It is not often that I can naturally weave several disparate interests into one post, but this one comes practically ready-woven. The interests in question are books, art, history and fossils, and this blog is the result of some of my time spent volunteering at Doncaster Museum. I've not been through to help out much, no more than twice a week and some weeks I don't get in at all, but as expected most of my time there involves looking at fossils. I've also spent some of my time there looking through their book collection at the books on palaeontology for anything useful and to get an idea of what's there. Many of the books are from the 1800s and early 1900s and so are scientifically out of date. It is quite interesting that there are duplicates of many of the books yet I can't fathom why.
A lot of the books have some breathtaking artwork adorning the pages, showing incredibly detailed renderings of fossils where nowadays we would simply have taken a photograph. A beautiful example of this is the ichthyosaur image below:
Some of the books piqued my interest for historical reasons, as seeing the name of a prominent scientist of that time can be quite exciting. The most exciting one perhaps is the book which contained contributions from many notable names. Off of the top of my head I remember Darwin, Huxley and Marsh in the book, yet I remember recognising at least double that. I'll have to go back and check it again. A common contributor to the books from the 1800s was Sir Richard Owen, who appears to have penned several monographs which the museum owns copies of. We took interest in his monograph on the pterosaurs, the front page of which can be seen here: