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Edwin Rose

Edwin Rose

Department: History and Philosophy of Science

Supervisor: Prof. Jim Secord

College: Churchill

AHRC Subject Area: History

Title of Thesis: The creation and use of Private libraries in relation to the practice of natural history, 1740-1830


Edwin graduated with an MPhil. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge in 2016, completing a thesis entitled 'From Chelsea to Montague House: Hans Sloane's collection of Jamaican plants, 1742-1768', which examines the founding natural historical collections of the British Museum, part of which has recently been published. Edwin decided to extend his interests in the humanities and sciences further be embarking on a PhD. in History and Philosophy of Science.   

Edwin's current Ph.D. research is on natural historical libraries from 1740-1830, examining the relationship between printed books, book collecting and specimen collections. In this work, he examines the use of natural historical books in the field, investigating the emergence of the concept of fieldwork during this period, and in the library, particularly in relation to their associated natural historical collections, systematic classification of specimens and publication. The libraries and collections being concentrated on are those of Hans Sloane (1660-1753), Thomas Pennant (1726-98), Gilbert White (1720-93) and Joseph Banks (1743-1820). All of these naturalists owned extensive working natural historical library collections which were directly associated with their collections of natural historical specimens, all of which were connected to one another through extensive networks of exchange. Edwin is currently an affiliate of the Natural History Museum, London.  


Other Academic Interests

History of the life sciences, history of natural history, history of the book, history of collecting, early modern history, history of museums, history of classification, history of the earth sciences, the material culture of natural history

Key Publications

Rose, Edwin D., 'Natural history collections and the book: Hans Sloane's A Voyage to Jamaica (1707-25) and his Jamaican plants'Journal of the History of Collections, 30: 1(2018), pp. 15-33.

Rose, Edwin D., 'Specimens, Slips and Systems: Daniel Solander and the reclassification of nature at the world's first public museum, 1753-1768', The British Journal for the History of Science (In Press, 2018).

Rose, Edwin D., 'Gilbert White's copy of John Ray's Synopsis Methodica Avium & Piscarum and the construction of the Natural History of Selborne', Archives of Natural History (In Press, October 2018)