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Edwin Rose

PhD student

College: Churchill

Supervisor: Jim Secord, Nick Jardine

Thesis topic: The creation and use of private libraries in relation to the practice of natural history, 1740–1830

My current Ph.D. research is on natural history books and their relationship with natural history collections, c. 1740-1830. In this work, I examine the use of natural history books in the field, investigating the emergence of the concept of fieldwork during this period, and in the library, particularly in relation to their associated collections of specimens, the spatial arrangement of a collection, systematic classification of specimens and publication. The libraries and collections being concentrated on are those of Hans Sloane (1660-1753), Thomas Pennant (1726-98), Gilbert White (1720-93) and Joseph Banks (1743-1820). All of these naturalists owned extensive working natural historical library collections which were directly associated with their natural history collections, all of which were connected to one another through extensive networks of exchange.

Research interests: History of natural history c.1650–1850; histories of the book; collecting; museums; classification; scientific images; the earth sciences

Websites: Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership;



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, 30: 1 (2018), pp. 15-33.

Rose, Edwin D., 'Specimens, Slips and Systems: Daniel Solander and the classification of nature at the world's first public museum, 1753-1768', The British Journal for the History of Science (In Press, 2018). 

Rose, Edwin D., 'Gilbert White's copy of John Ray's Synopsis Methodica Avium & Piscium and the construction of the Natural History of Selborne', Archives of Natural History (In Press, April 2019).

Book Reviews

Rose, Edwin D., 'James Delbourgo, Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane (London: Allen Lane, 2017)', The British Journal for the History of Science, 50 (2017), pp. 731-732.