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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 historical libraries from 1740-1830, examining the relationship between printed books, book collecting, specimen collections and publication. In this work, I examine the use of natural historical 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 natural historical collections, spatial and topographical arrangement, 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 collections of natural historical specimens, 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 (2017), pp. 1-19.

Rose, Edwin D., 'Natural history at the world's first public museum: Daniel Solander's reclassification of the collections of Sir Hans Sloane, 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, October 2018).

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.