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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Geology Collection
The reputation of the BRLSI is founded on its rich geological collections and represent a strength of the museum.
The 32 Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs on loan to the National Museum of Wales were collected by Charles Moore (1814-1881), together with the 2700 other large specimens. Amongst these are an exceptional collection of well preserved Pelagiosaurs, fish, crustaceans and a good collection Tertiary fossils. In addition, there are about a million small fossils (micro-vertebrates) comprising a scientific resource of great significance. Other collections contain at least 6,000 fossils and include: the Lonsdale collection assembled before 1829; over 200 cave fauna specimens from Kent's Cavern, Torquay, excavated and given by William Pengelly; and other excavated fossils from Mentone, France and Banwell Cave and Wookey Hole. These latter include teeth and bones of hyena, bear, rhinoceros, elephant, horse, cave lion, ox, reindeer, hog and wolf. The mineral collection contains all the common minerals and many rare ones. They come from world-wide locations, though the collection is strongest on specimens from the south west of England. The number of specimens exceeds 4000 and was mainly assembled in the 19th century, with some 20th century additions, notably the Somerset mineral and ore-bearing rock sequence from Merehead Quarry donated by Charles Alabaster in the early 1980's. The collection is supported by important archive material such as the geological notebook (1861-72) of the amateur geologist E C Davey; William Lonsdale's manuscript summary of the geology of the local area; and William Smith's 1815 printed geological map of England and Wales. There are also some large scale drawings used by Charles Moore in his lectures; early catalogues of donated specimens; and drawings and photographs of quarry sections.
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Location Details

Bath Royal Literary And Scientific Institution
16-18 Queen Square Bath BA1 2HP
Open Map
01225 312 084
01225 429 452 
Building Information
The BRLSI moved to its present location on Queen's Square, Bath, in 1932.
Collections Overview
The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is a venerable body founded in 1823 for the advancement of science, literature and art in Bath. It received its Royal Charter in 1837 and early members included the eminent astronomer Sir William Herschel and scientist Joseph Priestly. The first curator was geologist William Lonsdale, appointed in 1825. As well as important collections of geology, biology and ethnography, it contains a wide range of historical relics and curios. It holds a large and important natural sciences library. The museum holds important collections of geology, natural history, ethnology, archaeology, art and history. There is also a major antiquarian library of over 6,000 volumes.
Display Overview
Open by appointment only.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

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