Grant Lectures, notes (MS ADD 1)

Scope and Content

Student's notes on lectures in comparative anatomy delivered by Professor Robert Edmond Grant at University College London from 4 October to 23 December 1830. There is also a printed copy of an examination paper in comparative anatomy dated 8 January 1831.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Grant was born in Edinburgh on 11 November 1793. He was educated at Edinburgh High School and at the University of Edinburgh, graduating M.D. in 1814. From 1815 to 1820 Grant studied medicine and natural history in Paris and at many continental universities. He returned to Edinburgh in 1820 and devoted himself to natural history. In 1824 he gave lectures on comparative anatomy of the invertebrate for his friend Dr John Barclay, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He believed in the transformation of species and the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Charles Darwin was his intimate companion in study. Grant wrote numerous original papers during this period. In June 1827 he was elected Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Zoology at University College London and became absorbed in teaching for the next 46 years. He also lectured at other institutions. In 1836 he became a fellow of the Royal Society. Grant died on 23 August 1874 at the age of 80.

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Related Material

University College London Special Collections also holds essays and notes by Grant on medical subjects and geology, 1813-1823 (Ref: MS ADD 28); students' notes on Grant's lectures on comparative anatomy at University College London (UCL) in 1832-1834 (Ref: MS ADD 38-9); a catalogue of Grant's library, in his own hand, post-1861 (MS ADD 58); two lists of specimens, instruments, etc, 1850 (Ref: MS ADD 59); notes by a student, John Phillips Potter, on lectures by Grant at UCL, 1841 (Ref: MS ADD 343); Grant's diplomas, 1814-1874, with some letters, 1871-1874 (Ref: COLLEGE ARCHIVES); letters of Grant relating to specimens and to UCL business, 1827-1875 (Ref: COLLEGE CORRESPONDENCE, including APPLICATIONS and MEDICAL FACULTY).

British Library, Manuscript Collections, holds lecture notes of Grant, 1853 (Ref: Add MS 31197).