Warwickshire Natural History and Archaeological Society: Annotated Books

Reverend Brodie's handwritten notes on an early 19th century monograph by Gideon Mantell, concerning fossil insects found in the Weald of south-east England.
Image courtesy of Warwickshire Museum

Warwickshire Museum‘s collections include many books on natural history, geology and palaeontology, acquired during the 19th century by the Warwickshire Natural History and Archaeological Society. These include volumes written by some of the most eminent natural scientists of the day such as comparative anatomist Richard Owen, geologist Charles Lyell and palaeontologist Gideon Mantell, at a time when these sciences where in their infancy.

Bringing knowledge to Warwickshire

By bringing this knowledge to Warwickshire the society facilitated the work of local researchers. These researchers were looking to the national and international scene for interpretation and validation of what they were discovering in the fields and quarries around our local villages and towns.

The Warwickshire society included many scholars, actively researching the natural and human history of our county. Amongst these people, the Reverend Peter Bellinger Brodie was well-known for his life-long investigations into fossil insects and local geology.


Brodie was responsible for acquiring many books, monographs and journals, for the society’s library as well as his own investigations. Many of these preserve his own annotations – a mixture of queries, underscores and notes on records and interpretations, relevant to his own investigations. Brodie cites many of these publications in his own seminal works, underlining their fundamental importance in the establishment of the natural sciences in our county.

Publications from the Warwickshire Museum library can be seen, by appointment.

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