Lives and Afterlives of the Lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia (1699), the First Illustrated Field Guide to English Fossils

Rose, Edwin and Roos, Anna Marie (2018) 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, 33 (3). pp. 505-536. ISSN 0394-7394

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1163/18253911-03303005

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Lives and Afterlives of the Lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia (1699), the First Illustrated Field Guide to English Fossils
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The Lithophylacii Britannicii ichnographia [British figured stones] (1699) by Edward Lhwyd, the second keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, was the first illustrated field guide to English fossils. We analyse this book’s physical creation — the collection of specimens, their engravings and their use and reuse in eighteenth-century editions and collections that were in the transition to binomial taxonomy. With particular concentration on the Lithophylacii’s illustrations of fossils, this paper will first analyse how the specimens were collected. We will then examine the use of these specimens and subsequent editions of Lhwyd’s book, with a focus upon how the relationship between them was drawn on by collectors such as Sir Hans Sloane and Daniel Solander from 1680 to 1760. Finally, we will demonstrate how Ashmolean Keeper William Huddesford repurposed the illustrations for Lhwyd’s book for his eighteenth-century edition of the field guide, incorporating new classificatory schemes. Our analysis will give insight into how a late seventeenth-century book of natural philosophy was used and repurposed by natural historians and collectors before and during the development of Linnaean taxonomy.

Keywords:Natural History, Edward Lhwyd, fossils, Fieldwork, history of science
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V142 Modern History 1600-1699
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:33873
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 12:44

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