M2643 - M2644
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- British Museum (Natural History). Coelenterata Section
- Natural History Museum: Collections of the Coelenterata Section (as filmed by the AJCP)
- Date Range
- 1903 - 1968
- Collection Number
- M2643 - M2644
- 108 items
- Language of Materials
- Australian Joint Copying Project
- The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.
Scope and Contents
Correspondence of successive heads of the Coelenterata Section, concerning the acquisition, loan and exchange of specimens, enquiries from both professional and amateur zoologists, and coelenterate research relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
Correspondents include Baldwin Spencer, Arthur K. Totton, W.M. Bale, E.A. Briggs, W.T. Wells, Sir Douglas Mawson, E.J. Batham, H. Boschma, Cyril Crossland, Beatrice Grey, Loisette Marsh, R. Denison Purchon, C.M. Yonge and John Wells.
Conditions Governing Access
Available for Access.
Conditions Governing Use
Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.
Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1234)
Material selectively filmed at the Archives Department, British Museum (Natural History), as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1991 (AJCP Reels: M2643-M2644). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.
Formerly known as British Museum (Natural History), the Museum Natural History Museum changed its name in 1992.
Existence and Location of Originals
Archives Department, Natural History Museum, London, England.
Collection reference: DF253 For further information see Natural History Museum archives catalogue
Formerly known as British Museum (Natural History).
Existence and Location of Copies
The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1067351] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.
The Coelenterata Section was formally set up in 1913 when the old Invertebrate Section was split up on the retirement of E.A. Smith. Immediately prior to this, Smith had been responsible for the corals, and R. Kirkpatrick for the hydrozoa. Arthur Knyvett Totton (1892-1973) was appointed in 1914 to take charge of the Coelenterata, but had only just started work when he left to serve in the army. Totton had studied zoology at the Royal College of Science, London, under Professor E.W. MacBride, and specialised on the hydroids and later, the siphonophores while at the Museum. He retired in 1954, but was retained as an Associate until 1963. In 1955 William James Rees (1913-1967) was moved from the Mollusca Section to take charge of the Coelenterata. He worked mainly on hydroids, although retaining an interest in cephalopods, and died suddenly in 1967. Ernest White worked as an assistant on the Section from 1918, when he joined the Museum, until his retirement in 1964.
Both Totton and Rees kept individual files for the chief correspondents (31-84 and 86-189), with a chronological or alphabetical sequence for the remainder (1-30, 85).
References Anon, 1973. Arthur Knyvett Totton, Nature, 244, 187-188.
The class consists of the correspondence of successive heads of the Coelenterata Section, and covers the acquisition, loan and exchange of specimens, enquiries from both professional and amateur zoologists, and coelenterate research.
This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.
Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.
Australia; Australia: flora and fauna; Bale, W.M.; Batham, E.J.; Boschma, H.; Briggs, E.A.; Crossland, Cyril; Great Britain; Grey, Beatrice; Marsh, Loisette; Mawson, Sir Douglas; Natural History Museum, London; New Zealand: flora and fauna; Purchon, R. Denison; Spencer, Sir W. Baldwin, Prof.; Totton, Arthur K.; Wells, John; Wells, W.T.; Yonge, C.M.; Zoologists
Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 61, p21.
Re his work on Hydroids of Antarctic expedition.
Sending specimens, due to South-East Trade Winds unable to gather living corals, description of Cocos Island; cannot understand how Wood Jones gathered specimens from Barrier Reef; barracoutas make swimming dangerous.
Ex letter from A.C. English, Baradobo Rigo, Papua. (2p.)
Re specimens of Lineolaria, encloses copy of 31 May 1926. W.M. Bale (Kew.) to Kershaw that cannot supply Lineolaria.
Re Terra Nova hydroids, and his work on Dr. Martensen's New Zealand specimens. (31p.)
Re Coelenterates for identification.
Re opportunities for missionaries to collect specimens.
Re coral from Malaita Island.
Correspondence with T. Harvey Johnston (University of Adelaide), 4 April, 2 July, 20 May, 4 Aug. 1936 (File)
Re Totton's work on Sir Douglas Mawson's collection of Siphonophora.
Re identification of hydrozoa and polyzoa from Poor Knights Islands.
Correspondence with C. Anderson (Australian Museum), 4 Oct., 28 Oct., 5 Dec. 1938, 4 Jan. 1939 (File)
Re specimen of Myriothela Australis from Marouba Bay.
Re his work on Australian hydrozoa; news of Bale and Trebilcock.
Re suggestion that Totton work on Siphonophora at Heron Island.
Totton (British Museum (Natural History)) to S.J. Edmonds (Adelaide) re corals of South Australia (File)
Includes list of Australian specialists.
Subjects include: identification of specimens; specimens from Rattlesnake and Endeavour; his work on Endeavour specimens; disappearance of Endeavour on voyage from Macquarie Harbour to Hobart; effects of war 'recruiting has had a great impetus'; E.A. Briggs' work at University of Sydney; disapproves of purchasing German goods; his work on New Zealand Hydroida; Hydroida identified by Allman; news of Treblicock.
Correspondence with Cyril Crossland (Egypt, Denmark, Tahiti, Cambridge) (87p.), 10 January 1926 - 25 December 1936 (File)
Subjects include: Sending corals from Tahiti; differences between fauna of Tahiti and other islands 'in the old days everything from a radius of 500 miles from here was labelled 'Tahiti'; Merulina from Christmas Island.
Correspondence with Mrs Beatrice Grey (Naples; Piraeus; Broome; Perth; Singapore) (73p.), 20 Sept. 1927 - 1 July 1935; 17-18 Sept. 1952 (File)
Subjects include: Collecting along coast of Western Australia, including Willy Creek - geological descriptions, specimens collected; comments on species sent to the museum 'your area seems to be prolific'; marooned up coast by rains 'had a pretty thin time'; plans to collect in Borneo.
Correspondence with John Wells (Homer, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Ithaca, N.Y.). (72p.), 16 June 1933 - 8 February 1954 (File)
Subjects include: His work on corals; specimens from Port Essington; work on corals of Marshall Islands; his report on corals of Bikini Islands; identification of Mrs Marsh's Western Australian corals; plans to lecture in Queensland.
Re his work on Chironex / Chiropsalmus.
Re his work on Edenttellina and Tamanovalva.
Enclosing data concerning type material of Hydrozoa reported on by Ritchie, 1911 ex Thetis expedition collections. [Specimens stored in Australian Museum.]
Correspondence with F. Jacka (Mawson Institute for Antarctic Research), 11 Nov., 23 Nov 1965; 11 May, 22 April 1966 (File)
Re work at the British Museum(Natural History) on B.AN.Z.A.R.E. Hydroids.
Includes three photographs.
Correspondence with B.J. Smith (National Museum of Victoria), 1 Sept., 15 July, 27 May, 15 May, 20 May 1969 (File)
Re type specimens of Lineolaria spinulara Hincks.
Re medusae collected by Dinah Hodge in Brisbane River.
Correspondence with Bernard C. Cotton (University of Adelaide, South Australian Museum) (27p.), 23 May 1956 - 19 April 1966 (File)
Subjects include: His retirement from the Museum; his publications on mollusca of South Australia; Iredale's work on mollusca of Great Barrier Reef; collecting trips to River Murray.
Re her visit to Australia to draw and collect corals from Great Barrier Reef. (73p.)
Also includes: correspondence with A.S. Clarke (Edinburgh), William Stephenson (University of Queensland), Donald McMichael (Australian Museum).
Correspondence with Dr. Patricia M. Ralph (Victoria, University of Wellington, Washington and, Plymouth) (254p.), January 1955 - February 1968 (File)
Subjects include: Joint paper with Rees on Pelagohydra; her teaching and research work at Wellington; family news; her visit to the Smithsonian Institution; sabatical leave in England and U.S.A.; Totton and Mackie's Discovery report on Physalia; her DSc. examination; exchange of specimens; her visit to Marine Observatory, Plymouth as part of Nuffield Travelling Fellowship.
Items of note include: Nuffield Report: submitted by P.M. Ralph (New Zealand) holder of Nuffield Travelling Fellowship in Natural Science (1958).
Tetraplatia: a coronate scyphomedusan by P.M. Ralph, 1959.
Drawings of Sertulariadae with locations.
Drawings of plumularia with locations. Includes: New Zealand, Banks' Island, Prince of Wales Channel).
Pencil notes by Totton, 1926.