1950 – Dr L.D. Barnett

Scope and Content

There is no material directly related to the conferment of the Medal. For this see Related Material. However there is a single letter from The Royal Society to Mrs M. Davis, Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, to explain the position of the Royal Society concerning the conferment of Gold Medals post war. Typed letter with printed letterhead, dated 24 February 1948.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lionel David Barnett born in Liverpool and educated in Liverpool and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1899, he joined the British Museum as Assistant Keeper in the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts. In 1908 he became Keeper, remaining in the post until his retirement in 1936. He was also Professor of Sanskrit at University College, London from 1906 to 1917, founding Lecturer in Sanskrit at the School of Oriental Studies (1917–1948), Lecturer in Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy (1922–1948), and Librarian of the School (1940–1947). In 1948, at the age of 77, he rejoined the British Museum, which was desperately short of staff, as an Assistant Keeper, remaining there until his death.

Related Material

In the Minutes for the Council Meeting of 22 April 1948, it was recorded that since gold was unobtainable, then replica Gold Medals would be awarded with a cash equivalent. In the Council Minutes for 20 April 1940, it was resolved unanimously that the Gold Medal be awarded to Dr. L. D. Barnett. This was also recorded in the Report of the Anniversary General Meeting in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1950, p.217. There is a report of the Presentation in the same Journal, p.208.