Curiosity and Enlightenment: Collectors and Collections from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2007, pp. 124125, 233.

11 See Allen, David Elliston, The Naturalist in Britain: A Social History, London: Allen Lane, 1976, p. 46; Stafleu, op. cit. (3), pp. 113–114, 239; Kennett, Tom, The Lord Treasurer of Botany: Sir James Edward Smith and the Linnaean Collections, London, The Linnaean Society of London, 2016.

12 Hudson, William, Flora Anglica, exhibens Regnuim sponte crescents distributes Secundum Systema Sexuale, London: J. Nourse, 1762; Martyn, Thomas, Plantae Cantabrigienses, or, a Catalogue of the Plants Which grow wild in the County of Cambridge, Disposed according to the system of Linnaeus, London: printed for the author, 1763.

13 See Porter, Roy, The Making of Geology: Earth Science in Britain 1660–1815, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, p. 93; Rousseau, George S. and Porter, Roy (eds.), The Ferment of Knowledge: Studies in the Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.

14 Gascoigne, John, Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 73.

15 See Hodacs, Nyberg and Van Damme, op. cit. (9); Koerner, Lisbet, ‘Purposes of Linnaean travel: a preliminary research report’, in Miller, David Philip and Reill, Peter Hanns (eds.), Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany and Representations of Nature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 117152, esp. 125–131.

16 Stafleu, op. cit. (3), p. 199.

17 Sloan, Phillip R., ‘John Locke, John Ray, and the problem of the natural system’, Journal of the History of Biology (1972) 5, pp. 153, 4–5.

18 Müller-Wille, Staffan, ‘Systems and how Linnaeus looked at them in retrospect’, Annals of Science (2013) 70, pp. 305317, 306.

19 Vines, Sydney Howard, ‘Robert Morrison 1620–1683 and John Ray 1627–1705’, in Oliver, F.W. (ed.), Makers of British Botany: A Collection of Biographies by Living Botanists, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913, pp. 842, 36–37.

20 Jarvis, Charlie, Spencer, Mark and Huxley, Robert, ‘Sloane's plant specimens at the Natural History Museum’, in Walker, Alison, MacGregor, Arthur and Hunter, Michael (eds.), From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and His Collections, London: The British Library, 2012, pp. 137157, 141.

21 Rose, op. cit. (6), p. 23.

22 John F. Cannon, ‘Botanical collections’, in MacGregor, Sir Hans Sloane, op. cit. (1), pp. 138–149, 137.

23 Dandy, J.E., The Sloane Herbarium: An Annotated List of the Horti Sicci Composing It: With Biographical Accounts of the Principal Contributors, London: British Museum (Natural History), 1958, pp. 175, 178.

24 Cannon, op. cit. (22), p. 136.

25 Ray, John, Historia Plantareum Species hactenus editas aliasque insuper muitas noviter inventas & descriptas complectens, 3 vols., London: Henry Faithorne and John Kersey, 1686–1704, containing annotations by Hans Sloane and his curators, London, Natural History Museum (NHM), Darwin Centre, DC2 HCR 728, vol. III, p. 613.

26 Rose, op. cit. (6), p. 20.

27 For more information on Sloane's precise use of Ray's system of classification in his personal herbarium collections see Rose, op. cit. (6).

28 Müller-Wille, op. cit. (18), pp. 310–311.

29 Stafleu, op. cit. (3), p. 120.

30 Stafleu, op. cit. (3), p. 211.

31 Rose, op. cit. (6), p. 21; Sloane, op. cit. (7), p. 107.

32 Ray, op. cit. (25), vol. 3, p. 600; Linnaeus, Caroli, Species Plantarum, Exhibentes Plantas Rite Cognitas, 2nd edn, 2 vols., Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii, 1762–1763, p. 1379.

33 Rose, op. cit. (6), pp. 23–24.

34 Jarvis, Spencer and Huxley, op. cit. (20), p. 139.

35 Stearn, William T., Three Prefaces on Linnaeus and Robert Brown, Weinheim: J. Cramner, 1962, p. x.

36 MacGregor, ‘Life, character and career’, op. cit. (1), p. 26. Caygill, Marjorie, ‘From private collection to public museum: the Sloane Collection at Chelsea and the British Museum at Montague House’, in Anderson, R.G.W., Caygill, M.L., MacGregor, A.G. and Syson, L. (eds.), Enlightening the British: Knowledge, Discovery and the Museum in the Eighteenth Century, London: British Museum Press, 2003, pp. 1836, 20–21.

37 Marjorie Caygill, ‘Sloane's will and the establishment of the British Museum’, in MacGregor, Sir Hans Sloane, op. cit. (1), pp. 45–68, 48–49; Sloane, op. cit. (7), p. 17–19.

38 Gunther, A.E., The Founders of Science at the British Museum, 1753–1900, Halesworth: Halesworth Press, 1980, p. 13.

39 James Empson, ‘A Proposal of a Plan’, laid before the Trustees of the British Museum, 29 August 1756, British Museum, Central Archive, Original Papers (hereafter BMCAOP), vol. 1, ff. 39–45.

40 BMCAOP, ff. 39–45. Empson gave six private tours of Sloane's manor between 1754 and 1756.

41 Mortimer, Cromwell, ‘An Account of the Prince and Princess of Wales Visiting Sir Hans Sloane’, Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle (1748) 17, pp. 301302, 301.

42 BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), ff. 40–44.

43 BMCATM, op. cit. (6), vol. 1., f. 94.

44 BMCATM, op. cit. (6), vol. 1, f. 74; for images of Sloane's original cabinets see Rose, op. cit. (6), pp. 4–5.

45 BMCATM, op. cit. (6), vol. 1, f. 78.

46 British Museum, Central Archive, plans by Fitzroy and Brazier, uncatalogued.

47 Empson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 40.

48 Empson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 40.

49 BMCATM, op. cit. (6), f. 4.

50 Empson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 40.

51 Empson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 40.

52 Powlett, Edmund, The General Contents of the British Museum: With Remarks. Serving as a Directory in viewing that Noble Cabinet, London: R. and J. Dodsley, 1761, p. 101.

53 Mortimer, op. cit. (41), p. 301.

54 Letter from Peter Collinson to William Watson, 5 October 1762, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 174.

55 Gunther, op. cit. (38), p. 15.

56 Acts and Votes of Parliament relating to the British Museum, with the Statutes and Rules Thereof, and the Succession of Trustees and Officers, London: G. Woodfall, 1824, p. 5.

57 Delbourgo, op. cit. (2), p. 320.

58 Delbourgo, op. cit. (2), p. 320.

59 Anne Goldgar, ‘The British Museum and the virtual representation of culture in the eighteenth century’, Albion (2000) 32, pp. 195–231, 203.

60 Quoted in Goldgar, op. cit. (59), p. 204.

61 Fara, Patricia, ‘“A treasure of hidden ventures”: the attraction of magnetic marketing’, BJHS (1995) 28, pp. 535, 10; Gunther, op. cit. (38), p. 13; Goldgar, op. cit. (59), p. 203; Stearn, William T., The Natural History Museum at South Kensington: A History of the British Museum (Natural History) 1753–1980, London: Heinemann, 1981, p. 14.

62 Gowin Knight, ‘A Plan for the General Distribution of Sir Hans Sloane's Collection’, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), ff. 51–53; Gunther, op. cit. (38), p. 14.

63 Knight, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 52.

64 Müller-Wille, Staffan, ‘Linnaeus’ herbarium cabinet: a piece of furniture and its function’, Endeavour (2006) 30, pp. 6064, 60; Linnaeus, Caroli, Philosophia Botanica, Stockholm: Godofr Kiesewetter, 1751, p. 309; Freer, Stephen, Linnaeus’ Philosophia Botanica, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 328329.

65 Müller-Wille, op. cit. (64), pp. 61–63.

66 Freer, op. cit. (64), p. 329.

67 Müller-Wille, op. cit. (64), pp. 61–62.

68 Clokie, H., An Account of the Herbaria of the Department of Botany in the University of Oxford, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964, p. 107.

69 Watson, William, ‘An Account on a Treatise in Latin, entitled Caroli Linnæi Serenissimae regiæ majestatis Sueciæ Archiatri regae … with remarks’, Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle (1754) 24, pp. 555558, 558.

70 Lysaght, Avril M., Joseph Banks in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1766, His Diary, Manuscripts and Collections, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971, p. 242. Madrepodology was the study of corals.

71 Goldsmith, Oliver, An History of the Earth and Animated Nature, London: J. Nourse, 1774, pp. viiiix; Brookes, Ralph, The Natural History of Vegetables, London: J. Newbery, 1763, p. v.

72 Sloan, Phillip R., ‘The Buffon–Linnaeus controversy’, Isis (1976) 67, pp. 356375, 369.

73 Gunther, op. cit. (38), p. 39; Marshall, John B., ‘Daniel Carl Solander, friend, librarian and assistant to Sir Joseph Banks’, Archives of Natural History (1984) 11, pp. 451456; MacGregor, op. cit. (10), pp. 124–125.

74 Albert. Gunther, E., ‘Matthew Matty MD, FRS (1718–76) and science at the foundation of the British Museum, 1753–80’, Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (1987) 15, pp. 158, 39.

75 Armstrong, Alan W. (ed.), ‘Forget not Mee & My Garden’: Selected letters, 1725–1768, of Peter Collinson, F.R.S., Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2002, p. 161.

76 Collinson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), ff. 173–v174.

77 Collinson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), ff. 173–v174; Armstrong, op. cit. (75), p. 160.

78 Collinson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), ff. 173–v174.

79 Collinson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 178; Goldgar, op. cit. (59), p. 216.

80 Collinson, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 175; Duyker, Edward and Tingbrand, Per (eds.), Daniel Solander: Collected Correspondence, 1753–1782, Melbourne: Miegunyah Press, 1995, p. 253.

81 See Rose, op. cit. (6). For plants see pp. 4–12; for shells see p. 14.

82 Daniel Solander, ‘Reports and Diary of occurrences in the Nat. hist. departments by Dr. Solander. Sept. 1764–Feb. 12th 1768’, British Library (hereafter BL), Add MSS 45, 874, f. 6.

83 Joppien, Rüdiger and Chambers, Neil, ‘The scholarly library and collections of knowledge of Sir Joseph Banks’, in Mandelbrote, Giles and Taylor, Barry (eds.), Libraries within the Library: The Origins of the British Library's Printed Collections, London: British Library, 2009, pp. 222243, 226.

84 Carter, Harold B., ‘Sir Joseph Banks and the Royal Society’, in Banks, R.E.R., Elliot, B., Hawkes, J.G., King-Hele, D. and Lucas, G.L. (eds.), Sir Joseph Banks: A Global Perspective, London: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 1994, pp. 112, 2.

85 Goldgar, Anne, Impolite Learning: Conduct and Community in the Republic of Letters, 1680–1750, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, p. 22; see Neil Chambers (ed.), Scientific Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks, 17651820, vol. 1, The Early Period, 17651784, Letters 17651782, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007, pp. 136–137. In 1775, Poore presented ‘a Tree frog, a large scarabous (Beetle) a grass hopper and 2 very scarce Land Shells, all collected at Jamaica’, to the British Museum. This was recorded by Solander in his department notebook, BL, Add MSS 45, 875, f. 10.

86 Banks's early bookplate in the front of this volume shows that he purchased it before he set out on the Endeavour in 1768. See Carter, Harold B., Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820): A Guide to Biographical and Bibliographical Sources, London: St Paul's Bibliographies in association with the British Museum (Natural History), 1987, Plates 2–4.

87 The annotated location codes in Sloane's copy of A Voyage to Jamaica are in the hand of Sloane himself.

88 Gascoigne, op. cit. (14), p. 101; Joppien and Chambers, op. cit. (83), p. 226; Carter, Harold B., Sir Joseph Banks: 1743–1820, London: British Museum (Natural History), 1988, pp. 2728; Sloane, op. cit. (7), annotated by Daniel Solander and Sir Joseph Banks, who took this book on the Endeavour voyage to the South Seas (1768–1771); and Olaf Swartz, NHM, Botany Special Collections, Darwin Centre, DC2 HCR 728. See Joseph Banks and Joseph Hooker (eds.), Journal of the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, London: Macmillan, 1896, pp. 12, 273. This copy must be handled with caution – on a number of occasions, later scholars and curators have erased Solander's binomials and replaced them with the more modern synonyms, the most prolific being Olaf Swartz (1760–1818).

89 Sloane, op. cit. (7), p. 107; ‘Manuscript descriptions of Plants, written on slips of paper and systematically arranged, the Phanerogams and Vascular Cryptogams in accordance with Wildenow's edition of Linné’s “Species Plantarum,” the Cellular Cryptogams by Richard's edition of that work: the slips, now bound in 24 volumes, were originally kept in small Solander Cases, and designed to form a complete catalogue of the species of Plants then known’, NHM, London, Botany Manuscripts, MSS BANKS COLL SOL. Hereafter referred to as Manuscript Slip Catalogue, vol. XVIII, f. 167.

90 Koerner, Lisbet, Linnaeus: Nature and Nation, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 4546; Eriksson, Gunnar, ‘Linnaeus the botanist’, in Frängsmyr, Tore (ed.), Linnaeus: The Man and His Works, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983, pp. 63109, 102–103.

91 Sloane, op. cit. (7), vol. 1, p. 107; Linnaeus, op. cit. (32), p. 1379. The first seven volumes of Sloane's herbarium have been digitized by the NHM and can be found at

92 Solander, Daniel, ‘An Account of the Gardenia: In a Letter to Philip Carteret Webb, Esq; F.R.S. From Daniel C. Solander’, Philosophical Transactions (1762) 52, pp. 654661, 659.

93 See Yale, Elizabeth, Sociable Knowledge: Natural History and the Nation in Early Modern Britain, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016, p. 165.

94 See Seposki, David, ‘The earth as archive: contingency, narrative and the history of life’, in Daston, Lorraine (ed.), Science in the Archives: Pasts, Presents, Futures, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2017, pp. 5384, 74–75.

95 Yale, op. cit. (93), p. 165; Harrison, John, The Library of Isaac Newton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978, p. 2022.

96 NHM, London, HCR, Sloane Herbarium, H.S. 211. See Hinz, Petra-Andrea, ‘The Japanese plant collection of Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716) in the Sir Hans Sloane Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London’, Bulletin of the Natural History Museum, London (2001) 31, pp. 2734.

97 Kaempfer, Engelbert, Amoenitatum exoticarum Politico-Physico-Medicarum Fasciculi V, Lemgo: Mayer, 1712. Banks's copy, which has been annotated by Solander, can be found in the British Library, shelfmark BL 440.k.1.

98 Solander, BL Add MS. 45, 874, ff. 6–v7.

99 Kaempfer, op. cit. (97), pp. 891.

100 MacGregor, Arthur, ‘The Ashmolean as a museum of natural history, 1683–1860’, Journal for the History of Collections (2001) 13, pp. 125144, 137–138.

101 MacGregor, op. cit. (100), p. 137. MacGregor, Arthur, ‘William Huddesford (1732–72): the Ashmolean Museum, his collections, researches, and support networks’, Archives of Natural History (2007) 34, pp. 4768; Arnold, Ken, Cabinets for the Curious: Looking Back at Early English Museums, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006, pp. 227228.

102 Daniel Solander, a report to the Trustees of the British Museum, January 1765, BMCAOP, f. 201.

103 Gunther, op. cit. (74), p. 40; Stearn, op. cit. (61), pp. 18–19.

104 Solander, BL Add. MS 45874, f. v2.

105 Letter from Daniel Solander to William Watson, 26 January 1763, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 176.

106 Müller-Wille, Staffan and Charmantier, Isabelle, ‘Natural history and information overload: the case of Linnaeus’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (2012) 43, pp. 415, 4. These cards were consistently rearranged as new editions of Linnaeus' works were published throughout the late eighteenth century. They have since been bound together into twenty-four volumes, probably during the mid-nineteenth century, according to the edition of Species Plantarum edited by Carl Ludwig Willdenow. This was the first recorded use of Solander boxes, a type of protective clam-shell case used for storing documents, to which Solander gave his name.

107 Charmantier, Isabelle and Müller-Wille, Staffan, ‘Carl Linnaeus’ botanical paper slips (1767–1773), Intellectual History Review (2014) 24, pp. 215238, 218; Solander, BL Add MSS 45, 874, f. 6.

108 Charmantier and Müller-Wille, op. cit. (107), p. 230.

109 Charmantier and Müller-Wille, op. cit. (107), p. 230.

110 Daniel Solander to the Trustees of the British Museum, 29 June 1765, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 211.

111 Daniel Solander to the Trustees of the British Museum, 13 February 1765, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 211; Duyker and Tingbrand, op. cit. (80), p. 265.

112 Gunther, op. cit. (74), p. 40; Marshall, John B., ‘The handwriting of Joseph Banks, his scientific staff and his amanuenses’, Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (1978) 6, pp. 185, 2–4.

113 Solander, BL, Add MS 45, 874, f. 8.

114 BMCATM, op. cit. (6), f. 4.

115 Müller-Wille and Charmantier, op. cit. (106), p. 10.

116 Gunther, op. cit. (74), p. 40.

117 ‘Descriptions of plants from various parts of the world’, Daniel Solander and Hermann Spöring, MSS BANKS COLL SOL, NHM, London.

118 Yeo, Richard, Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2014, p. xi.

119 Charmantier and Müller-Wille, op. cit. (107), p. 216.

120 Manuscript Slip Catalogue, op. cit. (89), f. 433; Plukenetii, Leonardi, Phytographia, sive Stripium illustriorum, & minus cognitarum icons, tabulis aeneis, summa diligentia elaboratae, London: published for the author, 1691.

121 Manuscript Slip Catalogue, op. cit. (89), f. 433; Anna Marie Roos, ‘The art of science: a ‘rediscovery’ of the Lister copperplates’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society (2012) 66, pp. 19–40, 20.

122 NHM, London, HCR, Sloane Herbarium, H.S. 3: 40, Table 106, Figure 2.

123 Jarvis, Spencer and Huxley, op. cit. (20), p. 139; H.S. 3: 40, op. cit. (96).

124 See Spary, Emma C., ‘Codes of passion: natural history specimens as a polite language in late 18th-century France’, in Bödeker, Hans Erich, Reill, Peter Hanns and Schlumbohm, Jürgen (eds.), Sonderdruck aus Wissenschaft als kulturelle Praxis, 1750–1900, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Puprecht, 1999, pp. 114116; Terrall, Mary, Catching Nature in the Act: Réaumur and the Practice of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014, p. 114.

125 See Rudwick, Martin J.S., ‘Picturing nature in the age of enlightenment’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (2005) 149, pp. 124130.

126 Sloane, op. cit. (7), p. 144.

127 Marshall, op. cit. (112), p. 4; Linnaeus, op. cit. (32). This copy was taken on the Endeavour by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, extensively interleaved and in six volumes. Much of the writing is in the hand of Hermann Spöring, Daniel Solander and Jonas Dryander. London, NHM, Botany Special Collections, 582 LINN 110, pp. 1369–1370. Unfortunately, Solander's copy of the 1758 edition of Systema Naturae cannot be traced.

128 This type of referencing was used by Solander in the zoological sections of the Manuscript Slip Catalogue.

129 Linnaeus, op. cit. (32), p. 1405.

130 McOuat, Gordon, ‘Cataloguing power: delineating “competent naturalists” and the meaning of species in the British Museum’, BJHS (2001) 34, pp. 128, 7.

131 Marshall, op. cit. (112), p. 4; Gascoigne, op. cit. (14), p. 105.

132 Marshall, op. cit. (112), p. 452.

133 Marshall, op. cit. (112), p. 4.

134 Gascoigne, op. cit. (14), pp. 105–106.

135 Dandy, op. cit. (23), p. 205; Marshall, op. cit. (112), pp. 8–9.

136 Sloane, op. cit. (7), vil. 1, p. 74; Linnaeus, op. cit. (32).

137 H.S. 1: 64, op. cit. (96); NHM, London, HCR, Sloane Herbarium, H.S. 1: 64, p. 74; Linnaeus, op. cit. (32), p. 719.

138 Rose, op. cit. (6), pp. 25–26.

139 Terrall, op. cit. (124), p. 160; for more on the authority added to a specimen by a label see Jim Endersby, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the Practices of Victorian Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008, pp. 138–143.

140 Sloane, op. cit. (7), p. 74.

141 Later users of this collection included figures such as Olaf Swartz (1760–1818), who conducted extensive research on Sloane's collection from 1786 to 1787.

142 Solander, BL Add MS 45, 874, f. 2.

143 Ray, John, Historia Insectorum, London: A. & J. Churchill, 1710; Raven, C.E., John Ray, Naturalist, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1942, pp. 398403.

144 Raven, op. cit. (143), pp. 406–407.

145 Winsor, Mary P., ‘The development of Linnaean insect classification’, Taxon (1976) 25, pp. 5767, 62.

146 Winsor, op. cit. (145), p. 57.

147 Fitton, Mike and Gilbert, Pamela, ‘Insect collections’, in MacGregor, , Sir Hans Sloane, op. cit. (1), pp. 112122, 118–119.

148 Solander, BL Add MS 45, 874, f. 2.

149 After examining the entirety of Sloane's entomological collection, it is now apparent that many of Solander's labels appear to have been removed during the early nineteenth century and replaced with names which relate to more recent taxonomic literature, possibly by Charles Koenig, keeper of the natural history collections from 1813 to 1851.

150 Caroli Linnaeus, Systema Naturae, Stockholm: Laurentii Salvii, 1758, p. 421.

151 Daniel Solander, ‘Manuscript descriptions of Animals, written on slips and systematically arranged in accordance with Linné’s “Systema Naturæ … Edito duodecima reformata”: the slips, now bound in 27 volumes were originally kept in small Solander Cases, and designed to form a complete catalogue of the species of Animals then known’, vol. III, Coleoptera, f. 73. NHM, London.

152 Petiver, James, Gazophylacii naturae & artis decas prima, 3 vols., London: Bateman, 1702–1706, vol. 1, Table 72.

153 Roos, op. cit. (121), p. 20; Kusukawa, Sachiko, ‘Drawings of fossils by Robert Hooke and Richard Waller’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society (2013) 67, pp. 123138, 273.

154 This was also the case in botanic gardens; see Koerner, op. cit. (90), p. 119.

155 See, McOuat, op. cit. (130).

156 Daniel Solander in a Report to the Trustees of the British Museum, 24 June 1768, BMCAOP, op. cit. (39), f. 225.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the British Society for the History of Science Annual Conference 2017 at the University of York. I am indebted to Jim Secord, Nick Jardine, Simon Schaffer, James Poskett and Chris Preston for reading through earlier drafts of this article and offering detailed and invaluable comments, and to Dominik Huenniger for his advice on the entomological specimens. Additionally, the two anonymous reviewers’ detailed comments have proved to be extremely helpful, helping me to refine the argument. For access to the various collections at the Natural History Museum, I thank Mark Carine, Suzanne Ryder, Paul Cooper and Hellen Pethers. For assisting with access to the British Museum's collections, I thank Francesca Hiller and Kim Sloan. Additionally, the staff of the British Library were most helpful. For generously funding my MPhil research, I thank the British Society for the History of Science and the Joseph Scott Educational Foundation. For funding my current PhD research, I thank the AHRC.

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  • EISSN: 1474-001X
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-for-the-history-of-science
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