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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 books on research expeditions, 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; print culture and ephemera; the earth sciences

Websites: Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership;



'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.

'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, 52: 2 (2018), pp. 205-237. 

Co-authored with Anna Marie Roos, 'Lives and Afterlives of the Lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia (1699), the First Illustrated Field Guide to English Fossils', Nuncius: Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science (In Press, January 2019)

'Gilbert White, John Ray and the construction of the Natural History of Selborne', Archives of Natural History (In Press, April 2019).


'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.

'Cook's Voyages to the Pacific after 250 years. Exhibition review of James Cook: The Voyages, at the British Library, London, April-August 2018. British Library, £14.00'Endeavour (Published online, August, 2018). 


'An age of Discoveries: 250 Years since the Endeavour Voyage to the Pacific', Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, 28 August - 29 September 2018. 

Other Professional Affiliations and Activities

Co-reviews editor for Archives of Natural History, 2018- 

Affiliate of the Natural History Museum, London, 2016-