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Book m, ment room, are in good condition. The entire class of Hi'toey Tunicata is so preserved; also the families or genera devoid O»th« 0f or with rudirnental, shells, in the other Molluscous
Omkir si» classes. A small proportion of such "naked" Mollusca, and
A. Pamzzi. » » (• I 1 •
the soit parts of a lew 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 specimen* 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 History adequately described, by zoologists. Mu«o»
Of Birds, about two thousand five hundred species were, ""JTM8" 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 s.e.hereinthe great accession of the Cuming Collection, which already, chap, Tl in 1862, contained more than sixteen thousand species— and is the finest and most complete series ever brought together.
About forty-five thousand specimens of molluscs were, in 1802, stored in the drawers of the galleries and other rooms, or in the vaults beneath. These, on a rough computation, may have illustrated about four thousand five hundred species.
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.
QicAL ColLection*. 1858-1862.
Owen, Report, iis above 11800.
Coming to the Department of Mineralogy, we find that the registered specimens had increased, within about four years, from fifteen thousand to twenty-five thousand. This 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 1SG2-1S70. A Museum of Mineralogy worthy of England must eventually include five several and independent collections. 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; (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 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- Hook Hi.
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 v*Dr*s"
'... A- FAJtlZZI.
Sky-stones or ' Meteorites,' which is already very nobly represented in our National Museum.
ANOTHER GROUP OF ARCHAEOLOGISTS AND
'She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours
when she aaw men pourtrayed upon the wall,—the images
EzzKiiL ixiii, 12-15.
But all things have their end.
WrasTKS, Tkc Duchru of tlalfi.
The Libraries of the East.—The Monasteries of the Nitrian Desert, and their Explorers.— William Curkton and his Labours on the MS.S. of Nitria, and in other Departments of Oriental Literature.—The Researches in the Levant of Sir Charles Fellows, of Mr. La Yard, and of Mr. Charles Newton.—Other conspicuous Augmcntors of the Collection of Antiquities.
Boo* in, Wb have now to turn to that vast field of research
AmrrHKa and exploration, from which the national Museum of An
A«ch1o'x>- tiquities has derived an augmentation that has sufficed to
Kx7lar*rs. double, within twenty-five years, its previous scientific and