Zuckerman Archive: British Museum (Natural History)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1187 SZ/BMNH
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 boxes; three files; 3 linear feet

Scope and Content

Solly Zuckerman was appointed a trustee of the British Museum (Natural History), better known as the Natural History Museum, in 1967 and served in that capacity until 1977.

File SZ/BMNH/1 Trustees' Meetings, 1967-1977, contains three sub-files of agenda, minutes and papers.

File SZ/BMNH/2 Correspondence, 1966-1981, consists of 11 sub-files, which include separate files of correspondence with: Viscount Boyd of Merton (Alan Lennox-Boyd); Sir Frank Claringbull (and Lord Carrington); A.P. (Jim) Coleman; The Earl of Cranbrook; Dr R.H. (Ron) Hedley; Sir Terence Morrison-Scott; and Professor and Alwyn Williams, Principal, Glasgow University (and Professor P. Allen, Reading University Dept of Geology). Sub-file SZ/BMNH/2/1 is organised chronologically and was originally created as a personal file in the Cabinet Office during Zuckerman's term as Chief Scientific Adviser (old file reference M28). The remaining sub-files are for the most part a continuation of this file and have been organised by correspondent or topic.

The file covers a wide range of the Museum's business including the appointment of senior personnel and trustees. Sub-file SZ/BMNH/2/2 concludes with a letter of 14 December 1977 from the Prime Minister, James Callaghan, thanking Zuckerman for his services to the Museum. Sub-file SZ/BMNH/2/4 includes a quantity of correspondence relating to a find of mammalian fossils in Saudi Arabia. Sub-file SZ/BMNH/2/7 includes correspondence relating to the gift to the Museum, by Zuckerman, of a collection of some 180 primate skulls and skeletal material in 1980; these had formerly been at Birmingham University. Sub-file SZ/BMNH/2/10 deals with the cost of binding academic books and journals and includes correspondence between Sir Frederick Dainton, then of the University Grants Committee, and the Librarians of Cambridge University, the John Rylands Library and the Bodleian, as well as data supplied by the Zoological Society.

File SZ/BMNH/3 Documents, 1963-1981, consists of one file of printed material produced by or relating to the Natural History Museum that includes: a copy of the British Museum (Natural History) Act 1963 and secondary legislation; lists of museum staff and trustees 1966-1976; reports of the Museum 1963-1974; a feasibility study for development of the East Infill Block, 1974; leaflets produced by the Children's Centre; and copies of Department of Education and Science, Survey 12: Museums in Education HMSO, 1971 , and the Eighth report of the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries 1965-1969, HMSO, 1970 .


  • SZ/BMNH/1 Trustees' Meetings, 1967-1977
  • SZ/BMNH/2 Correspondence, 1966-1981
  • SZ/BMNH/3 Documents, 1963-1981

Access Information

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