Arthur Smith Woodward Papers

Scope and Content

Letters to Arthur Smith Woodward and related papers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Smith Woodward was born in Macclesfield on 23 May 1864 and educated in Macclesfield and at Owens College Manchester. He entered the British Museum in 1882, became Assistant Keeper of Geology in 1892, and was Keeper of the Geological Department from 1901 to 1924. He became occupied with researches into extinct vertebrata, especially fish, and travelled extensively to South America and Greece. He co-operated with Charles Dawson in the discovery and interpretation of the Piltdown skull, 1912-1914. Throughout his life, he received many medals from various societies. He was Secretary of the Palaeontographical Society, 1900-1934, President of the Geologists Association, 1904-1906, and President of the Geological Society, 1914-1916. He wrote many papers, mainly about fish and geological surveys. He was knighted in 1924 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1901. Smith Woodward died on 2 September 1944.

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Natural Sciences Department at University College London in October 1974.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist and name index is available. Please contact Special Collections for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Many of the letters were removed from books in Smith Woodward's library, acquired by University College London in 1944.

Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds other letters to Arthur Smith Woodward and others inserted in books from his library, acquired by University College London in 1944 (Ref: SMITH WOODWARD); a letter to him from Alfred Russell Wallace, 1907 (Ref: MS MISC 4W).

Correspondence and papers of Arthur Smith Woodward are also held at the British Library, Manuscript Collections; Natural History Museum, London; Elgin Museum. For further details see the National Register of Archives.