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served in spirits is much greater than in Mammals and Book in, Birds, and, consequently, through the present allotment of History space, the majority of the singular specific forms of Reptiles M"1,",, and Fishes are excluded from public view. Upwards of two Tmpanizz thousand specimens in spirits of these classes have been added in the past year to the previously crowded shelves of the basement store-rooms, where access to any individual specimen is a matter of some difficulty, if not hazard. Of the above additions, fourteen hundred and fifty-six have accrued from the donation of the Secretary of State for India in Council. The interest and novelty of the specimens have constrained their acceptance, and the same reason has led to the acquisition of many additions from other sources.
'Amongst them deserve to be specified two specimens of that singular snake, the Herpeton tentaculatum, known for a century past only by a single discoloured example in the Paris Museum; those now in the stores of the British Museum were acquired from Siam, and have served to enrich Zoology with a complete knowledge of the species, through the descriptions and figures by Dr. Gunthkr.
'The following may be also specified, namely, the burrowing Snake from South Africa, Uriechis microlepidotus; a new genus of tree-snake, Herpcioreas; a new genus, Baryccphalus, of Saurian, from an altitude in the Himalayas of fifteen thousand feet above the level of the sea; also two new species of freshwater Tortoise, the Emys Livingstonii, dedicated to its discoverer in Africa, and the Emys Siamensis. Among the additions to the class of Fishes has been acquired a new genus, Hypsiptera, of the Scomberoid family; with several new species, including one, Centrolophw Briiannicus, belonging to this country.
'The specimens of the Molluscous classes showing the entire animal, preserved in spirits, and stored in the basement room, are in good condition. The entire class of Tunicata is so preserved; also the families or genera devoid of, or with rudimental, shells, in the other Molluscous classes. A small proportion of such "naked" Mollusca, and the soft parts of a few of the testaceous kinds, are represented by coloured wax models in the exhibited series of shells arranged in the Bird Gallery.
'The whole of the exhibited collection is in an excellent state of preservation. The system or scale on which the genera, species, and local varieties of shells are exhibited, with their names and localities, gives to the ordinary visitor a power of comparing his own specimens, and, in most instances, of determining them, without the necessity of special application to the keeper or assistant in the department. The extent to which students and others avail themselves of this facility of comparison, and the value attached to it, show that the above principle and scale of exhibition of specimens are proper to be adopted in a National Museum for public use.'
In the year following the presentation of this Report, Professor Owen made a more elaborate review, both of the condition and of the needs of the Zoological Department, from which I gather broadly, and by abridgement, the following striking results :—
The number of species of Mammals possessed by the British Museum was a little over two thousand, exemplified by about three thousand individual specimens. In the year 1830, the number of specimens had been about one thousand three hundred and fifty; in 1850, it had risen to nearly two thousand. It follows that, within thirty-two years, the number of specimens in the Museum Collection had been somewhat more than doubled. But still the number of species adequately illustrated was only about two thousand against three thousand five hundred species of Mammals Bookiii, which are known, named, and have been more or less uino«' adequately described, by zoologists. uJn**
Of Birds, about two thousand five hundred species were, TM£TMSl* in 1S62, exhibited in the galleries of the British Museum, and in its store-rooms there were the skins of about four thousand two hundred species. The number of species already known and described, in 1862, was not less than eight thousand three hundred. And, it is hardly necessary to add, vast explorations have since been undertaken, in the years which have elapsed, or are now about to be undertaken, in Africa, in Madagascar, in Borneo, in New Guinea, and in many parts of Australia.
Of Fishes, the Museum contained, in 1862, about four thousand species. These were then represented, by way of public exhibition, irrespectively of the unexhibited stores, by about one thousand five hundred stuffed specimens, illustrating about one thousand species. The total number of recorded species, already at that date, amounted to more than eight thousand.
Of Reptiles, little more than two hundred and fifty species were publicly shown in the Museum Galleries, but its collections, unexhibited for want of space, were already much larger. The number of known species of Beptilia, in 1862, exceeded two thousand.
Coming to the Invertebrata, it appears that, in 1862, about ten thousand species of molluscs, illustrated by about one hundred thousand specimen shells, were publicly exhibited. This, it will be remembered, was anterior to see, hereinthe great accession of the Cuming Collection, which already, ciiap. vi. in 1862, contained more than sixteen thousand species— and is the finest and most complete series ever brought together.
Book in, About forty-five thousand specimens of molluscs were,
Hwtoet' *n 1862, stored in the drawers of the galleries and other
orxiiK rooms, or in the vaults beneath. These, on a rough com
Dmdxbsh nutation, may have illustrated about four thousand five
A. Panizzi. Iit •
Within the two years only, 1860-1862, the registered number of specimens of Fossils was increased from one hundred and twenty thousand to one hundred and fiftythree thousand, but of these it was found possible to exhibit to the Public little more than fifty thousand specimens.
Growth Coming to the Department of Mineralogy, we find that
OK THE ~ r .
Mineraio- the registered specimens had increased, within about four
Oical Col- t .
IK,TMTM, years, from fifteen thousand to twenty-five thousand, lhis
ia-8-1862. increase was mainly due to the acquisition of the noble Allan-greg Cabinet formed at Manchester, But large as this increase is, the national importance of the Mineralogical Collections is very far from being adequately represented by the existing state of the Museum series, even after all the subsequent additions made between the years 1862-1870. A Museum of Mineralogy worthy of England must eventu
Itqiort, RS ally include five several and independent collections.
abo,e(i«i2). There must be (1) a Classificatory Collection, for general purposes; (2) a Geometrical Collection, to show the crystalline forms; (3) an Elementary Collection, to show the degrees of lustre and the varieties of cleavage and of colour j (4) a Technological Collection, to show the economic application of minerals—the importance of which, to a commercial, manufacturing, and artistic country, can hardly be exaggerated. Last of all, there is needed a special collection of an ancillary kind; that, I mean, which has been
ciMd.) called sometimes a ' teratological' collection, sometimes a 'pseudomorphic' collection. Call it as you will, its object is important. Such a series serves to show both the defec- Boo* m,
tive and the excessive forms of minerals, and their transi- History tional capacities. These five several collections are, it will
be seen, over and above that other special Collection of "dk»sir
/ < r A. Panizzi.
Sky-stones or ' Meteorites,' which is already very nobly represented in our National Museum.