Minutes of the Association, 1845 - 1851, containing list of members, rules and regulations, and detailed descriptions of observations made during field excursions to sites of local natural history interest. Enclosures include a motion to grant the Secretary, Dr. Smith, an Honorary Membership of the Association, prior to his leaving the country to take up the post of Professor of Chemistry and Philosophy at University College, Sydney.
Records of Aberdeen Natural History Association
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The Association was constituted on the 29 May 1845. It was founded upon the direction of William MacGillivray, Professor of Civil and Natural History at Marischal College, who sought to encourage an interest amongst his friends for the study of natural history in Aberdeen. Membership of the Association was open to persons who were known to have made some proficiency in the study of some branch of natural history, or to have attended a class of Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Geology, Anatomy, or Chemistry ... of good moral character and connected with some religious body (GB 231 MS 544).
Members met fortnightly, for excursion or ordinary meetings. Excursion meetings were arranged to places of local natural history interest, where members would collect, record and discuss the objects and processes observed. The ordinary meetings provided a forum where natural history papers were presented and discussed.
By February 1852, membership numbers had fallen sharply, and regular meetings had ceased. It is believed that the Association was wound up around this time and a second Natural History Society established a few years later. This Society was also short-lived, for in 1863 a third group was formed - The Natural History Society of Aberdeen. This survives today as the Natural History and Antiquarian Society of Aberdeen.
For further details about Aberdeen's Natural History Associations see H.J.H. Drummond, Records of Medical and Scientific Societies in Scotland; early medical and scientific societies of North East Scotland, Bibliotheck, 1 (1956), 31-33.
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Deposited in the University Library in 1907, from the library of the late James Farquharson, D.D.
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Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/
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