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tinguished from comparative—-wealth. There were already, in 1836, more than nine thousand known species of shells.
It was further shown in the evidence that, even under the arrangements of 1836, the facilities of public access equalled those given at the most liberal of the Continental Museums, and considerably exceeded those which obtained at fully four-fifths of their number.
Among the many services rendered to the Museum by Dr. Gray, one is of too important a character to be passed over, even in a notice so brief as this must needs be. The large bequest in Zoology of Major-General Hardwicke grew out of a stipulation made by Dr. Gray, when he undertook, at General Hardwicke's request, the editorship of the Illustrations of Indian Zoology. A long labour brought to the editor no pecuniary return, but it brought an important collection to the British Public in the first instance, and eventually a large augmentation of what had been originally given.
In March, 1849, the course of inquiries pursued by Lord Ellesmere's Commission led to a new review of the growth of the Natural-History Collections, and more especially of the Zoology. It applied in particular to the twelve or thirteen years which had then elapsed since the prior inquiries of 1835-1836. The statement possesses much interest, but it is occasionally deficient in that systematic and necessary distinction between species and specimens which characterised the evidence of 1836. In brief, however, it may be said, that in the eight years extending between June, 1840, and June, 1848, twenty-nine thousand five hundred and ninety-five specimens of vertebrated animals were added to the Museum galleries and storehouses. Of these, five thousand seven hundred and ninetyseven were mammals; thirteen thousand four hundred and Book m, fourteen were birds ; four thousand one hundred and twelve Hotoet reptiles; and six thousand two hundred and seventy-two Musk** were fish. The number of specimens of annulose animals TMB^11 added during the same period was seventy-three thousand five hundred and sixty-three: and that of mollusca and radiata, fifty-seven thousand six hundred and ten. .
These large additions comprised extensive gatherings made by Dyson in Venezuela, and in various parts of North America; by Gardiner and Clausen in Brazil; by Gosse in Jamaica; by Gould, Gilbert, and Stephenson, in Australia and in New Zealand; by Hartweg in Mexico; by Goudot in Columbia; by Verreaux and Smith in South Africa; by Erazer in Tunis; and by Bridges in Chili and in some other parts of South America.
Of the splendid collections made by Mr. Hodgson in India, some more detailed mention must be made hereafter.
Meanwhile, on the Continent of Europe, political com- Check m motion had seriously checked the due progress of scientific OtfNATURALcollections. Britain had been making unwonted strides in Collections the improvement of its Museum, at the very time when °"THE
1 1 » CONTINENT,
most of the Continental States had allowed their fine Ims-1865. Museums to remain almost stationary. In mammals, birds, and shells, the British Museum had placed itself in the first rank. Only in reptiles, fish, and Crustacea, could even Paris now claim superiority. Those classes had there engaged for a long series of years the unremitting research and labour of such naturalists as Cuvier, Dumeril, Valenciennes, and Milne-edwards; and their relative wealth of specimens it will be hard to overtake. In insects, the Museum Collection vies with that of Paris in point of extent, and excels it in point of arrangement.
Not less conspicuous had been the growth of the several Departments of Antiquities. And this part of the story of the Museum teems with varied interest. Within a period of less than thirty years, vast and widely-distant cities, rich in works of art, have been literally disinterred. In succession to the superb marbles of Athens, of Phigaleia, and of Rome, some of the choicest sculptures and most curious minor antiquities of Nineveh, of Calah, of Erech, of Ur-ofthe-Chaldees, of Babylon, of Xanthus, of Halicarnassus, of Cnidus, and of Carthage, have come to London.
The growth of the subordinate Collections of Archaeology has been scarcely less remarkable. The series of ancient vases—to take but one example—of which the research and liberality of Sir William HAMILTON laid a good foundation almost a century ago, has come at length to surpass its wealthiest compeers. Only a few years earlier, it ranked as but the third, perhaps as but the fourth, among the great vase-collections of Europe. London, in that point of view, was below both Naples and Paris, if not also below Munich. It now ranks above them all; possessing two thousand six hundred vases, as against two thousand at Paris, and two thousand one hundred at Naples."
Another department, lying in part nearer home—that of British, Mediaeval, and Ethnological Antiquities—has been almost created by the labours of the last twenty years. The ‘British Museum can no longer be said to be a misnomer, as designating an establishment in which British Archaeology met with no elucidation.
* Birch, Ancient Pottery, vol. i. pp. 209, 210.
INTRODUCTION TO BOOK TH(C<mtinueS) :-GROWTH,
'Whatever be the judgment formed on [certain con-
SIONERS APPOINTED TO INQUIRE INTO THE MANAGE-
'In consideration of the long and very valuable services
The Museum Buildings.—The New Beading-Boom and its History.—The House of Commons9 Committee of I860: —Further Reorganization of the Departments—Summary of the Growth of the Collections in the years 1856-1866, and of their increased Use and Enjoyment by the Public.
No Question connected with the improvement of the Book m,
grossed the attention, either of Parliament or of the Public Mtm at large, than has the question of the Buildings. On none TMJ
British Museum has, from time
have the divergences of opinion been greater, or the ex-