Papers of William Bullock (fl. 1795-1840)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The material consists of letters and papers about the acquisition of Bullock's natural history collection by the University of Edinburgh, 1819, as well as lists of birds and animals in the collection. There is a batch of correspondence to Professor Robert Jameson about its acquisition.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Bullock was a nineteenth century traveller, naturalist and antiquarian. Around 1795 he founded a Museum of Natural Curiosities in Sheffield. This moved to Liverpool in 1801. In 1808 he published a descriptive catalogue of the works of art, armoury, objects of natural history, and other curiosities in the collection. In 1812, Bullock moved to London and the collection was placed in the newly built Egyptian Temple (later Egyptian Hall), Piccadilly. Together with material from other collections, this popular attraction was known as the London Museum until 1819 when the items were disposed of by auction. In 1822, Bullock went to Mexico and brought back many artefacts and specimens which formed a new exhibition in the Egyptian Hall, entitled Modern Mexico. A second visit to Mexico, and to the USA, took place in 1827. Bullock's publications include A concise and easy method of preserving subjects of natural history (1817), and Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America (1827).

Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Items received May 1970, Accession no. E70.17.

Note

The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Stephen Leslie. and Lee, Sidney (eds.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol.3. Brown-Chaloner. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1908. (2) Sweet, Jessie M. 'William Bullock's collection and the University of Edinburgh, 1819'. Annals of science. An international quarterly review of the history of science and technology since the renaissance. Vol.26. 1970. pp.23-32. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd., 1970.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: papers, c. 1820, Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, Reference MS 1417.

Bibliography

An account of the correspondence between Bullock and Jameson is contained in: Sweet, Jessie M. 'William Bullock's collection and the University of Edinburgh, 1819'. Annals of science. An international quarterly review of the history of science and technology since the renaissance. Vol.26. 1970. pp.23-32. London: Taylor and Francis Ltd., 1970.