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Key Sources for the Database of Clerical Naturalists

This page contains a list and explanation of the key sources listed in the database of clerical naturalists.

Printed Sources:

  • Armstrong. Patrick Armstrong, The English Parson-naturalist: A Companionship Between Science and Religion (Leominster: Gracewing, 2000). This is the only study of clerical naturalists to date, focusing on nineteenth-century naturalists in the Church of England and containing detailed information on 56 Anglican naturalists.
  • Challinor. John Challinor, The History of British Geology: A Bibliographical Study (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1971). Contains basic biographical information identifying at least 16 clerical geologists.
  • Desmond. Ray Desmond, Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists: Including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers, 2nd Edition (London: Taylor & Francis, 1994). Contains basic biographical information identifying at least 730 clerical botanists and horticulturists, with their principal activities, publications, and collections.
  • Kent and Allen. D.H Kent and D.E. Allen, eds, British and Irish Herbaria: An Index to the Location of Herbaria of British and Irish Vascular Plants (London: Botanical Society of the British Isles, 1984). Contains basic biographical information identifying at least 430 clerical botanists who created herbaria, with their locations where known.
  • ALS and FLS. Associates (ALS) and Fellows (FLS) of the Linnean Society of London are taken from the List of the Linnean Society of London. This list has been printed annually since 1790.

Online Sources:

  • BHL. The Biodiversity Heritage Library. 'The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.' It currently offers 189,623 titles for download.
  • CCeD. The Church of England Clergy Database. 'The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 makes available and searchable the principal records of clerical careers from over 50 archives in England and Wales with the aim of providing coverage of as many clerical lives as possible from the Reformation to the mid-nineteenth century.'
  • Herbaria@Home. The Herbaria@Home Database. 'Herbaria@home is an online citizen science project. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, we digitise the information from the collections of wild plants held by museums and universities in the UK and beyond.' The database incorporates some information from Kent and Allen, eds, British and Irish Herbaria.
  • ODNB. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online offers over 60,000 biographies, 72 million words, and 11,000 portraits of significant, influential, or notorious figures who shaped British history.
  • Quakers. Quakers in the World. The Quakers in the World website offers hundreds of biographies of Quakers who have been active in, and sought to make a difference to, the world.
  • Royal Society and FRS. The Royal Society Collections. Printed or archival material and biographical records of past Fellows of the Royal Society.
  • Wikipedia. Wikipedia. 'The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.' Currently 6,725,918 articles in English.

Availability of Sources:

Online. BHL, CCeD, Herbaria@Home, Quakers, Royal Society, and Wikipedia are all open access, but ODNB requires a log in. UK users can log in for free using their local library membership number, or via their school or university library log in. Many non-UK libraries and universities also offer access. Check with your institution or public library.

Print. The print sources are in general specialist publications and most are out of print. Copies are available in major research libraries, some university libraries, and some natural history libraries. At the time of writing (January 2024) I was unable to locate complete e-texts of these publications, although limited previews of most can be found by searching on Google Books.


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