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The Lyell Specimen Cockburn Collection

The Lyell Specimen Cockburn Collection

Charles Lyell Specimens

The Cockburn Geological Museum holds the university's collections of rocks, minerals, fossils, and other earth science materials. A small but important collection is made up of objects associated with Sir Charles Lyell, most notability, flint tools which relate to his research into the Antiquity of Man, and "modern trace fossils" collected during his American lecture tour, where he observed rain drops and foot prints preserved in dried mud.

The acquisition of notebooks offers us a fabulous opportunity to contextualise the approximately 150 objects we hold attributed to Sir Charles Lyell. Held within the university for over 90 years, these objects have been under utilised, as they lacked deeper context which could inform and direct researchers. Now with the notebooks, new opportunities for a deep dive into how objects informed Lyell's ideas can be realised.


Read about the collection on the Library Blog - Through Lyell's Eyes