Dataset Information


A magpie with a card-index mind - Charles Davies Sherborn 1861-1942.

ABSTRACT: Charles Davies Sherborn was geologist, indexer and bibliographer extraordinaire. He was fascinated by science from an early age and like so many Victorians, the young Sherborn was a passionate natural history collector and was obsessed with expanding his collection of land and freshwater shells. He later described himself as being a 'thorough magpie' and having 'a card-index mind', and these two traits coalesced in his monumental Index Animalium, the compilation of which occupied 43 years of his life. One of the first visitors through the doors of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington when it opened in 1881, Sherborn began work there seven years later as one of the small band of unofficial scientific workers, paid by the number of fossils he prepared. By the time of his death in 1942, Sherborn's corner in the Museum was the first port of call for generations of scientists seeking advice, information - or an invitation to one of his famous 'smoke and chat' parties. In addition to his work on the Index, Sherborn is also responsible for rescuing from damp and probable destruction the huge archive of Sir Richard Owen, the great comparative anatomist and the prime mover behind the creation of the Natural History Museum, London. Without Sherborn, this invaluable resource of correspondence, manuscripts and books may well have been irretrievably ruined.

SUBMITTER: Shindler K 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4741213 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.3897/zookeys.550.9975

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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